NYPD outpace FDNY to win inaugural Commissioner’s Cup
New York, March 19, 2023 – Kenya’s Hellen Obiri and Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo won the open division titles and the United States’ Susannah Scaroni and the Netherlands’ Jetze Plat claimed the wheelchair division crowns on Sunday at the 2023 United Airlines NYC Half, leading nearly 25,000 runners from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
Obiri, an Olympic and World Championships medalist, finished in 1:07:21, breaking the event record set by Senbere Teferi last year by 14 seconds. Teferi, a two-time Olympian from Ethiopia, was second in 1:07:55, followed by Karoline Bjerkell Grovdal of Norway in third in 1:09:53.
“I’m so grateful to have won this race,” Obiri said. “It’s my first half marathon in the U.S. It was very windy, so I tried to push myself, but after 15K I thought maybe I can make a move and I tried to go, and push the pace. I’m happy to have won this race today.”
Des Linden was the top American finisher in the women’s open division, finishing fifth in 1:12:21, followed by three-time event champion Molly Huddle, who was seventh in 1:12:27.
Half-marathon world-record holder Kiplimo took the tape in the men’s open division in 1:01:31, outpacing fellow countryman and Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei, who was the runner-up in 1:02:09. It marked the first race in New York for both athletes. Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi was third in 1:02:18.
“From the start to the finish, even though it was a little cold, I did my best,” Kiplimo said. “I think my preparation the last two months helped a lot for this because I was doing two trainings a day preparing for the World Cross Country Championships, plus this half marathon.”
Ben True, the 2018 champion, was the top American finisher in the men’s open division, finishing fourth in 1:02:57.
In the women’s wheelchair division, Scaroni took her second event title in 55:47, the fifth-fastest time in race history. Scaroni, a two-time Paralympic medalist, has now won her last three consecutive NYRR races, including the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon and Mastercard New York Mini 10K. Switzerland’s Manuela Schär finished 11 seconds behind Scaroni in 55:56, followed by another Swiss racer, Catherine Debrunner, in 1:01:10.
“I like getting to give everything I have that day and I did that today, so it’s nice to be able to be here and that just makes me happy,” Scaroni said. “I don’t take racing for granted at all, especially now, as I’ve had to miss some races for miscellaneous things and so it’s always an honor and you’re always grateful you made it to the start.”
Plat won the men’s wheelchair division in 48:28, also the fifth fastest time in history, finishing 4:39 ahead of runner-up Daniel Romanchuk of the United States. It marked the largest margin of victory ever in the men’s wheelchair race. Romanchuk clocked in at 53:07 and American Evan Correll rounded out the podium in third in 58:19.
“I was really looking forward to start against Daniel Romanchuk; he’s such a legend in the sport, so I was preparing for a hard battle together,” Plat said. “I was able to drop him on an uphill and it was a hard push to the finish, so I’m super happy.”
In the general runner field, the NYPD defeated the FDNY to win the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup, a friendly competition between New York’s Finest and New York’s Bravest. Members of the two run clubs competed for the trophy with Commissioner Laura Kavanagh and Commissioner Keechant Sewell serving as honoring captains. The top five finishers from each run club were factored into the scoring.
Additionally, nearly 1,000 kids stopped traffic at the Times Square Kids Run, a 1,500-meter out-and-back course on Seventh Avenue for kids ages 8-18. Participants were part of Rising New York Road Runners, NYRR’s flagship free youth physical activity program that helps kids develop the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life. The program serves over 112,000 students nationwide, including nearly 50,000 in New York City.
The United Airlines NYC Half is one of the world’s premier half marathons and this year featured nearly 25,000 runners. The race took runners on a 13.1-mile journey from Brooklyn to Manhattan, passing through Times Square to make it the only time other than New Year’s Eve the crossroads of the world is closed to traffic.
About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.