New York Road Runners
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New York Road Runners (NYRR) is a non-profit running organization based in New York City whose mission is to help and inspire people through running. It was founded in 1958 by Ted Corbitt with 47 members and has since grown to membership of more than 60,000. NYRR serves nearly 600,000 runners of all ages and abilities annually through hundreds of races, community open runs, walks, training sessions, and other running-related programming, with nearly 250,000 youth participating in free fitness programs and events nationally, including 125,000 in New York City’s five boroughs.
NYRR is headed by President and CEO Michael Capiraso.
|Michael Capiraso and Peter Ciaccia||2015-2018|
- NYRR is founded as the Road Runners Club – New York Association with about 40 members. The founder of the Road Runners Club of America, H. Browning Ross, encourages the group, which meets at Macombs Dam Park in the Bronx.
- The club is led by 1952 African American Olympian Ted Corbitt who opens the club to all races, genders, and running speeds.
- Throughout the 1960s and early 70s, under six different presidents (listed at right), NYRR remains a tight band of committed runners, with about 250 members.
- 1970: spearheaded by Fred Lebow and NYRR president Vince Chiappetta, the first New York City Marathon takes place in Central Park in 1970, with 127 entrants, 55 finishers, and a $1 entry fee.
- 1972: New York City Marathon co-founder Fred Lebow takes over as president of NYRR and helps lead the "running boom" that is sweeping the country.
- NYRR stages the Crazylegs Mini Marathon (now the NYRR New York Mini 10K), the first all-women road race.
- 1976: NYRR, inspired by Fred Lebow's vision, takes the New York City Marathon out of Central Park and into the streets of the city's five boroughs with a field of 2,090 runners.
- Over the next five years, NYRR launches the Fifth Avenue Mile, the Empire State Building Run-Up, and the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge.
- 1978: Fred Lebow hires high school science teacher Allan Steinfield to oversee the technical and operations aspects of NYRR events.
- Fred Lebow and Allan Steinfeld recruit some of the world's best athletes to headline races. These runners include Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Alberto Salazar, Lasse Viren, Mary Decker Slaney, and Grete Waitz, who eventually goes on to win the New York City Marathon a record nine times.
- 1981: NYRR purchases a townhouse on the Upper East Side to house its "International Running Center."
- By the end of the decade, membership soars to nearly 30,000.
- NYRR races are among the first to offer prize money.
- 1990: Fred Lebow is diagnosed with brain cancer, to the heartbreak of the organization. Lebow inspires cancer patients worldwide by running during his months of chemotherapy.
- 1992: With his cancer in remission, Fred Lebow poignantly completes the 1992 New York City Marathon in 5:32:34, accompanied by Grete Waitz.
- 1994: On October 9, just four weeks before the 25th New York City Marathon, Lebow sadly loses his battle with cancer.
- Allan Steinfeld takes over as NYRR CEO and New York City Marathon race director.
- 1998: Mary Wittenberg, an attorney and the winner of the 1987 Marine Corps Marathon, is hired as NYRR's first director of administration. Wittenberg oversees NYRR's business, administration, and operations.
- NYRR launches the New York Road Runners Foundation with a commitment to give back to the community. Later in the year, it was decided to focus on youth due to the nation's childhood obesity crisis and a lack of P.E. programs in NYC schools. In 1999 NYRR launched running programs in several NYC middle schools, commencing a long-term commitment to youth programming that has evolved into Rising New York Road Runners.
- 2001: NYRR, in a demonstration of the power of running to help heal a shattered city, stages the New York City Marathon less than two months after the September 11 attacks.
- 2003: NYRR signs a multi-year deal with financial services company ING as the first title sponsor of the New York City Marathon.
- NYRR continues to grow—membership reaches 40,000—and to extend its influence on a local, national, and international scale.
- 2005: Mary Wittenberg is named Allan Steinfeld's successor as president and CEO of NYRR and race director of the New York City Marathon. The first woman to hold these positions, she oversees NYRR's 160 full-time employees.
