The United Airlines NYC Half slated for Sunday morning features a stacked field including three notable Canadians. The sold-out event, put on by the New York Road Runners, the organizers of the New York City Marathon, is one of the most popular half-marathons in the United States with more than 20,000 runners expected to take part.
The race begins in Central Park and finishes near the southern point of the most densely-populated of the five boroughs in New York City via the West Side Highway. The race begins at 7:30 a.m. EDT. For Canadians wanting to follow along, especially because Eric Gillis, Lanni Marchant and Rachel Cliff will be in the field, the local ABC network is expected to stream the event live. The March 19 race will be a tuneup for Gillis who will in one month race the Boston Marathon for the first time in his career.
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What: United Airlines NYC Half
When: Sunday, March 19
Who (Canadian elites): Eric Gillis, Lanni Marchant and Rachel Cliff
How (to watch): ABC7NY online.
Other streaming options and information can be found here. (An American VPN may be necessary for ESPN and WatchABC.) Coverage begins at 7 a.m. EDT.
Race organizers have called this year’s race the best field in event history as Olympic marathon silver medallist Feyisa Lelisa, Scottish half-marathon record holder Callum Hawkins and American 5,000m and 10,000m record holder and two-time defending champion Molly Huddle will line up for Sunday’s tilt. Huddle, arguably the favourite in the women’s race, narrowly won in 2016 in a sprint finish that was one to remember. (See video of that here.) She will be going for a NYC Half three-peat. In total, 21 Olympians are in the field, according to the NYRR.
Though they will likely not contend for the NYC Half win, watch for Marchant, the Canadian record holder in the half-marathon at 1:10:47, Gillis, who has a lifetime best of 1:03:30, and Cliff, who will likely cut down her 1:15:04 personal best on Sunday. All three raced at the NACAC 10K Cup in Puerto Rico in February.
Note that New York City recently received significant snowfall but the roads are clear and weather is not expected to affect the start time. US$20,000 is awarded to both the men’s and women’s winners of the NYC Half.