Overall Rating
Overall Rating (23 Reviews)
4.7
(23 Ratings) 🏆 (23 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.9
SCENERY
4.6
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
3.9
The United Airlines NYC Half will take runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! The race will begin in Brooklyn near Prospect Park … MORE
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Recent reviews

    runner75 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was my first half-marathon since 2008, and I ran it as a member of the fundraising team for The Pink Agenda, to honor my sister, who has breast cancer. … MORE

    This was my first half-marathon since 2008, and I ran it as a member of the fundraising team for The Pink Agenda, to honor my sister, who has breast cancer.

    I enjoyed the training, and was in great shape. My goals were to finish, and then to break two hours – and I did both!

    Lots of great communication from NYRR about the race, and easy to follow the crowds on race day. Felt like a New Yorker taking the subway to the start at 6 am, LOL.

    Enjoyed running through the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the Manhattan bridge wasn’t as bad as I thought. Running the FDR got a little boring, but then once you’re off the FDR, the crowds carry you through.

    Great tracking app, and liked sharing my stats via Twitter too. And got some good tips from the NYC Runs community on reddit.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    alkathryn FIRST-TIMER '22

    Top notch. All the way around. I can't believe I did this. A bucket list race, for sure. From start to finish, there is nothing to complain about. It was … MORE

    Top notch. All the way around. I can’t believe I did this. A bucket list race, for sure. From start to finish, there is nothing to complain about. It was simply amazing. Shutting down times square for us…. wow! I felt like a celebrity.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    wenchitaag REPEAT RUNNER '22

    I almost didn't run due to a small injury to my quadricep I'm glad I was able to run.I had a lot of fun running the Manhattan bridge and running … MORE

    I almost didn’t run due to a small injury to my quadricep I’m glad I was able to run.I had a lot of fun running the Manhattan bridge and running through Times Square

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    gsager18 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This is the best course I've ever run and the best I ever will run. Only half marathon in the world that shuts down Times Square! Swag was meh but … MORE

    This is the best course I’ve ever run and the best I ever will run. Only half marathon in the world that shuts down Times Square! Swag was meh but you’re paying for the course, not the swag.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I love NYC so this race was near the top of my bucket list. This is a race that does not have guaranteed entry unless you are super fast which … MORE

