A Taste of Things to Come: Future Marathoners Enjoy the Excitement of Race Week


Youth runners joined in the festivities surrounding the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon in a big way, with more than 2,000 youth runners taking part in exciting celebrations all over the city.

On Monday, NYRR and The Trust for Public Land held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a newly refurbished playground at MS 227Q in Queens. We’re in the second year of a partnership designed to bring state-of-the-art playgrounds to communities across the five boroughs. Members of the student design committee that worked on the project spoke alongside TPL officials and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.


On Tuesday, NYRR staff joined New York City Council member Fernando Cabrera in distributing free New Balance shoes to participants in our Rising New York Road Runners youth program at MS 447X Preston Academy in the Bronx. The donations were part of NYRR’s 1 for You 1 for Youth initiative with New Balance.


The first of two big youth running events took place Thursday, when more than 1,000 Rising New York Road Runners participated in the 19th annual TCS Run with Champions in Central Park. Some of the top professional athletes from this year’s field, including defending TCS New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden, and NYRR Ambassadors Jenny Simpson, Beverly Ramos, and Meb Keflezighi joined them.


As the pros cheered them on, the kids showed their stuff in 400-meter fun runs that started and finished at the iconic TCS New York City Marathon finish line. For the third year, the TCS Run with Champions also showcased participants in our Rising New York Road Runners Runners Wheelchair Training Program. These inspiring youngsters had the opportunity to race alongside Paralympic medalists and NYRR Team for Kids Ambassadors Tatyana McFadden and Josh George.

On Sunday, youth took center stage at the fourth annual Rising New York Road Runners Youth Invitational at the TCS New York City Marathon. As 50,000 people were lining up in Staten Island and preparing to tackle the five boroughs, more than 1,000 youth from across the tri-state area ran the final stretch of the course and crossed the Central Park finish hours before anyone else.


The Rising New York Road Runners Youth Invitational field included several of our Youth Ambassadors, who spoke during events throughout the week. Raymond Zeng, an eighth grader from Brooklyn, and Kyana Estrella, a fifth grader from the Bronx, appeared on Thursday at a press conference for international professional athletes. Jack Perkins, a fifth grader from Manhattan, and Logan Sheldrake, a sixth grader from Brooklyn, spoke at a press event on Friday highlighting American male professionals. Soraiya Wescott, a fourth grader from Queens, and DeSheyla Green, an eighth grader Brooklyn, did likewise at an event for American female pros.

As part of those Friday events, the Abbott World Marathon Majors charity program announced a $25,000 gift for Rising New York Road Runners. Based on physical literacy and long-term athlete development, Rising New York Road Runners serves nearly 250,000 kids around the country.

Ken Partridge