Friday, May 5, 2017

2017 Shape Women's Half Marathon Recap + Video

Start to finish of the 14th Annual Shape Women's Half-Marathon
Central Park, NYC was again the launch spot for the 2017 Shape Women's Half-Marathon this year. Celebrity guest runners included Amy Robach, host of ABC's Good Morning America, Jen Widerstrom Fitness Trainer for NBC TV's The Biggest Loser, and Olympic Medalist, Deena Kastor, record holder for this race.


New since 2016 are the relays which pair members of the NYRRs Club with celebrity runners. Team members ran a leg of the race course rather than the entire 13.1 miles. A great idea since for many guest runners, this is the first time tackling mileage of any kind.


NYRR Club members paired with celebrity runners for relay teams. 
Sunday, April 30th was a cool, overcast 61 degrees or so when I arrived at the press tent next to Tavern on the Green in Central Park West. This year over 9,600 runners signed up for the race which had media partners, ABC News, Good Morning America and Shape Magazine. Other race sponsors included Bloomingdale's, Motrin and Advocare.  Commemorative 2017 Race Tee Shirts are a super charged day glow orange and made by New Balance.



Amy Robach of Good Morning America offers opening words of encouragement.
Olympic Medalist and race record holder, Deena Kastor.

Start time for both the relay and the half-marathon was 8 am. With close to 10,000 runners some women towards the rear almost missed the start time as NYRR Club officials worked to move everyone up to the start line and clear the roadway.



And they're off! The sun peeks out just as the race starts.

The race course traditionally loops twice around Central Park with the Harlem Hill being one of the most challenging obstacles I faced when I ran in 2015. Running this race taught me to train with hilly terrain thereafter. Still it's a rather long slog up a hill that seems to go on forever. 



Women on the race course near 60th Street.

The NYRR's Club is the nuts and bolts of this race. Each year their volunteers come out and serve at most of the major NYC race events. They are dedicated runners themselves and so are very eager to support race participants. They cheered me on all along the route when I ran this half-marathon. Here a volunteer is giving out cups of Gatorade.



NYRR Club members serving and encouraging.

The Finish Line is up near 72 nd Street. You can actually see the women making their second loop around the park from there. When I ran it seemed that the finish line kept getting further and further away at that point! Still the cheering is so crazy during the home stretch that it buoys you across on pure adrenaline.

Olympic Medalist and Race Record Holder Deena Kastor was first over the Finish Line at 1:08 16 seconds.





Deena set the record in 2013 and has defended it successfully ever since. Here she is after taking the tape held by Shape Magazine Editor, Elizabeth Goodman Artis and Meredith Publishing EVP, Nancy Weber. 

2017 Shape Women's half-Marathon winner, Deena Kastor doing an on camera interview.

Another front runner comes across the finish line.

Crowd of elated and exhausted runners coming through.

The Awards Ceremony was held at the Central Park Band Shell where the band, Evolution played for the enjoyment of everyone there. As it was a little cooler and more overcast this year, many racers kept on their warming blankets.


2017 Shape Women's Half Marathon Winners & Guests of Honor


Happy blanketed runner with her finishing medal.

The Wrap: All in all this race had the perfect conditions for running. In the temperate 60's with overcast skies, there wasn't a lot of sun to bake everyone as it did the year I ran. In fact April is full of showers and just the day before it was close to 90 degrees. So God gave us an amazing day for this 14th Annual run that inspires so many as we #WomenRunTheWorld!

Special Thanks again to my incredible 2017 Race Season sponsors and Meredith Publishing / Shape Magazine for accommodating me as credentialed press for this race!




Hoka One One Athletic Shoes




Myobuddy Massager Pro



Biggest Loser celebrity trainer, Jen Widerstrom & I at the VIP Tent



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