Amazing Wins and an Event Record at the 2022 United Airlines NYC Half
he United Airlines NYC Half made a spectacular return to the streets of New York City today as the first major NYRR race back at full scale since the onset of the pandemic.
This year’s event featured the strongest professional athlete field in event history, including 23 Olympians, eight Paralympians, six half-marathon national record holders, and the defending wheelchair division champions. In ideal racing conditions, the pro races played out thrillingly over 13.1 miles of New York City streets.
In the men’s wheelchair division, Daniel Romanchuk of the United States defended his title in a time of 49:22, more than two minutes faster than his winning time from 2019 and four minutes up on the rest of the field today. “I’m really happy to be back in New York racing and see the city so alive,” said Romanchuk a two-time Paralympic medalist and two-time TCS New York City Marathon winner.
“I had a plan to give it all I had, but nothing’s over until it’s done.” Hermin Garic of the United States was the runner-up and Rafael Botello of Spain finished third. The women’s wheelchair division champion was Manuela Schär of Switzerland. Also the winner of the 2018 and 2015 United Airlines NYC Half and a three-time TCS New York City Marathon champion, Schär led from start to finish and finished in 56:12, more than five minutes up on the rest of the field. “It was perfect—beautiful conditions,” she said.
“I just wanted to see where I stand. I was able to push away from the pack and go my own pace.” Yen Hoang and defending champion Tatyana McFadden, both of the United States, finished second and third, respectively. The open division races were more closely contested. For the women, Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia and Irene Cheptai of Kenya pulled ahead early and ran shoulder to shoulder in Brooklyn, across the Manhattan Bridge, and through Manhattan.
Teferi prevailed in the end, setting an event record of 1:07:35 and breaking Molly Huddle’s record by six seconds. Cheptai was also under the old record in a time of 1:07:37. “I was being very careful throughout the race and watching my pace,” said Teferi through a translator. “I’m very happy to have won.” Her victory is all the more remarkable given that she briefly took a wrong turn in the race’s final 100 meters. Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal of Norway was third in 1:08:07.
The men’s open division saw 22-year-old Rhonex Kipruto outlast a lead pack of four runners and break the tape in 1:00:30, just over a minute off the event record of 59:24, held by Haile Gebrselassie. Edward Cheserek of Kenya was second in 1:00:37 and Teshome Mekonen of Ethiopia finished third in 1:00:40.
“I feel good because I’ve come back again to win, and my first win was in New York,” said Kipruto, referring to his 2018 victory in the Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park. “It was not an easy win today because the course was very hilly. It was about the win, not about the time.”
Today’s events also included the return of the Times Square Kids Run at the United Airlines NYC Half for hundreds of youth ages 8–18.
posted Sunday March 20th