NYC Half-Marathon 2012: Race Information

March 6, 2012 2:50:35 PM PST
So you do want to check out the NYC Half-Marathon this year? Here's what you need to know...Highlights:
  • When: Sunday, March 18, 2012, 7:30 a.m.
  • Location: Manhattan
  • Start: Central Park, West Drive near 64th Street
  • Finish: Water Street and Maiden Lane (South Street Seaport)
  • Distance: 13.1 miles
  • Race Types: Both Men and Women, Charity Sports, Marathon Qualifier, Prize Money, Scored

Download Course Map

Course Info
NYRR's flagship half-marathon takes runners on a tour of Manhattan: from Central Park through Times Square, along the West Side Highway, and around the southern tip of the island to a riverside finish at the South Street Seaport. An improved course this year will extend the race farther from Central Park and alleviate crowding.

The race's popularity is due to its dependably good weather and its fast, slightly downhill second half. It draws a world-class field, and runners looking for fast times make it a focus of their race calendars; still, the early miles include Central Park's biggest hills; beginners would benefit from some experience at shorter races in Central Park before tackling 13.1 miles here.

You'll start on Central Park's West Drive near 64th Street, just south of the famed finish line of the ING New York City Marathon, and head southeast. Complete a counter-clockwise lap of the Park?including Cat Hill (about 300 meters long) just after the mile mark, the Harlem Hill (600 meters) just past 3 miles, and the three-hill series between miles 4 and 5 along the West Side. You'll exit the park at the 10K point and run down Seventh Avenue to 42nd Street; watch yourself run by on a giant Times Square video screen as you race straight through the core of the Big Apple. You'll stay on 42nd Street to the West Side Highway, make a one-block north-to-south U-turn, and continue south toward Battery Park on a very straight and flat stretch of road, where you can start to click off some fast miles. The course includes 11 aid stations supplying water and Gatorade Endurance Formula; the station just before Mile 9 will also supply Power Bar Energy Gels.

Just before the 12-mile mark, you'll pass the World Trade Center site on your left. You'll take the Battery Park Underpass to FDR Drive, just past Manhattan's southernmost point, and take the South Street exit. You'll cross over South Street onto Old Slip, turn right onto Water Street and continue to the finish line on Water Street at Maiden Lane.

Download Course Map


  • A record number of more than 15,000 runners will take place in the race, including U.S. Olympic Marathon team members Meb Keflezighi (who won the NYC Marathon in 2009), Kara Goucher and Desiree Davila. World class runner Dathan Ritzenhein will also be taking place. The top male and female runners in the Open Division will receive $20,000 each.
  • The race, now in its seventh year, started out in August before being moved to its current time in mid-March. Many runners will use the race as tune-up for the famed Boston Marathon, which will take place April 16.
  • Due to the race's popurlity, the field is capped to reduce congestion. Although a majority of the field is selected at random through a lottery, there are several other ways to get into the race including running for one of the many charities that are associated with the event, or being a New York Road Runners member who runs at least four of the NYRR 5-Borough Series races in a calendar year.

  • The course starts in Central Park before heading through Times Square and down along the West Side Highway along the southern tip of the island before finishing at the South Street Seaport. Click here for a PDF of the course.