Elite Runners in 2014 (Photo credit: Steven Pisano – Flickr Creative Commons)
Host I: This Sunday is the 10th annual New York Road Runners United Half Marathon – that means that 20,000 athletes from all over the world will take over New York City Streets for a Few Hours.
Host II: And for the first time, alongside the elite runners, 1000 children will sprint for their own titles. Tyler Daniels reports.
This morning athletes lined up outside the old main post office, on 33rd street. By the time doors opened at 10:00 AM – they were half way down the crosstown block. Some in live nearby, others have traveled from far away. And they’re all here to pick up their bibs and race tee shirts – because on Sunday, they’re going to run the 13.1 miles in the city’s second largest road race. The runners all have different expectations for what their pace will be.
Tyler Daniels: What kind of pace are you looking to run the race in?
John McCandlis: I’m hoping to do it in eight and a half, nine-minute miles.
Katie Fry: Not too good of a pace, maybe ten and a half hopefully.
That’s makes John McCandlis from Ireland and Katie Fry from New York average respectable runners. Then there’s guy who expects to run twice as fast.
Meb Kflezighi: It’s not going to be a crazy pace, I don’t think…about a 4:40 pace.
About 4:40 per mile
Correct, 4:40 per mile.
Meb Kflezighi is only bragging a little bit when he says that’s not a crazy pace – it’s only a little faster than the pace that won him the Boston Marathon last year. This will be his 5th time in the race. This year, around the six and a half mile mark, he’ll run into something he hasn’t before – traffic in the opposite direction. That’s According to Mary Wittenberg, President of New York Road Runners.
Mary Wittenberg: As the professional men leave central park and head south to the big moment of hitting Times Square, the kids will at the same time, leave Time Square and head north for their 1500-meter run.
This will be the first major kids race through New York City streets. 1,000 students, mostly from New York public schools, will run 1,500 meters. Nine-year-old Valice Thomas has competed before, as part of the Mighty Milers program– which gets students from pre-k to grade 8 running in New York Public Schools, but never run in venue like this.
Valice Thomas: Times Square has a lot of people and I’m very nervous.
10 year old Nyla Rivera has been excited about this race ever since she heard about it.
Nyla Rivera: I was like “mom, can I please run this race?” and she said “yeah, sure”.
For her, 1,500 meters will be no problem.
Nyla Rivera: It might not be that long because we’re used to doing 5Ks and 3Ks.
Wittenberg hopes kids who see the race on Sunday might want to start running themselves.
Mary Wittenberg: I think it’s the perfect way to send the message…of getting kids out and show them how much fun they can have running.
The kids start running at 8:00 am. The adult runners will be done by early afternoon.
Tyler Daniels – Columbia Radio News