An Unforgettable 13.1 Miles in Brooklyn
On Saturday, the largest half-marathon in the country ran through the eclectic borough of Brooklyn, and a 13.1-mile party exploded on the streets.
With beer, hot dogs, and the beach waiting at the finish line of the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, 27,400 runners tackled a 13.1-mile journey that started at the Brooklyn Museum, circled Grand Army Plaza, looped around hilly Prospect Park, flattened out along Ocean Parkway, and ended on the iconic Coney Island boardwalk.
After an unseasonably warm week, cooler temps helped many runners post satisfyingly speedy times. This was especially true for today’s winner, Ethiopia's Girma Bekele Gebre, who crossed the finish in 1:04:56. Compatriot Mengistu Tabor Nebsi was eight tenths of a second behind him and Uganda's Harbert Okuti took third in 1:05:02.
Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam of Ethiopia was winner on the women’s side, taking the tape in 1:12:34. She was followed by 2014 USA Marathon Champion Esther Atkins and 2015 Airbnb Brooklyn Half winner Megan Hogan, who finished second and third, respectively, in 1:15:28 and 1:15:38.
A handful of celebs were spotted at the finish. Famous faces included Team for Kids Ambassador and former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber; model Candice Huffine, Catfish host Nev Schulman, and YouTuber and filmmaker Casey Neistat.
Competitive eater Yasir Salem celebrated his finish with—you guessed it—a Nathan’s hot dog. OK, naturally, he had two.
While training for—and racing—a half-marathon is a commitment on its own, two runners took it a step further: Alex Salazar and Krissa Cetner pulled off the course at mile six to tie the knot. The runaway bride—and groom!—crossed the finish line hand-in-hand in a respectable 2:44:49.
Brookynites Joel Tse and Amanda Hughes followed suit. The couple ran the Airbnb Brooklyn Half alongside 60 members of their wedding party and went on to get married in Greenpoint after the race.
Other stand-outs in this year's Airbnb Brooklyn Half field included 3,000 athletes who dedicated their 13.1 miles to New York Road Runners free youth programs by registering to run with NYRR Team for Kids.
As the half-marathon was wrapping up, kids ages 7 to 18 took on the NYRR Youth Boardwalk Run, a 1-mile out-and-back race that started and finished at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half finish line. Despite some rain, today's youth event welcomed hundreds of finishers.
Once medaled and rehydrated, runners of all ages headed to MCU Park for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half After-Party, where they reunited with friends and family to enjoy food, music, and festivities.