Kenenisa Bekele, Connor Mantz & Clayton Young To Headline 2024 United Airlines NYC Half

Olympians Jenny Simpson, Des Linden, and Edna Kiplagat anchor the women's fields

New York, February 22, 2024 – The New York Road Runners (NYRR) has announced that the 2024 United Airlines NYC Half, taking place Sunday, March 17, will feature 11 Olympians, seven Paralympians, and several more professional athletes who have their eyes on the Paris 2024 Games this summer.

Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, fresh off finishing first and second, respectively, at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, will headline the men’s open division at the United Airlines NYC Half, while two-time U.S. Olympian Hillary Bor will race 13.1 miles for the first time in his career and the world’s most-decorated distance runner, Kenenisa Bekele, will return to New York for his second NYRR event. The women’s open division will be chock-full of established contenders, including Olympians Des LindenJenny SimpsonEdna KiplagatKaroline Bjerkeli Grøvdal, and Malindi Elmore, in addition to World Championships marathon bronze medalist Fatima Gardadi.

These athletes will lead more than 25,000 runners during the United Airlines NYC Half, the world’s premier half marathon, organized by NYRR, which runs from Brooklyn to Manhattan, passing historic landmarks, diverse neighborhoods, and sweeping views of the city along the way before finishing in Central Park.

Men’s Open Division

Mantz and Young, training partners from Provo, Utah, will line up together at the start in New York less than two months after finishing one-two at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando and qualifying for the Paris 2024 Games. Mantz was fifth in his first United Airlines NYC Half in 2022, and last year became the seventh-fastest American marathoner in history when running 2:07:47 to finish sixth at the Chicago Marathon. Young finished right behind him in seventh in 2:08:00 and will be making his United Airlines NYC Half debut.

Clayton Young (l) and Conner Mantz (r) at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials. Kevin Morris photo

“I think I have a lot of room to improve in the halfs,” Mantz said on the latest episode of NYRR Set the Pace, Feb. 22, 2024. “I want to get these halfs in so I can have more confidence heading into Paris. I ran [the United Airlines NYC Half] in 2022…which was probably one of the most special experiences and it was a huge learning [experience]. It was probably my first race where I was competing against a big international field…so it was a really good experience for me, and I think it’s one I want to repeat and take what I’ve learned in the last two years and use it.”

Ethiopia’s Bekele, a four-time Olympic medalist, 16-time world champion, and the third-fastest marathoner in history, will challenge the American duo, racing with NYRR for the second time after finishing sixth at the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon. He will be joined at the starting line by Kenya’s Abel Kipchumba, the reigning champion of the B.A.A. Boston Half Marathon who owns one of the top-10 half-marathon times in history.

Between Mantz, Young and Bekele, who crosses the finish line first?

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Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi will return to the event after taking third in his United Airlines NYC Half debut last year, which he called “the race of his life.” Since then, he finished fifth at the Boston Marathon and broke the Houston Marathon course record in January. Tanzanian Olympian and marathon record-holder Gabriel Geay, who was the runner-up at last year’s Boston Marathon, will race the United Airlines NYC Half for the first time.

An American contender to watch will be Hillary Bor, a two-time U.S. Olympian and five-time national champion who will be making his half-marathon debut. Bor broke the 40-year-old American 10-mile record at the USATF 10 Mile Road Championships last year. Also toeing the line will be Reed Fischer, who has finished in the top 10 at the last two editions of the race and is coming off a top-10 finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Women’s Open Division
Two-time U.S. Olympian and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Linden will return as the top American finisher from last year’s race, having recently finished 11th at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Olympic and World Championships medalist Simpson will make her United Airlines NYC Half debut; but she is no stranger to NYRR races as an eight-time winner of the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile.

Kenyans Gladys Chepkurui, the reigning Tokyo Half Marathon champion, and Cynthia Limo, a World Athletics Championships half-marathon medalist, have the two fastest times in the women’s open division. They will be joined by another Kenyan, Kiplagat, who has won the World Athletics Championships marathon, TCS New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon, and London Marathon, and will be in search of her first United Airlines NYC Half title, having finished as the runner-up in 2011. Three-time third-place finisher Grøvdal of Norway, 2023 World Athletics Championships marathon bronze medalist Gardadi of Morocco, and two-time Olympian Elmore of Canada will also toe the line as international podium contenders.

Lindsay Flanagan and Annie Frisbie, both of whom finished in the top 10 at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, will also be ones to watch.

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The United Airlines NYC Half women’s open and wheelchair division professional athlete fields are presented by Mastercard.

The United Airlines NYC Half, one of 60 adult and youth races NYRR organizes annually, will be covered locally in the tri-state area by ABC New York, Channel 7 with live news cut-ins between 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Additionally, the four professional fields will be covered by a livestream, distributed internationally from NYRR’s digital channels and, beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET.

