(NEW) United Airlines NYC Half Course Preview

this is a SHORT post because I just wanted to tell you guys back in November a few friends-coworkers, and I got up early, took the train to Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza and run SORT-OF the new course of the United Airlines NYC Half. I say sort-of because I couldn’t get them to shut down traffic on the top level of the Manhattan Bridge for us four, same with the FDR drive… oh well.

All about the course is on the race page. And there’s even a neat course map!

What I can tell you is that the course is QUITE AMAZING. Literally. I was saying that every mile.

The first 2-mile stretch from Grand Army Plaza is straight and WIDE. There’s also lots of stuff to look at. Sidenote: I need to run in Brooklyn more. I was a full-blown tourist.

It was 33, feels like 26, hence the outfits. Michael is the exception, I am always jealous of his heating skills.

The race starts behind the Arch so, like in the Brooklyn Half, we run around it.

Then you are in Flatbush Avenue, which is quite nice, straight to the Manhattan Bridge, to settle on a good pace.

told you it’s a wide street!

Then you go on the top of the Manhattan Bridge….!!!!!!!! We had to settle for the side path, but the views are INSANE. I really need to run there more often, it’s soo beautiful. I can’t even imagine how much better is on the top as you get two bridges up there: Brooklyn Bridge on the left, Williamsburg Bridge on the right. I can’t. Too good.

There’s a really nice view when you get off the bridge of the triumphal arch and colonnade at the Manhattan entrance:

100% you won’t see this on the actual course. But we did and I liked it so it’s part of the preview!!! Hey, it’s NYC, I am 200% sure you’ll see something strange somewhere(s).

A few blocks around Chinatown/Lower East Side and you’ll be in the FDR. Also, we were on the sidewalk there, but LOVED the sights!!!!!! (I REALLY need to get out of Central Park once in a while!)

that’s the Queensboro bridge, mile 16 of the marathon!

Then the United Nations (you don’t need a picture, do you?), then we get on 42nd street, we run by Grand Central and the NY Public Library…

a right turn and you’re on TIMES SQUARE!

YES, the only day of the year I am OK to be at Times Square!

You then run to the park and you do a right onto the East Drive, Hail to the Fred as we did:

across 102 cross-drive to the Finish…

I was in shock at how much I loved it. We had Times Square and Central Park in the previous edition, but hey, now you get to run ON TOP OF A BRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!! I know other people do that in other cities, but it’s NOT NYC. And really, other than running on the Golden Gate, what’s cooler than a major NYC bridge? huh? And seeing the Empire State Building right up ahead? When do we have that? Anyway, TOO FRUNNING GOOD!!

Here’s the course profile if you need it, to start obsessing, as some of you would, though I wouldn’t.

The 1st one (Strava) is a bit more accurate as the 2nd one (MapMyRun) wasn’t letting me map on some parts and that blip around mile 7 should NOT be there.

The mapped routes are here: Strava and MapMyRun if for some reason you want to check them out. Again, the strava is more trustworthy accurate as I had to do a few parts of the MapMyRun manually, so there’s about 200 meters over in that one. Though you can see they’re very similar!

Who’s excited? Questions?

14 thoughts on “(NEW) United Airlines NYC Half Course Preview

  1. THIS IS AN AWESOME PREVIEW!I ran the race last year and it was my first half marathon ever so naturally I was giddy about the course! I’ve already qualified for the 2018 NYC Half through the NYRR 5 Borough series of races. I didn’t know what to make of the new course when it came out but after seeing this, I am excited about it now! Thanks for the post! Looking forward to the race now!


  2. There are also the blips of hills on the FDR where around 16th, 28th, and 42nd St that should make things interesting. Also hope there are no heavy rains on race day.


    • “hills” well… maybe bumps….
      we can’t really worry about the weather, right? There’s nothing we can do!
      We show up and run anyway!! Just make sure you train and are ready to enjoy yourself.


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