Top 10 Moments of the 2017-2018 School Year
The 2017-2018 school year marked the launch of Rising New York Road Runners, NYRR’s new youth program and events platform. The program helps kids develop movement skills through a mix of running and fitness activities while helping to boost confidence, motivation, and the desire to be physically active for life. Rising New York Road Runners is offered in schools and community centers across the country, and hosts free events in New York City year-round.
In its inaugural year, Rising New York Road Runners participants helped design new playgrounds at their schools, ran alongside running legends, rode in the lead vehicle at the TCS New York City Marathon, and witnessed history in the making at NYRR events. To celebrate an amazing school year, we’re taking a look back the top moments from the past 10 months.
September 12, 2017: Jenny Joins the Team
Fresh off of her victory at the 2017 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile—the sixth of her career—Olympian Jenny Simpson announced she would become a Rising New York Road Runners Ambassador and Special Advisor. To kick off her new role—and the start of a new school year for NYC youth—she helped outfit some young runners with new kicks at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub.
September 18, 2017: Brett Gardner Surprises Kids at a Bronx School
New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner stepped off the diamond and into PS 043 in the Bronx, where he handed out new shoes to Rising New York Road Runners participants as part of New York Road Runners and New Balance’s 1 for You 1 for Youth program.
For every pair of running shoes purchased at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub, New Balance will donate a pair of new running shoes to participants of New York Road Runners free youth fitness programs. In its first year, NYRR distributed over 4,500 pairs of brand new New Balance running shoes to participants in Rising New York Road Runners through 1 for You 1 for Youth.
October 30, 2017: A State-of-the-Art Playground Opens in Harlem
Through a partnership with The Trust for Public Land, NYRR is transforming NYC public school playgrounds into state-of-the-art, green, community playgrounds.
Three initial projects were completed in fall 2017, with playgrounds opening in Throgs Neck, Flushing, and Harlem. Students at CS 154M in Harlem welcomed Jenny Simpson to their new playground during a special TCS New York City Marathon-week event on October 30.
In spring 2018, ground was broken at two more schools, PS 581K in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and MS 227Q in East Elmhurst, Queens.
November 5, 2017: Students Lead the Way at the TCS New York City Marathon
Jenny Simpson returned to New York during TCS New York City Marathon week, where she accompanied five Rising New York Road Runners Youth Ambassadors—one from each New York City Borough—in the lead vehicle on race day. The students served as Grand Marshals at the event.
In total, Marathon week events welcomed more than 3,000 youth athletes from all around the city to be active and to be a part of the biggest marathon in the world.
- On Saturday at the Rising New York Road Runners Jamboree Presented by Tata Consultancy Services, students took part in fitness activities, as well as individual and relay races around the Armory track.
- On Monday, students at CS 154 in Harlem took a few laps around their new playground's track, thanks to the partnership between NYRR and The Trust for Public Land (see above).
- Friday saw professional athletes cheering on young runners in Central Park at the TCS Run with Champions, where kids could race 400 meters or 1500 meters along the final stretch of the TCS New York City Marathon course.
- Then on Sunday, they took on a little more of the Marathon course at the Rising New York Road Runners Youth Invitational at the TCS New York City Marathon, a 1.7-mile race through Central Park, along Central Park South, and up to the Marathon finish line at Tavern on the Green.
January 27, 2018: Winterfest Welcomes 500 Students to Citi Field
Talk about starting the new year on the right foot—at Winterfest, more than 500 Rising New York Road Runners from 13 schools across the five boroughs received a surprise gift of New Balance running shoes during a special 1 for You 1 for Youth shoe distribution held at Citi Field. Students squealed with delight upon opening their boxes, then laced up and put their new kicks to the test during running games and Zumba.
February 3, 2018: Kymoy Phillip Proves He's Unbeatable at the NYRR Millrose Games
In the boys' 800-meter race at the 2018 NYRR Millrose Games, Kymoy Phillip of Brooklyn won for the third year in a row with a finish time of 2:16:64, breaking the event record by nearly 2 seconds. Afterward, he paused for a photo with NYRR President and CEO Michael Capiraso and Peter Ciaccia, president of events at NYRR and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon.
February 2018: Virtual Racers Support Rising New York Road Runners
In February, the NYRR Virtual For the Kids 5K Benefiting Rising New York Road Runners gave people around the world an opportunity to help give kids in NYC and nationwide access to running and motivation to stay active for life. Jenny Simpson completed her 3.1 miles in Central Park with a group of Rising New York Road Runners coaches. Running legend and NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador Meb Keflezighi logged his 5K in NYC, too—but not before stopping by the NYRR RUNCENTER to join students for some running drills.
March 18, 2018: Kids Stop Traffic in Times Square
Rising New York Road Runners at the United Airlines NYC Half invited youth to take on a stretch of the 13.1-mile course, where the young runners ran right alongside the adults. The 1500-meter out-and-back race—nearly a mile—took youngsters up Seventh Avenue from 47th Street to a turnaround near 57th Street, and back. The event featured 889 finishers, a record number.
Earlier in the week, many of the pro athletes who would be taking on the United Airlines NYC Half paid a visit to Rising New York Road Runners at PS 001 in Chinatown. The students received new running shoes and even got to try out a racing wheelchair with help from Josh George and Tatyana McFadden. The day before race day, the professional athletes in the wheelchair field hosted a clinic for participants in the NYRR Youth Wheelchair Training Program.
June 6, 2018: NYC Students Celebrate Global Running Day at Icahn Stadium
While NYRR celebrated its 60th anniversary with 60 pop-up finish lines across the five boroughs, kids celebrated Global Running Day with a day of track-and-field fun at Icahn Stadium. Former professional rugby player and NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador Nick Youngquest joined in, running laps with students and offering encouragement all day.
June 9, 2018: All Girls Get a Spot at the Mini
The 2018 NYRR New York Mini 10K kicked off with the third-annual Rising New York Road Runners at the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a 1.2-mile event for girls ages 12 to 18, which included a wheelchair division for the first time this year. The girls’ race saw a record 468 finishers. Each participant went home with a finisher medal and a pair of New Balance running shoes donated by Citi.