1.2-mile Girls’ Run to include racers from NYRR’s Youth Wheelchair Training Program
New York, May 8, 2018 – The NYRR New York Mini 10K, already one of the most storied women’s only road races in the world, will feature a professional wheelchair division for the first time this year, starring four Paralympians racing through Central Park on Saturday, June 9. Five-time New York City Marathon champion Tatyana McFadden, along with Paralympians Amanda McGrory, Chelsea McClammer, and Susannah Scaroni, and newcomer Michelle Wheeler will make history by taking part in what is believed to be the only all-women’s professional wheelchair race in the world.
“We are excited to break new ground by creating the only all-women’s professional wheelchair race of its kind in the world, adding a third race to our annual calendar for professional wheelchair athletes in addition to the TCS New York City Marathon and United Airlines NYC Half,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events for NYRR and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “Having some of the most established American wheelchair racers in history, such as Tatyana and Amanda, leading this field will be a tremendous showcase for the sport in an iconic New York City location.”
McFadden, 29, of Clarksville, MD, is an NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador, 17-time Paralympic medalist, and 22-time Abbott World Marathon Majors race winner who has been a pioneer in the sport of wheelchair racing. She has five New York City Marathon titles, winning four straight from 2013 to 2016, and last year paced the Girls’ Run at the NYRR New York Mini 10K. Already in 2018, she won the Boston Marathon and finished second at the Virgin Money London Marathon.
“I’m so excited to join the first-ever professional wheelchair field at the NYRR New York Mini 10K and help pave the way for future generations of women in our sport,” McFadden said. “NYRR has been leading the way for wheelchair athletes of all ages in recent years, and it’s so great to be a part of their next step forward by creating the only all-women’s wheelchair race of its kind in the world.”
McFadden will be challenged by McGrory, a two-time New York City Marathon champion and seven-time Paralympic medalist, along with 2017 United Airlines NYC Half champion Scaroni and three-time Paralympic medalist McClammer. Rounding out the field will be Wheeler, a 31-year-old single mother who is a newcomer to the road racing scene after finding success in sprint distances.
The professional wheelchair race will begin at 7:50 a.m. on Central Park West at 61st Street and will finish at 67th Street on West Drive, with athletes vying for a first-place prize of $1,250.
The third annual Rising New York Road Runners at the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a 1.2-mile race for girls ages 12-18, will for the first time include a youth wheelchair heat with participants from NYRR’s Youth Wheelchair Training Program, and will kick off race day at 7:25 a.m. The Girls’ Run, which includes the youth wheelchair heat, will start at the same Columbus Circle location as the professional athletes and will head up Central Park West before finishing at the 72nd Street Transverse in Central Park. For the first time, all participants of the Girls’ Run will receive a free pair of New Balance running shoes donated by Citi. Additionally, as part of Citi’s Global Community Day, Citi volunteers will help support the runners and ensure a smooth, successful start and finish of the race.
Founded in 1972 as the six-mile Crazylegs Mini Marathon, the NYRR New York Mini 10K got its name when race founder Fred Lebow convinced the sponsor to support a six-mile “mini” marathon—named for the miniskirt, a big fashion trend of the times. Seventy-two women finished that first race, which helped show that women deserved to run in road races as much as their male counterparts. Three weeks later, Title IX was signed into law, guaranteeing women the right to participate in school sports and creating new opportunities for female athletes. The International Olympic Committee added the women’s marathon to the Olympic program for the first time at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, a decision sparked by the growth of women’s road racing, which was led by the success of the Mini.
From those who led the way 46 years ago, such as race legends Kathrine Switzer and Nina Kuscsik and the event’s inaugural champion Jacqueline (Marsh) Dixon, to the 199,733 women who have finished the race since 1972, the NYRR New York Mini 10K has served as one of the most impactful women’s races in running history.
About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
In 2018, NYRR is celebrating 60 years of helping and inspiring 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, community events, youth running initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, 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 50,000 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.