    I love NYC so this race was near the top of my bucket list. This is a race that does not have guaranteed entry unless you are super fast which I am not. The main other ways to enter are lottery, 4 out 6 (run 4 out of 6 options for NYRR races) and charity. However I got guaranteed entry for 2022 by running the virtual 2021 NYC half for guaranteed entry. It costs around $80 to do this (on top of the expensive race fee), but it is cheaper than charity or running 4 out of 6 races so definitely look into this option if you want guaranteed entry. The race cost $130 if you are a NYRR member so it was over $200 when you add the virtual but worth it for the experience of running in Times Square. I did think pre-race communication could have been better. The website is very useful and had all the information but I wish they sent an email or ideally a PDF with the information. The NYC marathon lottery entry started a few weeks before the race and it took like 10 minutes to log in to review race details due to internet traffic. For packet pick-up you pre-selected time slots on Thursday, Friday or Saturday before the race. I selected the 9am to 10am on Saturday since I was driving in Friday night. For the race I stayed in Times Square which isn’t my favorite place to stay but was convenient as you could walk to packet-pick up, it was close to the subway to Prospect Park and could walk from finish to hotel. Packet pick-up was relatively smooth and not too crowded given the staggered starts. You had to show ID and proof of vaccination. This appears to be the case for all NYRR events. Bib pick up was easy and you also got a shirt. The shirt is okay. It is a long sleeve tech shirt. It is not the best quality and it is kind of a simple design. I do like the color. It was a nice periwinkle blue so I will use it. The expo was mid sized but mostly just selling NYRR gear and their sponsors’ products. There weren’t local vendors like you see at some expos. I didn’t spend that much time there so I would have more time to spend exploring NYC. Race morning is a bit complex so definitely read the website and definitely get to the park by the recommended time if you want a smooth experience. This year there were 4 waves and multiple corrals in each wave. Each wave is given a time they should arrive at prospect park along with the time the corral opens, closes and the race starts. I was in wave 4. It said to arrive at the Park at 7:30, corral open at 8:30, corral close at 8:40 and race start at 8:45. The race is point to point and starts at Prospect Park. I took the train to Prospect Park. I gave myself an extra 20 minute wiggle room to arrive at 7:30 and thought for sure I would be waiting around forever in the beginning but I am glad I left so early. The train was kind of slow and I arrived at Prospect Park just before 7:30 (glad I had that wiggle room). You then walk about 15 minutes to the start in the middle of the park. By this time there were so many runners I just followed the crowd and it was easy to find. Then you spend about 15 minutes to get through security. Then the lines to the bathroom were about 15 minutes long. Then I had about 15 minutes to stretch and do my pre-race routine before the corral opened. So the time it said to enter was 100% correct. I saw many runners from earlier waves not think they had to be to the park as early as the website said who were stressed and scrambling to get into the correct corrals or stuck going in the wrong corral. Long story short – get to the park at the suggested time or earlier. Once in the corral it was very smooth and the race timing was precise. Each wave had 6 corrals and the corrals went off one by one. I was in corral C. Corral A left at exactly 8:45. My corral left a couple minutes later. It was really exciting to be in a race again with 20,000+ participants. This was the first race I have done this big since the LA marathon. The actual course and race was by far the best 13.1 miles I have run. It starts in Prospect Park which is nice. The start is quite crowded and almost impossible to pass people but everyone was running the same pace except a few people who arrived to late and started in the wrong corral who were struggling to pass people (again show up on time if you want the best experience). The race then goes through Brooklyn. It goes along Flatbush avenue and passes by the Barclay Center. There are a lot of spectators in this section which is fun. You then cross the Manhattan Bridge. It is really cool running across the bridge into Manhattan and there is awesome scenery. However the uphill on the bridge is quite steep and the toughest part. Almost everyone around me was walking this part. You then enter Manhattan and there is a big crowd of spectators. The next section is on FDR drive and probably the weakest part of the course but it is pretty flat. There are still some city views. There are less spectators here but anywhere there can be a spectator there is one. Mile 10 through 11 are probably the best mile of any race I have run. You then go onto 42nd street and run past Grand Central Station and Bryant Park and then turn up 7th Avenue onto Times Square. This part is amazing. It is full of spectators and so cool to run on one of the busiest streets in the world completely closed off to traffic. You then run up to central park and run about a mile in the Park to the finish. The course is extremely easy to follow as it is basically fenced off so outsiders can’t get in. There is no way you can get lost. There are mile markers with clocks each mile. There were aid stations about every 2 miles with gels around the halfway mark. Today was absolutely gorgeous and warmer than usual in the 60s. It was perfect running weather but I would have preferred a few more aid stations at this temp. Aid stations had water and Gatorade. The first one was a little slow putting out enough cups (though not slower than other large races) and the rest there was no delay. There were porta potties at the aid stations but they had line longs (I lost about 5 minutes waiting for one). The course has some hills in the parks and the big one up the bridge. My Garmin had a little under 500 ft elevation gain total. Seemed about average to slightly harder than average for a road race but the high energy and amazing sights make it an easy race to stay motivated. There is a nice big finish arch and there is an app that will give you your time as soon as you crossed. My time was decent. Under 3 hours and about 2 minutes faster than Little Rock. When you account for the 5 minute bathroom break and the fact I stopped for a few pics it was pretty good and I’m continuing to slowly get back. After the finish line is where most of my complaints are. The finish area is well organized but very impersonal. There is a long finish chute and no family members at the finish line. The medal was also disappointing. It is one of my worst half marathon medal and definitely worst medal for a race than is over $100. They used recycled materials and I do appreciate that but it is small and just has the race name. Would have preferred images of NY or something more special. It’s not so bad that I would not recommend the race because of it but this is not a race to run for the bling. There also is no finish party and you get a bag of recovery items with a water, gatorade, gatorade recovery drink, apple and pretzel which was not the best. Despite the kind of lame end and medal, this was an awesome race experience. If you love big city races I would add this to your must do list. However I could see how someone would prefer a smaller, more personal race with a less stressful start (in which case come to Upstate or Western NY for your NY race). I probably won’t do guaranteed entry or plan around this race now that I have done it once, but I do plan to enter the lottery every year I have the weekend off as I would love to experience it again.

