New York Road Runners
January 3, 2014
Cole Atkins and Amanda Winslow are victorious in Central Park's first race of the new year
NEW YORK - More than 4,500 people of all ages and fitness levels started 2014 on a healthy foot at the 35th NYRR Midnight RunPresented by Emerald Nuts. Held in Central Park, the event includes festivities in and around the Bandshell—a party with a DJ dancing, a costume contest and parade, and plenty of general merriment—that lead up to a four-mile unscored run that begins at the stroke of midnight, which also marks the beginning of a spectacular fireworks display.
Cole Atkins and Amanda Winslow won the race, beginning the New Year with meaningful victories. Atkins, 28, covered the hilly, four-mile loop course in 18 minutes, 45 seconds, while Winslow, 23, stopped the clock in 21:31.
"It means a lot to me [to win]. It was such a fun race," Winslow told Race Results Weekly. "Every New Year's I thought it would be so fun to be out running a race, unlike most people who would rather be doing something else. I'm really glad I finally had the chance to do that and it was way more fun. So much energy."
Participants in the run (which features a small elite field of runners who strive to start the year on a speedy note) include hundreds of kids, most of them running with parents and sharing a fun and fit beginning to the new year. Many runners don costumes, blow horns, ring bells, and whoop it up, encouraged by spectators lining the course to cheer them on.
“It’s fun no matter who you are and how much or how little you currently run,” said Ellen Casey of Manhattan, who first ran the Midnight Run “years ago, when I was young and single,” and tonight took part with her 8-year-old son, Ryan.
Emerald Nuts, a longtime sponsor of the Midnight Run, enhanced the celebrations by having butlers offer “a little taste of the good life”—snacks served on fancy trays—to runners and spectators before the run. Other special aspects of the event this year were flashing bracelets for all participants (which some runners wore on their ankles) and a tunnel of technology featuring laser lights, located at the two-mile mark on the 102nd Street Transverse.
There was also the ever-popular sparkling cider refreshment station, also on the Transverse, which offered runners a chance to catch their breath before pushing on to the finish, located at the start on the 72nd Street Transverse.
“Are you having fun?” a group of spectators called out to runners—who included a banana, several cows, and bottles of ketchup and mustard—as they headed back down the west side. The happy chorus of positive replies said it all: 2014 was off to a great start.
For more information, visit http://www.nyrr.org