Professional Athlete Field – Men’s Open Division

Name Country Residence Personal Best
Abel Kipchumba KEN Iten, KEN 58:07 (Valencia, 2021)
Gabriel Geay TAN Babati, TAN 59:42 (Houston, 2020)
Zerei Kbrom NOR Stavanger, NOR 1:00:01 (Copenhagen, 2022)
Kenenisa Bekele ETH Addis Ababa, ETH 1:00:22 (London, 2020)
Conner Mantz USA Provo, Utah 1:00:55 (Hardeeville, S.C., 2021)
Zouhair Talbi MAR Colorado Springs, Colo. 1:01:08 (Houston, 2023)
Tomonori Yamaguchi JPN Tokyo 1:01:16 (Ageo, 2023)
Clayton Young USA Provo, Utah 1:01:18 (Hardeeville, S.C., 2021)
Yemane Haileselassie ERI Flagstaff, Ariz. 1:01:24 (Houston, 2024)
Shadrack Biwott USA Folsom, Calif. 1:01:25 (San Diego, 2014)
Reed Fischer USA Boulder, Colo. 1:01:37 (Houston, 2020)
David Nilsson SWE Stockholm, SWE 1:01:40 (Gdynia, POL, 2020)
Taishi Ito JPN Tokyo 1:01:50 (Marugame, JPN, 2023)
Rei Matsunaga JPN Tokyo 1:01:56 (Ageo, 2023)
Fernando Cabada USA Boulder, Colo. 1:02:00 (Houston, 2014)
Filmon Ande ERI Flagstaff, Ariz. 1:02:20 (Philadelphia, 2023)
Matt Baxter NZL Flagstaff, Ariz. 1:02:38 (San Jose, 2021)
Tristan Woodfine CAN Ontario, CAN 1:02:40 (Boston, 2023)
Yenew Alamirew Getahun ETH Bronx 1:03:05 (RBC Brooklyn, 2023)
Tim McGowan USA Boston 1:03:54 (Philadelphia, 2023)
Eduardo Garcia ISV Greenville, S.C. 1:03:59 NR (Houston, 2024)
Desta Utura Gedo ETH New York 1:04:28 (Barcelona, 2023)
Aaron Breene USA Wilton, Conn. 1:08:32 (Valley Cottage, N.Y., 2023)
Hillary Bor USA Colorado Springs, Colo. Debut

NR = National Record

Professional Athlete Field – Women’s Open Division

Name Country Residence Personal Best
Gladys Chepkurui KEN Iten, KEN 1:05:46 (Barcelona, 2022)
Cynthia Limo KEN Iten, KEN 1:06:04 (Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE, 2016)
Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal NOR Oslo, NOR 1:07:34 (Copenhagen, 2023)
Edna Kiplagat KEN Longmont, Colo. 1:07:52 (Houston, 2024)
Fabienne Schlumpf SUI Wetzikon, SUI 1:08:27 NR (Dresden, 2021)
Diane Van Es NED Rotterdam, NED 1:09:31 (Barcelona, 2024)
Lindsay Flanagan USA Boulder, Colo. 1:09:37 (Houston, 2020)
Jackie Gaughan USA Boston 1:10:01 (Houston, 2024)
Malindi Elmore CAN Kelowna, CAN 1:10:11 (Gifu, JPN, 2023)
Annie Frisbie USA Minneapolis, Minn. 1:10:14 (NYC Half, 2022)
Fatima Gardadi MAR Rabat, MAR 1:10:28 (Tamensa, MAR, 2021)
Desiree Linden USA Charlevoix, Mich. 1:10:34 (Naples, Fla., 2011)
Jenny Simpson USA Boulder, Colo. 1:10:35 (Houston, 2023)
Fantu Zewude Jifar ETH New York 1:13:37 (Krakow, POL, 2019)
Marie-Ange Brumelot FRA Shokan, N.Y. 1:13:46 (RBC Brooklyn, 2022)
Sarah Ann Sibert USA New York 1:13:54 (Valley Cottage, N.Y., 2023)
Demitu Hawas Lenjiso ETH New York 1:14:16 (Hawassa, ETH, 2022)
Alexandra Conway USA New York 1:15:05 (Valley Cottage, N.Y., 2023)
Gabrielle Yatauro USA New York 1:15:59 (RBC Brooklyn, 2022)
Leigh Anne Sharek USA Brooklyn 1:16:17 (RBC Brooklyn, 2023)
Melissa Reed USA New York 1:16:22 (Valley Cottage, N.Y., 2023)
Ana Johnson USA City Island, N.Y. 1:17:22 (RBC Brooklyn, 2019)
Alyssa Salese USA Huntington, N.Y. 1:17:26 (RBC Brooklyn, 2022)
Aileen Barry USA Manhasset, N.Y. 1:17:41 (RBC Brooklyn, 2023)
Madeleine King USA New York 1:17:57 (Philadelphia, 2023)
Leila Mantilla USA New York 1:18:20 (Valley Cottage, N.Y., 2023)
Shannon McCarthy USA Hoboken, N.J. 1:18:26 (RBC Brooklyn, 2023)
Emily Royston USA New York 1:18:30 (NYC Half, 2023)
Alana Levy USA New York 1:19:57 (Sacramento, 2023)

NR = National Record

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About New York Road Runners (NYRR)

NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of 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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