The NYC Half Marathon is my favorite race here in New York. The NYC Half Marathon was completely redesigned in 2018 and again slightly changed in 2019. Take a look at the NYC Half Marathon course with me and find out about the new course for 2021. I have also worked on a course strategy for the NYC Half, which you will find at the end of this article.
NYC Half Marathon Course for 2021
I enjoyed running the new course in 2019 (sadly in 2o2o the NYC Half was canceled), it is much harder than the old one and I can’t wait to share the newest updates on the NYC Half course with you today. Here is a map of the newest course.
Before, runners started in Central Park with the hills. Running the West Side Highway wasn’t super exciting after that, but it was slightly downhill the entire time. With the new course of the NYC Half, that was changed in 2018. Runners have to be ready for steep hills near the end and will have to face a hill in the very beginning in Prospect Park.
As most of you may know, the old NYC Half Marathon course took runners from Central Park to Wall Street with a pretty hilly start, but it eventually ended almost downhill for the last 6 miles. Now the NYC Half new course will take runners from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The new NYC Half Marathon course will start in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, head over the Manhattan Bridge, and finish in Central Park.
What are the challenges of the NYC Half Course?
The new NYC Half Marathon course will make runners cross the Manhattan Bridge into Lower Manhattan and will also pass through the Lower East Side before heading north on the FDR Drive. Around that time, we will see the sunrise with amazing views of Brooklyn and Queens skylines.
Mile 11 is my favorite part of the race because the course of the NYC Half 2021 will take us East 42nd Street, passing United Nations, famous Grand Central Terminal, and Bryant Park before heading onto the famous Times Square.
Times Square is the loudest cheering zone of the race
After enjoying probably the loudest cheering zones of the race, runners will turn right onto Central Park South/West 59th Street. The new course of the NYC Half will now have runners enter Central Park at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan. At this point, you can already smell the finish line. The East Drive will take you north where you will make a left onto 72nd Street Transverse. Your final turn.
NYC Half Course Strategy for 2021
The new course of the NYC Half is tricky and considerate as moderate. It has some elevation but also some nice downhill parts. I was lucky to attend an event from NYRR where the coaching staff explained tactics for the new course. Here is the course strategy for the NYC Half 2021.
Every one of you who is running the new NYC Half Marathon course: I wish you the best of luck! I can’t wait to see you all on March 17. Here is more information about the new course and also a map that shows you the exact route. And if you want to know more about the NYC Half, make sure to browse the Q&A below.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Half-Marathon
There is a lot of information for you to absorb the NYC Half in 2021. As always, I want to make sure you have nothing to worry about other than training and crushing your goals during the race. You shouldn’t have to worry about finding the answers to your marathon questions, so I did the research for your convenience!
Read below for answers to the most frequently asked questions on the NYC half-marathon, as well as additional information that wasn’t included above.
When IS THE NYC HALF MARATHON 2021?
The 2021 United Airlines NYC Half is on Sunday, March 14th. Be sure to check out all of the guidelines for registration on the NYRR website because there are many ways to register. But because there are definite deadlines for entries, it pays off to know the dates as soon as possible.
HOW TO ENTER THE NYC HALF MARATHON?
To run the NYC Half Marathon, you can qualify through running times. Check this webpage out for a table that lists the exact qualifying times for men and women of all age groups. You can also qualify for the race through a lottery (ballot entry), which usually happens in November.
In addition, you can enter the NYC Half by collecting at least 4 out of 6 points with NYRR by running the major scoring races for it. And last but not least, you can enter a charity and get a guaranteed entry into the NYC Half.
If you’re considering getting a guaranteed entry into the race by running through a charity, here is the link to get involved with an NYRR charity.
HOW LARGE IS THE NEW YORK CITY HALF MARATHON?
The NYC Half hosted by NYRR is the largest half marathon event in the world. The NYC Half starts at 7:30 AM in Brooklyn and attracts over 20.000 runners each year. And last year, there were exactly 24,646 participants in the race, meaning it was the largest turnout in NYC Half history.
Oftentimes record-breaking and extremely cold, the race is still one of the most fun races you can possibly run in the greatest city in the world. And you guessed it, the NYC Half is 13.1 miles long.
WHERE DOES THE NYC HALF MARATHON START?
The NYC Half starts in Prospect Park where runners will be running east on Center Drive in Prospect Park. In 2020 runners will now run left onto East Drive and run up the hill. So the first hill of the course will be right at mile 1. Then turn right to leave Prospect Park at mile 2 to run south on Flatbush Avenue.
The NYC Half Marathon course will make a U-turn right after so those runners will head back up to Flatbush Avenue toward Grand Army Plaza. This part of the race, right before you run across the Manhattan Bridge, is a nice downhill.
Where Can I Find The NYC Half Marathon results?
For example, according to the NYRR results, the fastest runner of the NYC Half for 2019 (2020 was canceled) was Belay Tilahun, who finished the race at an extremely impressive 1:02:10. And the total number of runners in the NYC Half was 24,646.
HOW CAN I WATCH THE NYC HALF?
If you’re wanting to watch the race on TV, some New York stations are televising it. Check this resource out for which networks usually cover the race.
If you’re wanting to spectate the race in person, head to the starting line and make sure to check out the NYRR website for different viewpoints along with the race.