- 2006: The New York City Marathon joins four other leading marathons—Berlin, Boston, Chicago, and London—to form the World Marathon Majors, a two-year series showcasing the sport's top athletes and awarding an unprecedented $1 million champions' prize. (The group expands to six with the addition of the Tokyo Marathon in 2013; Abbott becomes the title sponsor in 2014.)
- NYRR hosts the USA Cross Country Championships in the Bronx's Van Cortlandt Park.
- NYRR inaugurates the New York City Half, which starts in Central Park, continues through Times Square, and finishes in lower Manhattan. The inaugural race has some 10,000 finishers.
- 2007: NYRR hosts the U.S. Olympic Trials Men's Marathon, the Team USA selection race for the 2008 Beijing Games. Ryan Hall breaks the U.S. Olympic Trials record with his 2:09:03 marathon finish time on a course in Central Park.
- 2008: World record-holder Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain wins her third New York City Marathon in as many tries.
- 2009: The 40th running of the New York City Marathon sets an all-time marathon finisher record at 43,660 runners.
- Meb Keflezighi of Mammoth Lakes, CA, takes first place in the New York City Marathon and is the first American to win the race in the 27 years since Alberto Salazar won his third title in 1982.
- NYRR enters the social media realm with an array of Facebook fan pages and Twitter feeds.
- 2010: NYRR and the Department of Parks & Recreation co-sponsor the four-mile Run for Haiti in response to the devastating earthquake there. The event raises more than $430,000 for New York's Haiti Relief Fund.
- NYRR launches Running Start, a free collection of online fitness videos developed by NYRR, expert youth coaches, and exercise physiologists to teach youth the fundamentals of running through age-appropriate games, activities, and drills.
- 2011: NYRR introduces the Official NYRR New York City Marathon Training Program, a revolutionary online plan that is personalized based on a runner's experience, age, sex, race times, and current training.
- One-on-one e-coaching becomes available from NYRR's experts. More than 640 runners sign up in the first month of the program.
- The New York City Marathon has 47,340 finishers, setting a new record.
- 2012: NYRR signs a historic five-year deal with ESPN/ABC7 for a comprehensive year-round national and local television package, the cornerstone of which is the New York City Marathon. (In 2013, the marathon is televised nationally for the first time in almost 20 years.)
- For the first time in event history, the New York City Marathon is canceled, due to Hurricane Sandy. Thousands of runners gather in Central Park for informal marathons on November 4, and many assist with recovery efforts in hard-hit areas like Staten Island and Coney Island.
- NYRR makes a donation of $1 million and, together with its partners, a $1.2 million donation of New York City Marathon supplies to the Mayor's Fund for the Advancement of New York City, to be used for Sandy relief and recovery efforts.
- 2013: NYRR continues to help the city recover from Superstorm Sandy. Contributions include donated goods at our races, donations of race proceeds from the Staten Island Half, and the creation of Staten Island Day, which raises more than $100,000 in donations for Sandy relief efforts.
- On May 18, the Brooklyn Half hosts some 20,000 runners—about 7,000 more than ever before in the race's 33-year history. They run from the Brooklyn Museum through Prospect Park to the finish line on Coney Island's world-famous boardwalk. The race is broadcast on ABC7.
- NYRR donates $146,000 to The One Fund Boston, formed to assist victims and families affected by the Boston Marathon bombing, through the sale of "I Run for Boston" T-shirts.
- NYRR partners with one of the world's top security firms and works closely with the NYPD and state/federal partners to provide enhanced security measures, further strengthening an already comprehensive security plan.
- 2014: NYRR launches the Five-Borough Series, which showcases NYRR's commitment to the individuals and communities in each borough. The races include the United Airlines NYC Half, the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, the Queens 10K, the New Balance Bronx 10 Mile, and the Staten Island Half. The series is a celebration of what makes each borough unique, inspiring, and an amazing place to get out and get moving.
