The NYC Half Marathon Route For Runners, Mile by Mile

The start line of the 2023 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon
(Image credit: Brandon Koodish for New York Road Runners via Getty Images)

The New York City Half Marathon has been one of the New York Road Runners’ most popular races over the last decade. While the course has changed over the years, fans’ enthusiasm for it hasn’t wavered.

I ran the New York City Half Marathon twice when it took place entirely in the borough of Manhattan, running from Central Park to Battery Park in the Financial District. Some people might consider that to be more of a pure New York experience, but when I returned in 2023, eight years since the last time I ran it, I found the new Brooklyn-to-Manhattan course much more enjoyable. It has a New York City Marathon lite feel, with crowds out in full force even though it was 25℉ outside on that mid-March morning. 

Especially running this year on the new course, I’ve encouraged many friends who haven’t had luck with the marathon lottery to enter this one for a similar experience on an equally challenging course. And on that note, running the New York City Half Marathon last year turned out to be a well-timed tune-up run a month before my first Boston Marathon, which is also known to have a tough course.

If you’re running the New York City Half Marathon this year, here’s what to expect.

New York City Half Marathon Route Map


This map of the New York City Half Marathon route has been generated using Emilia Benton’s run in 2023, which was tracked using a Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. A combination of challenging conditions for GPS running watches and runners not being able to follow a perfect racing line accounts for the extra distance.

New York City Half Marathon Route Miles 1-2.5

While the race staging area (with bag check, portable restrooms, etc.) is inside Prospect Park, the race actually starts right outside the park, on Washington Avenue near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Runners enter Prospect Park within the first mile, though, and stay inside it for the next two-or-so miles.

New York City Half Marathon Route Miles 2.5-5

By looking at the course map alone, this long, flat straightaway through and out of Brooklyn lacks interest, but it’s what makes this race because it’s where you’ll find those World Marathon Major-esque crowds. Once you exit Prospect Park, you’ll head northwest toward Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza on Flatbush Avenue for nearly three miles. Before long, you’ll be able to see the Manhattan Bridge looming in the distance, well before you ascend it.

New York City Half Marathon Route Miles 5-6

Congrats, you’ve made it to the bridge. Many runners are probably mentally prepared for this to be one of the toughest parts of the race, but it’s actually just one of the longest, as there are hills throughout. Once you descend the bridge and enter Manhattan, you’ll finally start to see some famous landmarks in the city.

New York City Half Marathon Route Miles 7-10

Once you’re off the bridge, you’ll turn right onto Canal Street, another right a couple of blocks down at Allen Street, heading south, then left onto South Street, before taking another right onto the FDR Drive entrance ramp by Pier 36. From there, you’ll head north on the FDR Drive as you approach the East 42nd Street exit ramp. You’ll stay to the right side of the road and continue up the ramp before finally exiting the FDR Drive onto East 42nd Street at mile 10, with the United Nations to your right.

Athletes and participants in the 2023 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon run past Grand Central Station

Runners pass Grand Central Station (Image credit: Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

New York City Half Marathon Route Mile 11

Now that you’re finally on East 42nd Street, you’ll make your way through some of the landmarks the city and race is known for. You’ll run west on 42nd Street past Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park before reaching Seventh Avenue, where you’ll turn right and continue north through Times Square. Many locals and seasoned visitors alike tend to avoid Times Square due to how crowded it can get, but it really is a cool sight on race day, when runners take over the roads.

Participants run through Times Square during the United Airlines NYC Half on March 17, 2019

Runners pass the mile 11 marker in Times Square (Image credit: Drew Levin/New York Road Runners via Getty Images)

New York City Half Marathon Route Mile 12

As you pass Times Square, you’ll make your way through Midtown Manhattan for about another mile of flat streets as you make your way toward Central Park.

New York City Half Marathon Route Mile 13 to the finish

If you ran the old half-marathon course, you might be sad to learn that the current course only has you run the final mile in Central Park rather than nearly half of the race, but this means you are saved the hilly parts of the park. 

As you approach Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza, you’ll turn left into the park, running north on East Drive. You’ll turn left when you reach the 72nd Street Transverse, before making another final left turn onto West Drive and arriving at the finish line just above West 67th Street, near the Tavern on the Green restaurant. Congratulations, you’ve just finished a partial tour of New York City.

Emilia Benton

Emilia Benton is a freelance journalist primarily covering running, health, and fitness. She has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience and her work has appeared in publications such as Runner's World, SELF, SHAPE, Women's Health, Healthline, the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Gate, and others. Emilia has also been a runner herself since she was a 16-year-old high school sophomore. She ran her first marathon at the 2010 New York City Marathon and has since gone on to run 11 more marathons including the Boston Marathon, as well as more than 30 half marathons. She is also a USATF Level 1-certified run coach.