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    mckenziecamille FIRST-TIMER '19

    The distance is no problem, but I was caught off guard by the climb on to the Manhattan Bridge and the FDR drive. Be sure to prepare for elevations in … MORE

    The distance is no problem, but I was caught off guard by the climb on to the Manhattan Bridge and the FDR drive. Be sure to prepare for elevations in your training.

    DIFFICULTY
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    BillyD0021 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Great race. Running through Brooklyn and Manhattan was awesome. The crowd support was great. Hopefully one day I can run the full marathon and experience all the boroughs. The subway … MORE

    Great race. Running through Brooklyn and Manhattan was awesome. The crowd support was great. Hopefully one day I can run the full marathon and experience all the boroughs. The subway ride was easy, and even with all the security, things went quite smoothly. I’ll never forget running through Times Square, that was a rush.

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    Amac1167 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Started off as a chilly day, got to ride the subway from Harlem to Brooklyn with a ton of other runners. Start area was fairly well put together with tons … MORE

    Started off as a chilly day, got to ride the subway from Harlem to Brooklyn with a ton of other runners.

    Start area was fairly well put together with tons of toilets so there wasn’t too much waiting around. On the way into the park, they had volunteers handing out space blankets in case you were cold. Getting into the corrals was a little difficult and the PA system could have been positioned better or more speakers added so you could better hear when they were calling out your corral.

    Course was pretty easy with not too many huge hills. Overall, I would definitely do this race again if given the opportunity.

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    4
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    calshan FIRST-TIMER '19

    When I signed up for this race, I had no idea how big it was. I have ran the Marine Corps Marathon twice so knew what to expect for a … MORE

    When I signed up for this race, I had no idea how big it was. I have ran the Marine Corps Marathon twice so knew what to expect for a bigger race. We stayed across the street from Central Park and took the Subway earlier than what was suggested and I had to sprint to start to make sure I got there. The run was amazing and loved it. The finish was awful. I have never ran a race where my family wasn’t there to see the finish. It took me about 45 minutes to find my husband. The exit from Central Park was so crowded and confusing. I am glad I ran it but will not do again.

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    5
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    richdrogpa REPEAT RUNNER '19

    In 2018, the NYC Half changed its route and made it a two borough race, between Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Central Park in Manhattan. After the difficulties in the … MORE

    In 2018, the NYC Half changed its route and made it a two borough race, between Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Central Park in Manhattan. After the difficulties in the cramped start area, this year the NYRR relocated the start inside the Prospect Park and it was a lot better and roomier, lots of porta-potties, tents, and room to warm-up. The route is excellent, esp. the rundown from the Manhattan bridge and run up the 7th avenue through the Times Square!!! Highly recommended!!!

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    4
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    5
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    VTKRAMER FIRST-TIMER '19

    The start area in Prospect Park was a pretty chaotic. After the wonderfully organized full marathon in November, this was crazy. Plenty of porta potties. The race was well organized … MORE

    The start area in Prospect Park was a pretty chaotic. After the wonderfully organized full marathon in November, this was crazy. Plenty of porta potties.

    The race was well organized and the finish area is very well located to catch a subway. They ran out of Mylar blankets at the finish.

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    4
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    3
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    3
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    4

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    DrewNYC REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Last time I ran the NYC Half, it was all in Manhattan (started in Central Park, ran through Times Square over to the West Side Highway and finished at the … MORE

    Last time I ran the NYC Half, it was all in Manhattan (started in Central Park, ran through Times Square over to the West Side Highway and finished at the tip of the island). New course starts in Brooklyn and ends in Central Park. I mostly liked the new route. No matter how many races I’ve done in Prospect Park, I just don’t find my way to the start there very easily!

    I am so grateful for all that NYRR does week in and week out. They put on great local (short) races. This race was a bit rocky from my perspective. The expo is a very small space for the number of runners, so bib pick up was a bit chaotic.

    As I stated above, getting the start was a bit challenging for me, and I somewhat know Prospect Park. I can imagine it would be even more confusing for travelers who come to NYC just for the race.

