Overall Rating
Overall Rating (4 Reviews)
3
(4 Ratings)(4 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.3
SCENERY
3.5
PRODUCTION
3.5
SWAG
2.8
The SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon brings together thousands of women of all ages and backgrounds for a day of fun, fitness, and camaraderie in NYC. Whether you’re coming from across the country or from around the corner, join SHAPE and New York Road Runners in Central Park for an unforgettable race. … MORE
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H (°F) 64 78 47 53 70
L (°F) 47 54 38 44 56
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Recent reviews

    RunnerGirlKT REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The Shape 1/2 is an all women's event, which in and of itself offers a unique vibe that most women would enjoy. I picked up my packet on race morning … MORE

    The Shape 1/2 is an all women’s event, which in and of itself offers a unique vibe that most women would enjoy. I picked up my packet on race morning this year (as opposed to making a separate trek to NYC to the NYRR run hub to pick it up) which was super easy and you get your shirt after the race so no need to check a bag if you don’t want to.

    The weather was gorgeous, but it got warm and was humid so my performance suffered. I was surprised at how many people were rather over-dressed for the race, including long tights, jackets of all kinds, and even insulated vests (to put it into perspective, it was in the 60’s at race start).

    The course is 2.5 laps of Central Park, meaning Cat Hill only twice instead of the three times of the past. The course was tweaked to include the southern end of the loop making a third time up Cat Hill unnecessary (thankfully). Twice up Harlem Hill is bad enough!

    The course had plenty of water stops, but offers no nutrition so plan accordingly. The nice weather brought out more spectators than in the past, so the course had more support which was nice.

    The big downside, however, is that it is *very* crowded and there is no separation for folks on their first lap of the park or second (or third). Also, towards the end of the race when the crowd thinned out a bit, random people were on course going in all directions which was its own obstacle since the nice weather brought out a lot of people to the park. So the course could definitely use more volunteers on it keeping regular folks off the course and separating the second loop runners from the first. At one point, they told all of us on lap one to keep left (which most did) and the faster runners coming through on loop 2 were being obnoxious and cutting through the crowd while yelling for us to get out of their way. Get in your own lane!

    The shirt this year was similar to last year. A light weight tech tee, but this year’s was a v-neck and was lime green. The medal was slightly different and a little nicer than in the past, but still a rendition on the same theme. The pre- and post- race festival was nice, with some better sponsors giving away goodies (like Aveeno) and the post-race band was really good. The food at the finish was a nice spread with options ranging from apples to pretzels and bagels. My only complaint is that they didn’t give out bottles of water, but had cups of water available.

    Race photos for this one are free! There were no photographers to take finisher photos, however, which was a bummer. That being said, the lines to take a finisher photo were so long that I was not inclined to wait on one.

    I keep hoping the medal will one year be completely different and the course congestion issues will be addressed, but so far I’ve been disappointed. This is not a race to try and PR because of the course congestion, in my opinion, even when it’s not hot, humid, and sunny.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    RunnerGirlKT REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Packet pickup is available at the NYRR Run Center the week prior or on race morning. One's packet includes a tech tee and bag with a few goodies, this year … MORE

    Packet pickup is available at the NYRR Run Center the week prior or on race morning. One’s packet includes a tech tee and bag with a few goodies, this year being lipgloss, a protein bar, and samples/coupons. Race registration also includes a year subscription to Shape magazine.

    On race morning, Race Day Central includes a few sponsor tents with various samples and giveaways. There are plenty of porta potties (no lines that I noticed) both at RDC and the corrals. Corrals were not at all policed, but runners seemed to be lining up where they should be. Pacers are available up to about 2:45.

    The course is about 2.25 laps of Central Park, meaning plenty of hills…but also some confusion with people on their first and second laps and then turning into the finish. The course could have been better marked with where racers should be, people not running the race should be, and people coming in on their second lap should be. We were often told to move to a side we were later told to move to the other side of and people who didn’t seem to be a part of the race were often found on the race course.

    Race photos were free, but photographers were often not easily spotted. The finish line food was fruit, pretzels, and bagels and, when I finished, there was plenty to go around.

    The medal is the same…every year. It’s decent enough, but given the race entry fee I’d expect a better medal, or at least a different one.

    Weather this year was chilly and grey, but thankfully not raining, and it was rather windy.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 23, 2018 at 12:55am

    Wow, this course layout sounds wildly confusing and similar to the Peace Love Run Half in San Diego, which was also poorly marked and where I ended up running an… MORE

    Wow, this course layout sounds wildly confusing and similar to the Peace Love Run Half in San Diego, which was also poorly marked and where I ended up running an extra two miles. And yes, it sounds like it's time to vary up the finisher medals here a bit. But hopefully the subscription to SHAPE will be worth it? 🤔 Thanks Katy for another excellent review! LESS

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    brooklynmom52 FIRST-TIMER '17

    I decided to run this (a) because I've never done the Shape Half and (2) I needed to get a long training run in. In a nutshell, I would not … MORE

    I decided to run this (a) because I’ve never done the Shape Half and (2) I needed to get a long training run in. In a nutshell, I would not be a repeat participant.

    Pre-Race: The start corrals were so congested because the long lines of potties were right next to it. Also, non runners were running around with their dogs off their leashes. Just seemed disorganized. No DJ or event music on either! One little speech at the beginning. Not enough.

    Course: I’ve been running the loops in Central Park all my life and two full loops is just flat out boring! That lower end loop is awful and always smells like horse poop. Too many park visitors crossing also. Given that the vast majority of runners are recreational for this race, two full loops is also difficult given the hilly terrain of the park. I would vote for a 5 mile loop that includes Harlem Hills and two 4 mile loops using the 102nd and 72nd street transverses. The time will seem to go faster and you eliminate that long incline that takes place on the current course during the 13th mile.

    Fee/Amenities: The entry fee was $75 and I’m not sure what you get extra for that-the T-shirt, medal and mylar wrap? At number pick-up your bag contains some samples and coupons of what I consider garbage and one full size Power Bar (wow!).

    Overall I just wasn’t impressed with the race and would not do it again.

    Added positives: The positives are that it is an all women event so there is a feeling of camaraderie and female empowerment! Central Park is a great place to run regardless of the loops especially for out of towners. Water and Gatorade stations well placed as were potties along the course. Overall, a decent race for women. Possibly consider organizing a parallel shorter distance or walk run staggered with the half-distance.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    RunnerGirlKT FIRST-TIMER '16

    This race involves running up Harlem Hill twice...let that sink in. It's very hilly since it's a full 2 loops of Central Park and its rolling hills. Even the finish … MORE

    This race involves running up Harlem Hill twice…let that sink in. It’s very hilly since it’s a full 2 loops of Central Park and its rolling hills. Even the finish is up an incline, which is just mean.

    It’s put on by NYRR so it’s well organized, the shirt is tech, the medal isn’t half bad, and there’s a nice spread of things to see once you finish as well as a goodie bag for each participant complete with samples of food, coupons, etc. Being in Central Park, it’s also a pretty course and it’s easy to get to via public transportation.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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