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Coaching Athletics Quarterly
Monday, 22 May 2017 18:47

Airbnb Brooklyn Half Largest Half Marathon in United States to Date in 2017

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Ethiopia’s Girma Bekele Gebre bettered his seventh-place finish from last year by winning the men’s race in 1:04:56 - NEW YORK  (May 20, 2017) - A total of 27,440 runners crossed the finish line at the 2017 Airbnb Brooklyn Half on Saturday, May 20, making it the largest half marathon to date in the United States in 2017.

This was the 37th running of the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, the second of five events in the NYRR Five-Borough Series. The course took runners through the heart of Brooklyn, beginning near the historic Brooklyn Museum, over the rolling hills of Prospect Park, through Grand Army Plaza, and down to the finish line on the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk.

Race week kicked off with a three-day celebration highlighting the distinct culture of Brooklyn at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Pre-Party presented by New Balance. Runners, friends, family, and the entire surrounding community enjoyed a free, unique experience filled with celebrations of fitness, hospitality, local food, and live musical performances at Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park from May 17-19.

Ethiopia’s Girma Bekele Gebre bettered his seventh-place finish from last year by winning the men’s race in 1:04:56, with compatriot Mengistu Tabor Nebsi finishing eight tenths of a second behind him and Uganda’s Harbert Okuti rounding out the top three in 1:05:02.

The women’s field was led by Ethiopia’s Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam – the 10th-place finisher at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon – who ran away with the victory 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.

Saturday’s notable finishers included two NYRR Team for Kids Ambassadors, New York Giants legend Tiki Barber, who completed the race in 1:49:55, and MTV personality Nev Schulman, who ran the 13.1-mile race in 1:32:36. Competitive eater, Yasir Salem, who will participate in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4, celebrated his 2:28:51 race with two hot dogs at the finish line.

Wedding season officially kicked off at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half with participants Alex Salazar and Krissa Cetner tying the knot at Mile 6 on the course. Amanda Hughes and Joel Tse celebrated the start of their wedding day by traversing from Prospect Park to Coney Island with 60 of their friends and family racing beside them. They will finish the day saying their “I do’s” in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood.

The third annual NYRR Youth Boardwalk Run at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, a one-mile out-and-back race on the Coney Island Boardwalk for youth runners ages 7 to 18, started and finished at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half finish line. Participants from NYRR’s free youth running programs were among the high school, middle school, and elementary school division runners.

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