    There are some hills, but it’s NYC! There aren’t many races here that don’t involve some hills. There are good sights and lots of energy, so that can distract you from the hills.

    Biggest bummer for me was that I didn’t receive a medal at the finish line! When I crossed they were out of medals and Myler blankets. Apparently they (the medals) were just missing. I was able to pick it up later. That was annoying for me, a local. It would be very disappointing for travelers, though NYRR promised to mail them to everyone who didn’t get one, including international runners.

    I love my city and I love racing here, so despite the hiccups I experienced this year (and a slower time due to several months of injuries), I would still recommend this race.

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 17, 2019 at 11:27pm

    I was going to say... NO MEDAL?? So glad you got yours Drew, and especially since I know the past few months have been tough, running-wise. Here's to nothing but… MORE

    I was going to say... NO MEDAL?? So glad you got yours Drew, and especially since I know the past few months have been tough, running-wise. Here's to nothing but healthy miles for the rest of 2019! LESS

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    YanisNanashi REPEAT RUNNER '18

    It was my 5th NYC Manhattan Half. I loved the old course which was good for personal bests. This year they have changed the course and there were a few … MORE

    It was my 5th NYC Manhattan Half. I loved the old course which was good for personal bests. This year they have changed the course and there were a few disadvantages: first of all the start at Prospect Park was not as beautiful as it was in Central Park. There was not the same magic atmosphere. The trucks for bag check were parked the wrong way so that runners had to go behind the trucks. As it was still dark at 6 a clock I fell down as I could not see the uneven ground. Fortunately I did not hurt anything. The restrooms were IN the start corrals which was good on the one hand but lead to a chaos on the other hand. Another disadvantage is the fact that the course is much tougher than the older was. Running across Manhattan Bridge is nice, but quite hard and running Central Park at the end of the race is also quite exhausting.
    Wind in New York seems to always blow from the northwest which means that now runners have to run against almost all the time while they could run with the wind on the old course.
    The finish in Central Park is ok, but unfortunately friends are not able to come to the finish line as ways are blocked. Runners have to walk out of Central Park from 72nd street (finish) all the way down to the south exit at Columbus Circle where they can meet their friends. I do hope that they will change to the old course again or at least improve this course!

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    BrandonD FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was a new course for the race this year. Challenging inclines going over the bridge after mile 2. Watch out for the hills in Central Park at the end! MORE

    This was a new course for the race this year. Challenging inclines going over the bridge after mile 2. Watch out for the hills in Central Park at the end!

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    4
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    RunnerGirlKT REPEAT RUNNER '18

    The NYC 1/2 had a new course this year. Runners now start in Brooklyn and end in Central Park (but no Harlem Hill!). The weather this year was beautiful, if … MORE

    The NYC 1/2 had a new course this year. Runners now start in Brooklyn and end in Central Park (but no Harlem Hill!). The weather this year was beautiful, if not a little chilly. I took a bus down that a local running store organized so it was amazing to not have to worry about transit, have a bathroom on the bus, and we got to sit on the bus until right before the corrals would close (warmth!). If you can do a bus, I highly recommend it.

    I took quite a few pictures along the course this year of the Freedom Tower, Manhattan Bridge, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, East River, the United Nations, and Times Square (I didn’t take a picture of Grand Central, though we did run past it). The course is definitely more challenging in years past with the first 2 miles being mainly downhill and final 3 being rolling hills, but it’s far from the most challenging course I’ve run and I missed a PR by all of 6 seconds (my PR being set on the old course).

    This year had 2 waves, so starting didn’t take as long as in years past, though I still dislike the 5 or so minute lag between corrals.

    Course support was arguably better than in years past. People definitely came out in Brooklyn, China Town, and 42nd St./Times Square, as well as in Central Park.

    This year, bib pickup was a mini expo. In my opinion, even though the “expo” really wasn’t one, it was still better than nothing. This year’s shirts were long sleeve tech shirts (that ran very very small) and the medal was finally a new design (that resembles either Epcot or the Times Square NYE ball).

    After the finish, folks had to walk at least 10 blocks out of the park a la the NYC Marathon (the finish line was actually in about the same place, just approached from the other direction *downhill* yay!). Runners were given a recovery bag with a Powerbar, apple, pretzels, Gatorade, and water.