- The Brooklyn Half becomes the country's biggest half-marathon of the year when 25,642 runners cross the Coney Island Boardwalk finish line.
- In its first year with new title sponsor Tata Consultancy Services, the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon breaks the previous year's record with 50,530 finishers—the largest of any marathon in history.
- The 44th New York City Marathon celebrates the event's one-millionth finisher.
- 2015: Molly Huddle becomes the first American winner in the 10-year history of the United Airlines NYC Half, tying the event record of 1:08:31.
- The first-ever Times Square Kids' Run at the United Airlines NYC Half brings more than 700 school-aged runners through the heart of Midtown Manhattan for a 1500-meter race alongside the half-marathon course.
- After 17 years at NYRR, Mary Wittenberg steps down as NYRR's president and CEO and TCS New York City Marathon Race Director. COO Michael Capiraso is promoted to NYRR president and CEO, and CPO Peter Ciaccia is promoted to NYRR president, events and TCS New York City Marathon race director.
- A record-breaking 26,482 runners cross the finish line at the 2015 Airbnb Brooklyn Half, again making the race the largest half-marathon in the country that year.
- On June 3 at St. Mary's Park in the Bronx, NYRR launches NYRR Open Run, a community-based initiative aimed at bringing free weekly runs to local neighborhood parks in New York City by working with community leaders and volunteers. Other NYRR Open Runs are added at Astoria Park in Queens, Conference House Park and Silver Lake Park in Staten Island, and Marine Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn. NYRR Open Run operates with NYC Parks' Community Parks Initiative to bring programming to smaller public parks throughout New York City
- Nearly 600 kids run the final 1.8 miles of the TCS New York City Marathon course at the inaugural NYRR Youth Invitational. The event is televised on WABC-TV, Channel 7.
- More than 1,000 NYC school-aged kids and 100 TCS New York City Marathon pro athletes participate in the TCS Run with Champions by running one mile or 400 meters on the race course during race week.
- Mighty Milers expands to more schools, community centers, and after-school programs, creating a network that includes private and parochial schools, as well as after-school sites from all corners of NYC.
- 2016: NYRR serves more than 200,000 students locally and nationally—120,000 of whom come from approximately 600 schools and community centers across the five boroughs—through free NYRR youth running programs, events, and resources.
- The NYRR Youth Running Series—a three-season program initiated in 2015 with events throughout the school year including cross country, indoor track, and road running—and our Youth Jamborees continue to grow.
- NYRR supports additional free community programming for people of all ages—from kids to seniors—designed to get them moving toward healthier lifestyles. These initiatives include neighborhood walks, high school training programs, Running 101 sessions, and more.
- The 2016 TCS New York City Marathon breaks its own record for the largest marathon in the world, welcoming 51,394 runners to the finish line on November 6.
- In December, NYRR opens the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub, a new community running center. The space also serves as the home of the 1 for You 1 for Youth shoe donation program, which benefits NYRR youth runners. For each pair of shoes purchased at the NB Run Hub, New Balance will donate a pair of shoes to NYRR's youth programs. New York Road Runners will give the shoes to a participant in the programs.
- 2017: The 2017 Brooklyn Half is the largest half-marathon in the country, with 27,440 finishers.
- On June 6 and 7, 250 runners take part in the NYRR Global Running Day Treadmill Challenge at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub. Each runner completes one mile on the treadmill at 9:41 per mile pace or faster, and the relay runs continuously for over 36 hours.
- In September, NYRR launches Rising New York Road Runners, its new youth program and event platform, focusing on physical literacy and long-term athlete development. Olympian Jenny Simpson becomes the program's ambassador and special advisor.; she wins a record sixth title at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile.
- NYRR inaugurates the Rising New York Road Runners Wheelchair Training Program, a free, year-round program for youth ages 6–21 with physical disabilities.
- NYRR and the Trust for Public Land partner to refurbish three NYC playgrounds as state-of-the-art green play spaces serving youth and communities.
