Big changes are coming to the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon. The race, organized by New York Road Runners, is unveiling a brand new course for the 2018 race on March 18.
Since the event began it 2006, it has always run from Central Park to Lower Manhattan, with a few small changes taking place. However, the 2018 course offers a drastic new change. The race will start in Grand Army Plaza, right outside of Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Runners will then head down Flatbush Avenue and over the Manhattan Bridge. Once in Manhattan, the course cuts through the Lower East Side to the FDR Drive.
The rest of the race is somewhat familiar. It is part of the old course—but this year, runners will complete it in reverse. Following the FDR Drive portion, participants will run down 42nd Street, through Times Square and into Central Park. After nearly completing a loop of the park, the race finishes near West 75th Street.
The new course allows for more entrants as well. Over 22,500 runners are expected to take part in the 2018 race, up from almost 20,000 finishers last year. The NYC Half is consistently one of the most popular half marathons in the United States. It was the fifth biggest half marathon in 2016.
“This world-class race has become a bucket-list event for runners from the five boroughs, across the country, and around the world since its inception in 2006,” said Jim Heim, NYRR’s senior vice president, event development and production and technical director of the TCS New York City Marathon in a statement. “The new course offers an exciting challenge for runners with new stretches that have never before been part of a New York Road Runners event.”
If you want to run the 2018 NYC Half, application for guaranteed and non-guaranteed entry opens at 12:00 p.m. EST on Oct. 16, 2017, and will close at 11:59 p.m. EST on Nov. 30, 2017. Guaranteed entrants are those who have run four out of six qualifying races, are participating through a charity program or have run a time qualifier. All other entrants will be entered into a lottery. The drawing will take place on Dec. 6, 2017. Runners can sign up at nyrr.org.