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NYRR United NYC Half Marathon 2018

In preparation for the 2018 NYC Marathon, I ran multiple New York Road Runner races, including four of the borough races, which would get me entry into the United NYC Half Marathon 2018. The NYC Marathon was my last 26.2 mile race, but it allowed me the possibility of entering one of the largest half marathons.

I hadn’t run the NYC Half Marathon since 2014, so the new course was completely new to me, since it changed in 2018. No longer do we circle Central Park, head to Times Square, then run south on the FDR to the financial district. It became a whole new course in a whole new direction.

We gathered at Prospect Park around dawn to prepare to for our trip around New York City. We started out from the middle of the park in Brooklyn with a run outwards before heading to an out and back in the park, finally leaving after 2 and a half miles. Thankfully, none of this part of the race was on any of the hills in Prospect park, since there was plenty of uphill running to come.

From the park, we headed north onto Flatbush Avenue and straight up for two and a half miles to the Manhattan bridge. Running up the Manhattan Bridge was the steepest incline of the whole race. While it felt tough, it was a half mile that took us from the borough of Brooklyn into the borough of Manhattan.

We headed into the city and looped back onto the FDR Drive North and continued our journey up along the Hudson River. While driving the FDR is no problem, the gradual incline was far more evident while running three and a half miles on foot. At the 10 mile marker, we finally reached the off-ramp onto 42nd street. A westward journey took us past the United Nations, the Chrysler Builder, Grand Central Terminal, and the rest of the buildings along the glass and steel canyon that led us to Times Square. The upward incline continued as we ran through the lights and sights of the famous landmark area and reached 59th street.

A run eastward along 59th Street took us to the southeastern entrance to Central Park. A run up the east side of the park to the 72nd Street transverse took us ever closer to the final stretch. After a quick left at the end of the transverse, we were greeted by the flags of nations as seen during the NYC Marathon and the glorious sight of our final goal, the finish line.

The new course for the United NYC Half Marathon was far more scenic than the old, but this new course was mostly uphill, while the old course was far more downhill. I like the new course better in general, but I definitely prefer spending far more time running downhill than uphill. I was able to finish the half marathon with a time of 2:13:55 – which was not quite where my goal time was, but gives me the drive to achieve it during races later this year.

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