Olympians, Paralympians to run the 2024 United Airlines NYC Half

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Monday, March 11, 2024
2024 United Airlines NYC Half professional field announced
Olympians and Paralympians will lead the 2024 United Airlines NYC Half on March 17.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Eleven Olympians, seven Paralympians, and several more professional athletes who have their eyes on the Paris 2024 Games this summer will be running in the 2024 United Airlines NYC Half next month, the New York Road Runners has announced.

More than 25,000 runners will compete in the race on Sunday, March 17 from Brooklyn to Manhattan, finishing in Central Park.

Eyewitness News Sunday morning will provide live updates during the half, and the four professional fields will be streamed on NYRR's digital channels, abc7ny.com, and the ESPN App, beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET.

Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, fresh off finishing first and second, respectively, at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, will headline the men's open division at the United Airlines NYC Half, while two-time U.S. Olympian Hillary Bor will race 13.1 miles for the first time in his career and the world's most-decorated distance runner, Kenenisa Bekele, will return to New York for his second NYRR event.

The women's open division will be chock-full of established contenders, including Olympians Des Linden, Jenny Simpson, Edna Kiplagat, Karoline Bjerkeli Grvdal, and Malindi Elmore, in addition to World Championships marathon bronze medalist Fatima Gardadi.

In the wheelchair division Susannah Scaroni will aim to defend her women's title against past champions Manuela Schar and Tatyana McFadden, while Daniel Romanchuk will race for his third title on the men's side.

The full release from the NYRR is below:

Men's Open Division

Mantz and Young, training partners from Provo, Utah, will line up together at the start in New York less than two months after finishing one-two at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando and qualifying for the Paris 2024 Games. Mantz was fifth in his first United Airlines NYC Half in 2022, and last year became the seventh-fastest American marathoner in history when running 2:07:47 to finish sixth at the Chicago Marathon. Young finished right behind him in seventh in 2:08:00 and will be making his United Airlines NYC Half debut.

"I think I have a lot of room to improve in the halfs," Mantz said on the latest episode of NYRR Set the Pace, Feb. 22, 2024. "I want to get these halfs in so I can have more confidence heading into Paris. I ran (the United Airlines NYC Half) in 2022...which was probably one of the most special experiences and it was a huge learning (experience). It was probably my first race where I was competing against a big international field...so it was a really good experience for me, and I think it's one I want to repeat and take what I've learned in the last two years and use it."

Ethiopia's Bekele, a four-time Olympic medalist, 16-time world champion, and the third-fastest marathoner in history, will challenge the American duo, racing with NYRR for the second time after finishing sixth at the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon. He will be joined at the starting line by Kenya's Abel Kipchumba, the reigning champion of the B.A.A. Boston Half Marathon who owns one of the top-10 half-marathon times in history.

Morocco's Zouhair Talbi will return to the event after taking third in his United Airlines NYC Half debut last year, which he called "the race of his life." Since then, he finished fifth at the Boston Marathon and broke the Houston Marathon course record in January. Tanzanian Olympian and marathon record-holder Gabriel Geay, who was the runner-up at last year's Boston Marathon, will race the United Airlines NYC Half for the first time.

An American contender to watch will be Hillary Bor, a two-time U.S. Olympian and five-time national champion who will be making his half-marathon debut. Bor broke the 40-year-old American 10-mile record at the USATF 10 Mile Road Championships last year. Also toeing the line will be Reed Fischer, who has finished in the top 10 at the last two editions of the race and is coming off a top-10 finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Women's Open Division

Two-time U.S. Olympian and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Linden will return as the top American finisher from last year's race, having recently finished 11th at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Olympic and World Championships medalist Simpson will make her United Airlines NYC Half debut; but she is no stranger to NYRR races as an eight-time winner of the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile.

Kenyans Gladys Chepkurui, the reigning Tokyo Half Marathon champion, and Cynthia Limo, a World Athletics Championships half-marathon medalist, have the two fastest times in the women's open division. They will be joined by another Kenyan, Kiplagat, who has won the World Athletics Championships marathon, TCS New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon, and London Marathon, and will be in search of her first United Airlines NYC Half title, having finished as the runner-up in 2011. Three-time third-place finisher Grvdal of Norway, 2023 World Athletics Championships marathon bronze medalist Gardadi of Morocco, and two-time Olympian Elmore of Canada will also toe the line as international podium contenders.

Lindsay Flanagan and Annie Frisbie, both of whom finished in the top 10 at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, will also be ones to watch.

The United Airlines NYC Half women's open and wheelchair division professional athlete fields are presented by Mastercard.

Men's Wheelchair Division

Romanchuk, a two-time Paralympic medalist and two-time TCS New York City Marathon winner, will race for his third United Airlines NYC Half title after finishing as the runner-up last year. In 2018, Romanchuk became the first American and youngest athlete ever to win the men's wheelchair division at the TCS New York City Marathon, and he repeated as champion in 2019. In 2021, he won his first set of Paralympic medals, taking 400-meter gold by one hundredth of a second and winning bronze in the marathon.

The Netherlands' Geert Schipper, a Paralympic silver medalist in paratriathlon, will make his NYRR racing debut after winning the Cape Town Marathon in October and finishing in second place at the Paris Marathon last April. Schipper is a two-time Paralympian, having represented the Netherlands at both the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Last year's third-place finisher, Evan Correll of the United States, will return; he has finished in the top four at the last two editions of the United Airlines NYC Half and was fourth at the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon. The University of Illinois junior represented Team USA in November at the Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile, where he won gold in the 5,000 meters and bronze in both the 100 and 400 meters.

Women's Wheelchair Division

Two-time Paralympic medalist Scaroni will race for her second consecutive and third overall United Airlines NYC Half title as she aims to add to the tremendous success she's had at NYRR races. She won the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon in a then-course record time, has won all five wheelchair division titles at the Mastercard New York Mini 10K, and won the United Airlines NYC Half in 2023 and 2017.

"This is such a special year for the United Airlines NYC Half as it celebrates its 10th anniversary of the professional wheelchair division. I was fortunate to be at the inaugural race in 2014 and am thrilled to join another strong field in New York this year," Scaroni said.

Challenging Scaroni will be Switzerland's eight-time Paralympic medalist and three-time TCS New York City Marathon champion Schar, who won the race in 2022, 2018, and 2015. American McFadden, a 20-time Paralympic medalist and five-time TCS New York City Marathon champion, will race for her third title, having won the event in 2019 and 2016.

Scaroni, Schar, and McFadden have combined to win seven of the eight titles since the wheelchair division was added to the event in 2014.

To learn more, visit nyrr.org.