Senbere Teferi. Photo: @nyrr
Teferi breaks women’s open division record by six seconds; Schär wins record fourth title
Event marks first NYRR race back at full capacity with nearly 25,000 runners
Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi and Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto won the open division titles and the United States’ Daniel Romanchuk and Switzerland’s Manuela Schär claimed the wheelchair division crowns on Sunday at the United Airlines NYC Half, which marked the first New York Road Runners race back at full scale since the pandemic began with nearly 25,000 runners.
Teferi, a two-time Olympian and the 5K world-record holder, set both the course and event records, finishing in a time of 1:07:35, ahead of Kenya’s Irine Cheptai and Norway’s Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal. The 26-year-old broke Molly Huddle’s event record that was set in 2016 by six seconds and became the third Ethiopian woman to win the race.
“I was being very careful throughout the race and watching my pace. I’m very happy to have won,” Teferi said.
Lindsay Flanagan was the top American finisher in the women’s open division, finishing fifth in 1:09:50.
Kipruto crossed the line in 1:00:30 ahead of Kenyan compatriot Edward Cheserek and Ethiopian Teshome Mekonen. The 22-year-old’s time was fifth fastest in event history and marked his second victory in Central Park, having also won the 2018 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K.
“I feel good because I’ve come back again to win, and my first win was in New York,” Kipruto said. “It was not an easy win because the course is very hilly. It was about the win, not about the time.”
Shadrack Kipchirchir was the top American in the men’s open division, finishing fourth in 1:01:16.
Romanchuk won his second event title, taking the tape in 49:22 ahead of American Hermin Garic and Spain’s Rafael Botello. His time was more than two minutes faster than his winning time in 2019; he remains the only other American other than Josh George to have won the men’s wheelchair division.
“I’m really happy to be back in New York racing and to see the city so alive,” Romanchuk said. “I had a plan to give it all I had, but nothing’s over until it’s done.”
Schär won her fourth United Airlines NYC Half in 56:12 to set a new record for most event titles by an athlete in the women’s wheelchair division. She was joined on the podium by Americans Yen Hoang and Tatyana McFadden, who finished second and third, respectively.
“It was perfect—beautiful conditions,” Schär said. “I just wanted to see where I stand. I was able to push away from the pack in the beginning and go my own pace, and that’s how I like it.”
The strongest professional athlete field in event history included 22 Olympians, six Paralympians and six open division athletes who hold half marathon national records in their respective countries.
Notable finishers included TV personalities Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, former NFL player Tiki Barber, reality TV star Nev Schulman, sportscaster Nicole Briscoe, motorsports racing driver Ryan Briscoe, former Miss Universe Andrea Meza, New York City Fire Department Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh, and New York City Parks Commissioner Susan Donoghue.
In Times Square, around 1,000 youth took part in the Times Square Kids run, racing on an out-and-back-course alongside their heroes and the general field of runners.
The United Airlines NYC Half is one of New York Road Runners’ signature races, taking runners from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to Manhattan’s Central Park, and passing historic landmarks and diverse neighborhoods and sweeping views of the city along the way before ending near the iconic TCS New York City Marathon finish line.
After being canceled in 2020 and not held in 2021 due to the pandemic, the United Airlines NYC Half returned a full scale this year with nearly 25,000 runners – marking the first NYRR race to return to its traditional field size.
About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.