United Airlines NYC Half

United Airlines NYC Half, March 2019

This was my first time running the United Airlines NYC Half. If you’re a runner, this is a great race to compete in. The NYRR event is top notch and the course is exciting and fun.


The course starts in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and heads down the streets of Brooklyn towards Manhattan. Then it crosses into Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge and heads up FDR Drive until 42nd Street. At that point, it cuts across town toward the West side until Times Square. I’m pretty sure this is the only race where you run directly through Times Square! After Times Square, it continues up through Central Park for the last mile and a half and ends a few blocks short of Columbus Circle on the West Side.


My goal for this race was to pace below 8 minute miles. Unfortunately, I just missed and clocked 1:44:52 for an 8:00 average pace. I was also only 2 seconds away from a new half marathon PR! I was so close, but still missed.

Overall, I’m happy with the grit I showed on the course considering the circumstances. My wife and I moved to a different apartment the day before and spent 8+ hours packing, lifting, cleaning and unpacking items. Honestly, it drained me more than I was expecting and my whole body ached afterwards. I didn’t plan to move and race on the same weekend, but when you’re apartment hunting in NYC and find a spot, you have to move quick. I was concerned this was going to affect my race performance and it definitely did.

With that being said, I was exhausted before the race started and knew I didn’t hydrate well enough. I’d like to think I handled it like a champ. I hydrated a lot on the course and still did everything I could to PR and go under 8 minute miles. In hindsight, I started off too fast and ended up getting tired at mile 7 – hey, it happens! I really had to push and grind out the last 6.1 miles. This was one of the tougher half marathons I’ve had recently as I was not ready emotionally or physically.

My Takeaways:

  • Don’t move and race on the same weekend – it’s just too much (I didn’t plan it that way)
  • Pace yourself and don’t start off too fast
  • Make sure you incorporate hill/incline training into your workouts. The Manhattan Bridge got me and there were some other hilly pockets that slowed me down

Overall, it was a good race. Tough races are a good thing as you become more prepared for the next one. Although the weather was considerably better than the Fred Lebow Half in January, this was by far more challenging mentally and physically.

I put up some additional United Airlines NYC Half photos on my Instagram – Run.with.Rankin.

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