- At the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5, 2017, Shalane Flanagan is the first American woman open-division champion in 40 years, crossing the finish line in 2:26:53. The race has 50,773 finishers.
- Distance-running legend Meb Keflezighi runs his final career marathon at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon, finishing 11th in 2:15:29.
- 2018: In January, NYRR launches NYRR Virtual Racing Hosted by Strava, a new way to participate in the NYRR community. The initiative gives runners access to more NYRR events, provides runners with more motivation to challenge themselves, and helps runners give back to the running community—no matter where they live.
- In March, the United Airlines NYC Half debuts a new course layout, bringing runners from Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn over the Manhattan Bridge and through Times Square to Central Park. The race has its largest field in event history with 21,965 finishers.
- At the 47th annual NYRR New York Mini 10K in June, Susannah Scaroni of the United States wins the event’s first-ever professional wheelchair division title in what is believed to be a world-best time of 22:48. The third annual Rising New York Road Runners race at the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a 1.2-mile event for girls ages 12-18, includes a youth wheelchair heat for the first time, won by Sarah Maher.
Races are held nearly every weekend and include such perennials as:
- TCS New York City Marathon
- United Airlines NYC Half
- SHAPE Women's Half-Marathon, a women's only race
- Popular Brooklyn Half
- UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, a men's professional and mass race in Central Park in May
- NYRR Queens 10K
- New York Mini 10K, a women's only 10 km race in June
- NYRR Team Championships
- New Balance Bronx 10-Mile
- New Balance 5th Avenue Mile
- NYRR Staten Island Half
- NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K, held on Marathon Weekend
- NYRR Midnight Run, a four-mile race around Central Park beginning at Midnight on New Year's Eve
The NYRR membership program is an important part of New York’s premier running community and provides runners of all ages with opportunities for achievement at every fitness level. NYRR members are eligible for guaranteed entry into the TCS New York City Marathon for a given year through the organization’s 9+1 program by completing nine qualifying NYRR-sponsored road races during the previous calendar year, volunteering for at least one race, and maintaining their membership during the marathon year. Members also receive discounts on race-entry fees and to NYRR Running Classes.
NYRR provides a forum for competition between clubs through 9 annual NYRR scored races of various distances designated as Club Points races. Clubs that are officially registered with NYRR can score points in 14 different divisions men's and women's open (all ages, grouped into A, B, and C sub-divisions), as well as men's and women's age-group divisions for 40+, 50+, 60+, and 70+. Runners may score in more than one division for their team. For example, a 50-year-old finisher could score in the open, 40+, and 50+ divisions. Open A and B include the top and middle 14 men's and women's teams. Open C consists of all remaining teams. At the end of the year, the top 2 performers in Open B and Open C will move up a division, while the bottom 2 performers in Open A and Open B will move down a division.
NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run HubEdit
New York Road Runners’ mission to help and inspire people through running has been brought to life in a new community running center. In addition to serving as the spot for number pickup, the NYRR RUNCENTER is home to the 1 for You 1 for Youth program. For each pair of shoes purchased at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub, New Balance will donate a pair of shoes to NYRR’s youth programs. New York Road Runners will give the shoes to a participant in the programs*.
The NYRR RUNCENTER showcases the latest in running education, training, and innovation. It serves as a meeting place for all members of the running community—youth, adult runners of all ages and abilities, and club teams—to come together to improve their health, fitness, and overall well-being.
The NYRR RUNCENTER also hosts a variety of running-related events and programs and is the headquarters for NYRR’s runner services, which includes distribution of bibs and souvenirs for NYRR’s weekly races, course strategy, and NYRR Group Training.
Located just off of Columbus Circle and easily accessible via multiple subway and bus lines, the NYRR RUNCENTER is just a short jog from the running meccas of Central Park and the Hudson River Greenway. The RUNCENTER's location is aimed to inspire the surrounding community—as well as those coming to run in NYC—to get moving in the city’s parks and streets. Lockers are available to those looking to store their belongings while out on a run.
