Molly Huddle And Stephen Sambu Return To Defend Their Titles At Sunday’s NYC Half-Marathon

NYRR Press Release

New York, March 13, 2017—The streets of New York City will come alive on Sunday, March 19, as 20,000 runners of all ages and abilities from more than 90 countries around the world embark on a 13.1-mile journey through Manhattan at the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half. Simultaneously, iconic Times Square will play host to 1,000 youth participants taking on a 1500 meter out-and-back course in the third annual NYRR Times Square Youth Run. New York Road Runners’ popular half-marathon event will feature numerous sponsor activations that will engage the running community throughout race week.


“We’re excited to welcome 20,000 runners of all ages and abilities—from our robust field of professional athletes to our youngest runners—to the streets of Manhattan for the 12th annual United Airlines NYC Half and third annual NYRR Times Square Youth Run,” said Jim Heim, senior vice president of event development and production for New York Road Runners and technical director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “Working closely with our city agency partners, our dedicated teams are again prepared to deliver one of the most exciting courses in road racing. Starting in Central Park, running through Harlem and the heart of Times Square, with a finish by the South Street Seaport, this kickoff to the 2017 NYRR Five-Borough Series sets the tone for an exciting year of running ahead.”

For the third consecutive year, the United Airlines NYC Half will host the free NYRR Times Square Youth Run featuring 1,000 youth runners from New York City and beyond, including many from NYRR’s free, year-round youth running programs and events that serve more than 215,000 youth across the country annually. Participants ages 7-18 will take on Times Square alongside the world’s top professional athletes and half marathoners, as they race along Seventh Avenue in divisions for elementary, middle, and high school students. For the second year in a row, the NYRR Times Square Youth Run will include a youth wheelchair division competing in a quarter-mile race along Seventh Avenue.

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“We’re proud to work with United Airlines and all of our race sponsors on this amazing event. Our partners are an integral part of the race and offer an enhanced experience for runners and fans through activations that celebrate New York City and the sport of running,” said Sarah Cummins, head of business development and strategic partnerships for New York Road Runners. “We’re also thrilled to once again bring the excitement from the streets of New York to fans across the globe through our partnership with ABC, our official broadcast partner.”

A variety of programming, events, and activations will be presented by New York Road Runners and its partners around the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half. These official partner activities will be featured at the United Airlines NYC Half Experience Presented by New Balance Thursday, March 16, through Saturday, March 18, of race week, and throughout the 13.1-mile course in Manhattan on Sunday, March 19. Activation highlights are included below and a full list of this year’s United Airlines NYC Half partners is available:

United Airlines, with over 140 worldwide routes from the New York area, is an NYRR Foundation Partner and the official airline of the TCS New York City Marathon and United Airlines NYC Half. United Airlines also serves as the official airline and a supporting sponsor of the other NYRR Five-Borough Series events—the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, Queens 10K, New Balance Bronx 10-Mile and NYRR Staten Island Half.

United Airlines will offer engaging activations including a photo opportunity and giveaways for runners, fans, and MileagePlus® program members throughout race week and on race day. At the United Airlines NYC Half Experience Presented by New Balance, attendees can discover the shining new star of business class: United Polaris, United’s new international business class experience, offering elevated comfort and service from lounge to landing for a restful night’s sleep in the air. Additionally, United has partnered with champion marathoner, Meb Keflezighi, to provide a closer look at the science behind “Training in Your Sleep.” Meb will be available for photos from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST on Friday, March 17, and 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 18 at the United Airlines booth (times are subject to change). All runners will have the chance to take a photo with a large replica of the official race medal. In partnership with NYRR, United Airlines will feature the names of all 2017 United Airlines NYC Half participants on a name wall at the United Airlines NYC Half Experience Presented by New Balance. Throughout the week at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub United Airlines will also offer the chance to win prizes and flight vouchers. On race day, United Airlines will again host the United Airlines Cheer Zone in Times Square and feature unique destination markers throughout the race course.

Fill out the shoe survey and we will enter you into a drawing a free pair of shoes.