    All in all, I still love this race and honestly felt that today’s experience is what the marathon should have been when I ran it back in 2016. It’s an amazing way to see the city!

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    raschatz FIRST-TIMER '17

    You'll need to enter the lottery to get in, but there are also fundraising options. It is a great experience, one of only 2 days where they close Times Square … MORE

    You’ll need to enter the lottery to get in, but there are also fundraising options. It is a great experience, one of only 2 days where they close Times Square – you’ll run right through it! It can be cold (it was this year), but the course is pretty fair and only has a few undulations, nothing really of a “hill” nature. I will look to run again in future.

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    YanisNanashi REPEAT RUNNER '16

    I love everything of this race. Taking the metro to Central Park early in the morning. Sunrise in Central Park before the start. First 10 km through Central Park, then … MORE

    I love everything of this race. Taking the metro to Central Park early in the morning. Sunrise in Central Park before the start. First 10 km through Central Park, then running 7th Avenue and crossing Times Square – fantastic atmosphere. Last part of the race all the way down to Financial District! Fabulous Race!!!

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    RunnerGirlKT REPEAT RUNNER '16

    I have a special place in my heart for the NYC 1/2. It was my first 1/2 ever and I've run it a total of 4 times. The downside to … MORE

    I have a special place in my heart for the NYC 1/2. It was my first 1/2 ever and I’ve run it a total of 4 times. The downside to it is that you either have to qualify by time, run for charity, or get lucky enough to get picked in the lottery.

    The only other downside is that the location of the expo changes and some years it’s pretty bad (2016 saw no expo at all, just BIB pickup).

    Every year, the medal has gotten nicer and they offer gender specific shirts, however you’re stuck with the size that you choose at registration so it helps to ask those who’ve run it how the shirt runs.

    The course is fun. The hills are basically all in the first 6 miles as the course begins in Central Park. From there, it’s out to Times Square and down the West Side Highway (which is flat if not slightly downhill), finally ending on Wall St. You can’t beat the scenery of the city and the crowd support is nice, especially around Times Square and the finish. Crowd support can be a bit sparse on the West Side Highway, but there are cheer stations and stations with bands, DJs, etc. all along the course. There are also plenty of water stops and a gel stop around mile 8.

    At the finish, you are handed your medal, a foil blanket, and a goodie bag usually containing fruit, pretzels, gatorade, and other assorted promotional goodies. It can be tricky to locate family members at the finish, so it helps to have a pre-desinated reunion spot. The finish is right near the ferry and subway, so it’s easy to get back uptown (the course is point to point).

    The weather is very iffy in March in NYC, so plan for anything from freezing cold to…not so freezing cold. Yeah, it’s been cold every year…and it’s basically always windy. Definitely bring something to wear and toss off at the start and layer accordingly.

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    M_Sohaskey Jan 03, 2017 at 2:31pm

    I really like the sound of this race – based on your description it strikes me as a great alternative to the full marathon in November, and the ideal way… MORE

    I really like the sound of this race – based on your description it strikes me as a great alternative to the full marathon in November, and the ideal way to see the best parts of Manhattan without having to deal with the challenging logistics that come with organizing a race across all 5 boroughs. Thanks for sharing, Katy! LESS

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    nadja FIRST-TIMER '16

    Great tour of NYC!!! starts in Central Park and ends at South Street Seaport. Running through times Square was my favorite part!! Wish the weather was a little warmer though. MORE

    Great tour of NYC!!! starts in Central Park and ends at South Street Seaport. Running through times Square was my favorite part!! Wish the weather was a little warmer though.

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    5

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    YanisNanashi REPEAT RUNNER '15

    Perfect race. Beautiful course. Breathtaking moments esp. at Times Square. Nice T-Shirt. Nice Medal. Drinks and Energy Gels along the course. Super atmosphere! I love NYC Half! Weather conditions: cold, … MORE

    Perfect race. Beautiful course. Breathtaking moments esp. at Times Square. Nice T-Shirt. Nice Medal. Drinks and Energy Gels along the course. Super atmosphere! I love NYC Half! Weather conditions: cold, but ok!

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