The NB Run Hub in NYC is the pinnacle expression of New Balance Performance Running, offering the most innovative gear and exclusive programming, like Test Run. Through the Test Run initiative, runners have an opportunity to try out the latest NB running gear and technology, often before it launches anywhere else in the world.
*1 FOR YOU 1 FOR YOUTH DISCLOSURE: For every pair of athletic shoes sold to a customer at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub in New York City, New Balance shall donate a pair of new athletic shoes to New York Road Runners, a 501(c)(3) public charity, for the benefit of a New York Road Runners supported youth program, up to a maximum value of $500,000 based on New Balance’s then current wholesale pricing. This Promotion shall run from December 12, 2016 to December 31, 2017. For more information about New York Road Runners visit nyrr.org.
NYRR operates an information kiosk for runners located on the bridle path near Central Park’s East Drive at the East 90th Street entrance (Engineers’ Gate). Staffed by NYRR Runner Services, the information kiosk is open to answer runners' questions about the park or NYRR events. The information kiosk also serves as the starting point for many of the NYRR running programs.
The NYRR Foundation was founded in 1998 to carry out the youth service mission of the New York Road Runners. NYRR Foundation’s goal is to promote health, well-being, and personal achievement among under-served children with little or no access to athletic programming. Various programs are all designed to help youth of all sizes, fitness levels and athletic talents utilize the discipline of running to improve health, build character and uplift the spirit. In 2007, NYRR Foundation programs serve more than 20,000 kids per week from over 150 schools and community centers participating in NYRR Foundation programs in New York City and across the country.
Abebe Bikila AwardEdit
The club gives out the Abebe Bikila Award annually in recognition of individuals who have contributed to the sport of running. First awarded in 1978 and named in honor of Olympic marathon winner Abebe Bikila, the award is presented in November immediately before the start of NYRR's International Friendship Run.
Central Park Safety ProgramEdit
Founded by Deborah Marie King (1947–2000), the Central Park Safety Program is a New York City Official Civilian Observation Patrol Program. Volunteers are trained and patrol in pairs, each wearing an orange vest and equipped with a radio that is linked to the NYPD’s 19th Precinct. According to Ms. King, "if we wish to move freely and safely, we should share responsibility with the police, the park’s personnel, and each other. This comprehensive safety program represents community crime prevention at its very best.” Safety Program pairs patrol weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Senior Fitness ProgramEdit
NYRR conducts free guided group walks through Central Park of up to 3 miles, starting at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays via the Striders program. Groups meet at the NYRR Information Kiosk. This program is open to men and women age 60 and over, there is no pre-registration, and NYRR membership is not required.
Group-based running classes are led by the NYRR Coaching Staff These are 10-week sessions.
Race Fee AssistanceEdit
NYRR offers 50 complimentary race entries to all weekly races as well as the TCS New York City Marathon and the NYRR Five-Borough Series. Eligibility is based on need. Applications are open all-year round and random drawings will be held bi-monthly for entry into the races.
Rising New York Road RunnersEdit
Rising New York Road Runners is a youth program and events platform built to develop movement skills in kids through a mix of running and fitness activities. Rising New York Road Runners is an evolution of our existing youth efforts: It continues and enhances our free youth programs in schools, after-school programs, and community centers nationwide, as well as free events in New York City. Rising New York Road Runners serves kids in NYC and nationwide, from pre-K through 12th grade.
NYRR Open Run is a community-based initiative that brings free weekly runs and walks to local families in parks throughout the five boroughs.
- "New York Road Runners History". NYRR. 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
- "NYRR Striders". NYRR. 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
- "Race Free". NYRR. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
- "Rising New York Road Runners". NYRR. 2017-08-21. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
- "NYRR Open Run Raises Autism Awareness in Staten Island". NYRR. 2016-04-11. Retrieved 2019-02-11.