New Balance, an NYRR Foundation Partner and the Official Athletic Footwear and Apparel Partner of NYRR, is proud to present the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half Experience for the first time. At the United Airlines NYC Half Experience Presented by New Balance, runners can purchase exciting race merchandise and runner essential products. Branded merchandise including limited-edition singlets and footwear will also be available for purchase on Sunday, March 19, and Monday, March 20 at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub. On race day, New Balance will add a runners’ cam near mile 10 on the race course. New Balance’s year-round engagement features sponsorship of the NYRR Five-Borough Series (United Airlines NYC Half, Airbnb Brooklyn Half, NYRR Queens 10K, New Balance Bronx 10 Mile, and NYRR Staten Island Half), NYRR Heritage Races (NYRR New York Mini, New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, and NYRR Midnight Run), the TCS New York City Marathon, and NYRR’s weekly races, as the exclusive provider of all race shirts. New Balance also manages NYRR’s e-commerce platform.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of the world’s leading IT services and consulting firms, is the Premier Partner of NYRR, the title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon, and official youth and community services partner of NYRR. In 2017, TCS returns as the Mobile App developer for the United Airlines NYC Half. The 2017 United Airlines Mobile App Powered by Tata Consultancy Services features an interactive United Airlines NYC Half Experience Presented by New Balance map, live on-map tracking of up to 20 runners on race day, post-race runner photo integration, the NYRR Race Predictor powered by TCS, a 2017 entry sweepstakes, and a variety of other features. Developed by Tata Consultancy Services, the app is available for download free of charge at the iTunes Store and Google Play.

In partnership with NYRR, TCS will again offer the NYRR Running Lab and NYRR Race Predictor at the United Airlines NYC Half Experience Presented by New Balance, designed to aid runners with their race-day strategies. TCS Runfographics will also return with content focused on Manhattan, the history of the race, and the half-marathon distance.

The 2017 United Airlines NYC Half professional athlete field will be led by a talent-packed roster of American and international runners, including 23 Olympians and 12 Paralympians. All four defending champions, Molly Huddle, Stephen Sambu, Tatyana McFadden, and Ernst van Dyk will return, with both Huddle and van Dyk going for a three-peat. Ethiopian Olympic medalists Feyisa Lilesa and Meseret Defar will headline an international professional athlete field representing 22 different countries and including six runners making their half-marathon debuts. American Meb Keflezighi will race the event for the sixth time as he kicks off his final year as a professional athlete. Huddle, Keflezighi, and McFadden will all compete as NYRR Team for Kids Ambassadors, the organization’s charity running team of adult runners who add meaning to their miles by raising funds for NYRR’s free youth running programs. Fans can follow along with Team New Balance Olympian and five-time 5th Avenue Mile champion Jenny Simpson, who will live tweet the race throughout the morning on New York Road Runners’ Twitter handle, @NYRR.

Race week will kick off with the opening of the United Airlines NYC Half Experience Presented by New Balance on Thursday, March 16, at Metropolitan Pavilion. Runners will be able to pick up their race number, New Balance technical shirts and participate in an array of activities and programming on Thursday, March 16, and Friday, March 17, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday, March 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

After the race, runners will be able to celebrate their 2017 United Airlines NYC Half finish at more than a dozen Old Seaport Alliance businesses that are offering special deals and discounts on race day.

The 2017 United Airlines NYC Half broadcast will be available to 505 million households worldwide across 104 different countries and territories. Fans can tune in to watch the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half locally, nationally, and internationally:

  • WABC-TV, Channel 7

Live coverage of the race in New York on WABC-TV, Channel 7 from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT, following the action from start to finish

  • Livestream—Watch ABC and

Live streaming on WatchABC and on from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT

  • ESPN3 via WatchESPN

Outside of the New York area, coverage will be available on ESPN3 via WatchESPN from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EDT on computers, tablets, smartphones, and streaming devices for those who have subscriptions with affiliated providers

  • International Broadcast

International viewers can watch the broadcast from 7:15 to 8:45 a.m. EDT via a variety of global broadcast partners (check local listings)

  • Results and Find Your Finish

Complete results, race stories, and photos will be available at on race day.  Find Your Finish or watch friends cross the line with the Find Your Finish camera, live and on demand on (NYC) and ESPN3 (nationally) from 8:10 to 11:10 a.m. EDT

The 2016 United Airlines NYC Half had 20,178 finishers from nearly all 50 states and at least 70 countries. The second annual Times Square Youth Run at the United Airlines NYC Half gave hundreds of kids, and for the first time youth wheelchair participants, the opportunity to participate in a race of their own. Approximately 2,900 charity runners participating in the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half raised nearly $5 million to help more than 130 organizations support their missions and services.

Media interested in applying for credentials to cover the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half can email Stuart Lieberman with their coverage plans. More information, including the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half Media Guide, can be found in the NYRR Media Center.

About New York Road Runners (NYRR)

Founded in 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization, whose mission is to help and inspire people through running. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, youth running initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit

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