NYC Half Marathon Race Recap – The Spectator Version

United Airlines NYC Half Logo

MARCH 19, 2023

I got a guaranteed entry by running the 2022 Virtual NYC Half Marathon last March.

Then two of my local friends Sherry and Stan got in through the lottery, as well, as several running bloggers (Cari, Erica, Zenaida, Deborah)..

I had been hoping to run the race back when the course was only through Manhattan. (Now it starts in Brooklyn.) And I had entered the lottery several times but never got in.

Then in 2019 I got a guaranteed entry (from my 2018 Brooklyn Half Marathon finish time).  However, I was recovering from a strained calf muscle that year and couldn’t enjoy the race fully.

I did enjoy hanging out with Cari!!

So I signed up for the NYC Half Marathon as my 6463rd Half Marathon (5756th if not counting the virtual ones) for several reasons:

  • I had a guaranteed entry.
  • I love NYC.
  • I had friends running it.
  • There would be a blogger meet-up.
  • I wanted a healthy re-do of the course.
  • It’s such a prestigious race. How could you not?

Half Marathon Training:

I had trained for my Feb 19 Half Marathon in Fort Lauderdale, FL with several long runs of 10, 11, 12, and 10 miles

Then on Feb. 14, I fell and broke my foot.  Obviously I didn’t run that race.

And, of course, training for this race was out as well.

To put it mildly, I was devastated about the whole thing.

Pre-Race Activities:

My first inclination was to cancel everything: The race, the train ticket and my hotel reservations.

But I had planned this 3 day weekend with two friends as well as meeting up with several bloggers who were in town to run this race.

My local friends convinced to come for two days and spectate the race and cheer them on.

I agreed but hesitantly.

So Stan, Sherry and I took the train to NYC together early Saturday morning. When our rooms weren’t ready, we decided to get a bite to eat.

a must eat in NYC

Afterward, we headed to the expo where they picked up their bibs/shirts.

But actually I hadn’t cancelled my race registration YET so I was able to get my ($300) shirt.

And then immediately, with tears in my eyes I logged into NYRR:

In addition to supporting my local friends at the race, another highlight of the weekend would be meeting up with some fellow bloggers, two of whom I’d never met IRL.

It was a beautiful day with signs of spring everywhere.  Too bad the temps would drop and winds pick up the next day.

So we all walked to Bryant Park and I met up with Erica & Cari for coffee (Unfortunately Zenaida was at a Broadway show and Deborah on a Brooklyn pizza tour)

We chatted for a while (abut racing of course) and then I walked back to my hotel to meet up with Sherry and Stan

For dinner we took the subway to Brooklyn to carb load with Stan’s son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

When we got back to our hotel, Sherry excited prepared her “flatme” and we tried to go to bed early.

Race Day:

Sherry’s alarm went off bright and early (5:30am?) as she and Stan had to UBER to the shuttle bus.

The race and logistics were similar to 2019 (you can read my recap here.)

Starting in Prospect Park and ending in Manhattan’s Central Park.

I wanted to cheer on my friends as well as see the elites…

Before the race, I added all my friends to the half marathon app so I could track them:

I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t so I put on my running shoes and headed out to Times Square in hopes of catching the elites go by.

I started off at 42nd (on the south side of the street):

Yes, I had to RUN there and barely saw Des and Molly but did get a pic of some others.

I was ok running but not standing still.  It was COLD (20s) and WINDY!!  So I ran back to the hotel to put on some warmer clothes.

(I have to admit that watching the happy runners go by in a race I so wanted to run finally made those tears flow…I called my hubby and then I felt better the rest of the day.. I guess I needed a good cry. LOL)

I had another cup of coffee and breakfast but it was still early and Sherry, Stan and Cari were not starting until wave 5. So I decided to take the subway to Central Park (congratulated lots of early finishers on the train) to check out the cherry blossoms…

To kill some more time, I walked around the Onassis Reservoir.

Don’t let those pictures fool you… it was FREEZING and much windier on the race course.

