Photo: @nyrr

More than 22,000 runners expected to race 13.1 miles from Prospect Park to Coney Island

The RBC Brooklyn Half will return at full capacity for the first time in three years on Saturday, May 21, with more than 22,000 runners expected to race in the event’s 40th running. The race, which was established in 1981, is now one of the country’s premier half marathons with accompanying youth races and a three-day pre-party to celebrate Brooklyn.

“New York Road Runners has such a rich 40-year history in our biggest borough, Brooklyn, and we are excited to be bringing back our premier event in the borough, the RBC Brooklyn Half, for the first time since 2019,” said Ted Metellus, NYRR VP of Events and Race Director. “Since 1981, even before half marathons were popular, the Brooklyn Half has been taking place every year and is now the highlight of NYRR’s year-round presence in Brooklyn, which also includes programs for youth, seniors and the entire community.”

The RBC Brooklyn Half will take runners through the unique and diverse neighborhoods of Brooklyn, beginning at the Brooklyn Museum, passing the scenic Grand Army Plaza, and running through Prospect Park and along Ocean Parkway to the finish line on the famous Coney Island boardwalk.

Below are some highlights and initiatives to look forward to at the 2022 edition of the event:

  • 40th Running: The first Brooklyn Half took place in early spring of 1981 on a course in and around Prospect Park with several hundred finishers. Since then, it has expanded to cover a large portion of Brooklyn and help bring the community together. In 2013, the year after Superstorm Sandy devastated the Brooklyn coastline, the Brooklyn Half helped reinvigorate Coney Island and reminded New Yorkers what makes Coney—and all of Brooklyn—so special. This year will mark the return of the event for the first time since the pandemic began, with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso planning to attend.
  • New Title Sponsor: The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) will serve as both the exclusive title partner and exclusive financial services and investment banking partner of the event for the first time, activating on race day as well as at the pre-party and post-race festivities. As a purpose-driven global financial institution, RBC, similar to NYRR, is strongly committed to giving back to communities. 
  • Notable Names: This year’s field will include notable names such as TODAY Show’s Al Roker, Good Morning America’s TJ Holmes, TV personality Nev Schulman, and professional athlete Noah Droddy.
  • Ukrainian Running Club Members: More than 40 members of NYC’s local Ukrainian Running Club will participate, as running has brought the club members closer together as a form of support while the war goes on in Ukraine. The club is captained by Dmytro Molchanov, who moved from Brooklyn to Ukraine seven years ago and will be an NYRR pacer for the 1:20 group.
  • 5-Year Anniversary: Prospect Heights residents Krissa Cetner and Alex Salazar, two avid runners, stopped to get married in front of 100 guests at Mile 6 of the 2017 Brooklyn Half and then hopped back on the course to finish the race. Running for NYRR Team for Kids, the couple will return this year to run in honor of their 5-year anniversary and plan to wear the same tuxedo shirt and bridal shirt. Their 3 1/2 year old son, Myles, will be there to cheer them on. 
  • Guinness World Record Attempt: Local elite Marie-Ange Brumelot of Queens Distance Runners and her father will go for the Guinness World Record for the fastest half marathon run by a parent and child. Brumelot represented France at the 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships and is a 1:14 half marathoner.
  • Brooklyn’s “Marathon Man”: At 70 years old, Brooklyn’s Leroy Cummins is speeding up, not slowing down. As a member of the NYRR Striders fitness program for older adults, he ran his first marathon last fall at the TCS New York City Marathon, finishing second in his age group in a time of 3:35:15, a quick 8:13 mile pace. He then ran the Boston Marathon in April, and now, known as the “Marathon Man” to his East Flatbush neighbors, will look to finish first place in his age group in Brooklyn.
  • Boardwalk Kids Run: The whole family is invited to join in on race day activities, as kids ages 8-18 will take part in the Boardwalk Kids Run at the RBC Brooklyn Half for free on Coney Island as part of the Rising New York Road Runners youth program.
  • RBC Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Presented by New Balance: From May 18 to May 20, runners will pick up their bibs, shop for race merchandise, listen to live music, and dine at local food trucks at the RBC Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Presented by New Balance at Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
  • Virtual RBC Brooklyn Half: Runners who are unable to be in Brooklyn can participate in the race from anywhere in the world at their own convenience between May 14 and May 22.

Media interested in applying for a credential to cover the RBC Brooklyn Half can email media@nyrr.org.

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 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.