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Elites Prepare For NYC New Year’s Eve Race

Timothy Ritchie and Neely Spence Gracey are the pre-race favorites.

Timothy Ritchie and Neely Spence Gracey are the pre-race favorites.

While most people will be toasting the new year with a bottle of champagne, thousands in New York City will be out in Central Park racing the NYRR Midnight Run Presented by Emerald Nuts.

The annual 4-mile race offers a $2,000 prize purse, including $500 a piece for the top male and female finisher.

The pre-race favorite on the men’s side is Timothy Ritchie who came in second in last year’s event. Others who have a shot at winning include Cole Atkins and Tyler McCandless.

The 27-year-old McCandless is the two-time winner of the Kauai Marathon and has run 14:21.50 for 5,000 meters.

On the women’s side, all eyes will be on Neely Spence Gracey. The 23-year-old is a six-time NCAA Division II champion. She will be running the race with husband Dillon. And the couple will be celebrating their one-year anniversary.

Amanda Winslow and Genna Hartung are others to watch as well.

For More: New York Road Runners