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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

Sunday March 17th, 2019
New York, NY
Distance: Half Marathon

What’s a great way to keep warm on a chilly March morning? Run 13.1 miles through the greatest city in the world at the United Airlines NYC Half.

It may not have felt like the first day of spring—not with temps hovering in the mid-30s—but the weather didn’t seem to bother the approximately 20,000 finishers. In fact, many runners reported PRs after crossing the finish line.

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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon
Prize Money: $115,000

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displays approximate race location · New York NY 10013

Race Date: 03/18/2018 Distance: Half Marathon
Division Time Name Age Home
Male 01:02:39 Ben True 32 West Lebanon, NH
2nd Male 01:02:42 Dathan Ritzenhein 35 Belmont, MI
3rd Male 01:02:43 Chris Thompson 36 GBR
4th Male 01:02:44 Teshome Mekonen 22 ETH
Female 01:12:23 Buze Diriba 24 ETH
2nd Female 01:12:24 Emily Sisson 26 Providence, RI
3rd Female 01:12:43 Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal 27 NOR
4th Female 01:12:50 Mamitu Daska 34 ETH
Division Time Name Age Home
M 40-49 1:04:14 Abdi Abdirahman 41 Tucson, AZ
M 50-59 1:20:54 Uri Geiger 50 ISR
M 60-69 1:23:06 Michael Bruscino 62 Washingtonville, NY
M 70+ 1:49:07 Julio Aguirre 71 Perth Amboy, NJ
F 40-49 1:15:14 Roberta Groner 40 Randolph, NJ
F 50-59 1:23:19 Fiona Bayly 50 New York, NY
F 60-69 1:44:43 Dolores Doman 61 Dix Hills, NY
F 70+ 2:18:59 Frances Breslauer 77 New York, NY
United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

Two First-Time Winners and Two Repeat Winners Lead United Airlines NYC Half

A newly redesigned course welcomed an event-record 21,965 runners, and a fresh face appeared at the front of the pack at the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half today.

Ben True became the first American male open division winner in the event’s history by negotiating the 13.1-mile course in a time of 1:02:39 in his first attempt at the distance. The American record-holder for 5K on the roads, True put his top-end speed on display when he accelerated past countryman and eventual second-place finisher Dathan Ritzenhein (1:02:42) and eventual third-place finisher Chris Thompson (1:02:43) of Great Britain.

“Knowing that most of the field are marathoners, or at least have done the half many times before, I knew that I probably had a little bit better closing speed than them,” said True, whose longest competitive race before this was 10 miles. “My goal was just to hide for the majority of the race and then get dragged for 20K, and then hopefully that last [kilometer] I was able to use my speed to get around people. That was my strategy. Hang on for dear life.”

It was a chilly morning in New York City with the temperature at the start only reaching 29 degrees Fahrenheit and dropping a degree by the time the leaders crossed the finish line. Headwinds for the majority of the race and the learning curve of running a new course contributed to modest starts across all divisions. The result was a slower pace with a larger lead group.Only as Ritzenhein began pushing the pace around the 15K mark did a large group of contenders begin to dwindle.

True said after the race that he questioned whether he could hang with Ritzenhein after the 35-year-old made his move. It wasn’t until the last mile of the race when True, 32, felt confident that he could prevail.

“When Dathan pulled away, probably around mile 10, I wasn’t quite sure I was going to be able to reel him back in,” True said. “And even when I started reeling him back in, I didn’t know if I was then going to be able to get around him. It really wasn’t until the very end that I was like, ‘All right, I can get this.’”

The women’s division boasted a similarly scintillating finish, as just one-tenth of a second separated champion Buze Diriba of Ethiopia and runner-up American Emily Sisson.

Sisson, like Ritzenhein, spent much of the race dictating the pace, but Diriba was able to shadow her every move. The 24-year-old Ethiopian seized the moment to win with a time of 1:12:23 and forced Sisson, who set an American debut record at last year’s race, to settle for a second-consecutive runner-up finish with a time of 1:12:24.Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal of Norway finished third in a time of 1:12:43.

“When there were two of us left, there were some thoughts in my mind that I could win,” Diriba said through a translator. “But at the same time, I knew also that she’s strong, so I wasn’t really sure.”

“It was such a different course,” Sisson said. “No one really knew what to expect, no one had an advantage of running it before, so I think we went out pretty conservatively. In Central Park I tried to push it a bit, and I knew Buze had a really good kick—I’ve seen her race before, she finishes strong.”

Copyright 2018