Mini-Marathoners Run With the Champions

October 30, 2009 Updated: October 30, 2009

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe (3rd from L) and New York Road Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg (C) along with others paint the finish line of the New York City Marathon on Thursday morning. (Aloysio Santos/The Epoch Times)
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe (3rd from L) and New York Road Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg (C) along with others paint the finish line of the New York City Marathon on Thursday morning. (Aloysio Santos/The Epoch Times)
NEW YORK—The 40th New York City Marathon will take place Sunday morning, and some of New York’s youngest marathoners got a shot at a mini-marathon Thursday morning in Central Park.

As part of the preview activities scheduled throughout the week, Run With the Champions included over 1,000 school kids who participated in 400-meter and one-mile races, running along side some of the top runners who will compete in Sunday’s race. Students also participated in clinics with professional runners.

Former marathoner Grete Waitz, who set a world record in her first time running in the New York City marathon in 1978, kicked off the activities. Waitz went on to break her own record three more times and win the marathon 13 times. 

To start the day’s events, which were held near the marathon finish line in Central Park near The Tavern on Green, New York Road Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg along with Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and others painted the blue finish line that will be the goal of the 40,000 runners expected to participate in Sunday’s race.

The marathon will begin at 8:20 a.m. on Sunday with the runners being released in groups. The wheelchair group will start first, followed by large groups starting in 20-minute intervals, or waves, of about 14,000 runners at a time. The 26.2-mile racecourse touches on all five boroughs beginning in Staten Island at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and travels through Brooklyn, Queens, into East Manhattan, up to the Bronx, and back to Manhattan to finish in Central Park.

About 1,000 students ran in 400-meter and one-mile races Thursday morning in Central Park as part of the New York City Marathon preview activities. (Aloysio Santos/The Epoch Times)
About 1,000 students ran in 400-meter and one-mile races Thursday morning in Central Park as part of the New York City Marathon preview activities. (Aloysio Santos/The Epoch Times)