Thousands of Youth Inspire All Week Long at the TCS New York City Marathon
Youth runners played a bigger role than ever at this year’s TCS New York City Marathon, with more than 3,000 students ages 2–18 taking part in events throughout race week and on race day.
The Rising New York Road Runners Jamboree Presented by TCS kicked off race week last Saturday. This free all-day event, held at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory, featured running, jumping, and throwing activities—and even some Zumba—for kids in pre-K through 12th grade. It was the first Jamboree since the launch of Rising New York Road Runners, NYRR’s new comprehensive fitness platform.
On Monday, NYRR and The Trust for Public Land, along with Rising New York Road Runners Ambassador & Special Advisor Jenny Simpson, joined students and community members at C.S. 154 in Harlem to officially open a state-of-the-art green playground.
On Friday, more than 1,000 Rising New York Road Runners took part in 400m and 1500m runs, starting and ending at the TCS New York City Marathon finish line, for the 18th annual TCS Run with Champions, hosted by Simpson and cheered on by NYRR staff, pro athletes, celebrities, and NYRR Team for Kids Ambassadors.
“We’re so proud of the way you inspire us and set an example for us,” said Simpson.
Two dozen middle schoolers from M.S. 356Q Community Voices in Queens came out for the 1500m (nearly a mile). “For some of them, it’s their first time challenging themselves in a mile,” said coach Jason Rubinstein, who’s also a member of Team for Kids and would finish the marathon on Sunday. “An event like this—it makes them feel strong and gives them something to strive for.”
On race day, Sunday, November 5, some 1,500 youth ran 1.7 miles in Central Park at the third annual Rising New York Road Runners Youth Invitational at the TCS New York City Marathon. The young runners flew over the final stretch of the marathon course just as the 50,000 marathoners in Staten Island prepared to start their race. All finishers received medals—just as the marathoners would later in the day—and the race was featured on the WABC-TV, Channel 7 broadcast.
Also on Sunday, five Rising New York Road Runners—one from each of NYC’s five boroughs—along with Jenny Simpson, led the 26.2-mile race in the lead vehicle as the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon Grand Marshals.
“The role of the Grand Marshal is to lead and inspire more than 50,000 runners as they race through the streets of New York City,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events of NYRR and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “What better group for the job than five young Rising New York Road Runners to represent the race and the city on this great day.”
The Grand Marshals are: Staten Island’s Oluwaseni Johnson, 12, from New World Preparatory Charter School; Brooklyn’s Jaylen Reid, 12, from The Dock Street School; Queens’ Peter Manekas, 9, from PS 232 Walter Ward School; The Bronx’s Hope Khazraishokatkhou, 10, from PS 66 School of Higher Expectations; Manhattan’s Emma Albert, 14, from The Beacon School, who also participates in our youth wheelchair racing program.
Finally, youth got to meet and mingle all week with NYRR Team for Kids Ambassadors, notable and professional runners who embrace NYRR's mission to help and inspire people through running. Some of the Team for Kids Ambassadors at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon are professional athletes Meb Keflezighi, Shalane Flanagan, and Tatyana McFadden; model, designer, and body activist Candice Huffine; former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber; and WABC-TV, Channel 7 meteorologist Amy Freeze.
NYRR’s youth programs are supported by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the Premier Partner of NYRR and NYRR youth and community programs and the title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon; New Balance, the Official Athletic Footwear and Apparel Partner of NYRR; the New Balance Foundation; and the Fairway Community Foundation. Learn more at rising.nyrr.org.