New York City Half Marathon Will Be America’s Richest

2010 marks the fifth anniversary of the inaugural race.

Written By: David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, used with permission.

The fifth edition of the NYC Half-Marathon here on Sunday, March 21, will be the richest 21.1 km race in the United States with a $100,000 prize money purse, the New York Road Runners announced yesterday.  Moreover, the $20,000 first prize will be the largest offered by any non-marathon road race in the 50 States.

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“The aim has always been for the NYC Half-Marathon to serve as a counterpart to the ING New York City Marathon and for New York to host the two greatest road races in the world,” explained New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg in a statement.  “This move to the spring and increase in prize money are important next steps in that direction.”

The first four editions of the race had been held in the summer in July and August.  This will be the first year that the race from Central Park to Battery Park will be held in the spring.  The date, chosen in cooperation with the New York City government, puts the race four weeks before the Boston Marathon and five weeks before the Virgin London Marathon, making it the perfect marathon tune-up for recreational and elite runners, alike.

The Road Runners held a lottery, which closed on Jan. 5, to determine the field.  Over 19,000 people applied and Wittenberg expects about 10,000 runners to finish the race (last year’s race on Aug. 16, had 10,167 finishers). Although the lottery is closed, runners can still obtain special charity entries at http://www.nyrr.org.

Some of the world’s best athletes have competed in the NYC Half-Marathon in it’s short four-year history, including multiple Olympic medalists Haile Gebrselassie and Catherine Ndereba, who hold the course records of 59:24 and 69:43, respectively.  Last year’s champions were Tadese Tola (61:06) and Paula Radcliffe (69:45).

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