Now it was time to head back to my spot on Times Square to spectate and cheer.

I took the subway back to 42nd.  I had texted my friends where I’d be but they never saw the text.

It seemed like forever (when it’s that cold and windy) but finally I saw them go by.

43rd & Broadway – mile 10.5ish and no they didn’t hear me screaming

And Cari was shortly behind them.

in green leggings

I definitely failed as a cheerleader/photographer but it was the thought that counts.

For some reason, I thought I wouldn’t have enough time to get to the finish so I headed to 8th and RAN to Columbus Circle.

I was way early and waited and waited (and shivered) until they were done.

Post Race Activities:

We were ALL so cold that we decided rather than walking back to the hotel, we’d take the subway (with thousands of other runners).

a subway post-race pic

After some long HOT showers, we took off by foot to an Italian restaurant for an early dinner.

We needed to re-fuel. I mean running spectating is hard work.

Afterward, we walked back to the hotel so I could get my luggage and take the train home.

Before I broke my foot, I had planned to stay an extra day and enjoy some fun activities.

But in hindsight, it was probably best to get home since I had to return on Tuesday for work.

Additional Race Reflections:

Since I cancelled my entry, I am guaranteed for 2024.

Until then, there’s a bigger challenge – NYC MARATHON – Nov.5!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Good:

  • Supporting my friends.
  • Meeting up with Cari and Erica
  • Ate some very delicious NYC food
  • Got a pretty purple shirt
  • Burned some calories walking.
  • Even did some sporadic running (and my foot didn’t hurt)
  • Feel better prepared with the logistics of the race for 2024

The Bad:

  • Cold
  • Wind
  • $$$ spent

The Ugly:

  • My Injury!!

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Do it if you can.  You won’t regret it.

No, it’s not an easy course. At least 25,000 runners are there so it is crowded. But running from Brooklyn to Manhattan is such a memorable experience (maybe I’m biased?)

My friend was volunteering at the finish line so she grabbed me a medal… she said I deserved it (not sure I agree).

Next Up:

A local race. A downhill course. Lots of running friends. Doubtful...

Image result for helderberg to hudson half marathon

April 15, 2023 – another DNS

However since my broken foot has healed, I’m planned to train and run another NYC half marathon:

Happy Running! Ever run this race? Do you want to? What is your favorite half marathon? Please share.







There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.

also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

20 thoughts on “NYC Half Marathon Race Recap – The Spectator Version

  1. I’ve only been to NYC once (Nov. 1994, so pre 9/11) and I wasn’t a runner then. I would LOVE to get there for a race someday! Sorry for the DNS, but it sounds like you made the best of the unfortunate circumstances. But, you have the marathon to look forward to!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Next November hopefully. And of course this race next March.

      It’s a hard race and the weather was a challenge. Maybe it will be better next year.


  2. It sounds like a tough race to spectate, because of the bitter cold and your disappointment over not running. But you did get the shirt- I LOVE that color! I rarely wear race shirts but I would wear that one.
    I’m VERY EXCITED about your marathon next fall! And of course very excited that you’re running again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like a bittersweet day for you. That’s good they gave you guaranteed entry to next year. Nice shirt! I got lucky with the half I ran through Queens that was around the same time of year as this race. It was cold and windy the day before and day after but on race day it was overcast but not too cold or windy. That’s the problem with March races- you’re taking a big chance with the weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kudos to you for spectating when you weren’t able to run the race. I’ve not run a race in NYC even though I’d love to. I can’t imagine making the trip at this point to only run a 5K though since I can no longer run longer distances.

    My favorite half was definitely the Grand Tetons Half!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Jackson Hole… and I’d love to r un there.

      Sorry to hear no more long distances…. at least you’ve had a long running career…. you are still so active. 5ks are hard!! and your cycling adventures are so fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Spectating is fun! Thank you for being there. I saw your message on messenger but then could not remember where you were. I remember seeing “flag” but by then I had already passed it.

    Running the race was wonderful! It was just waiting in the cold that was not fun at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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