NYRR Returns To Competition with Mastercard NY Mini 10K

(22-Apr) — The world’s oldest road race for women, the newly-branded Mastercard New York Mini 10-K, will make it’s return after a year hiatus on Saturday, June 12, and will feature an elite field, New York Road Runners officials announced today.  It will be the 49th edition of this iconic event, founded in 1972, and the field will be limited to approximately 1,200 runners.

“We are thrilled to be bringing back the Mastercard New York Mini 10-K and our professional athletes for a race that has inspired and empowered women in the running community and beyond for nearly 50 years,” said NYRR interim CEO Kerin Hempel through a statement.  “NYRR will ensure a smooth and safe experience for all involved in the event through the health and safety guidelines we have developed with the City of New York and medical experts.”

Sara Hall winning the 2019 NYRR New York Mini 10-K in 32:27 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Sara Hall, who won the last edition of the Mini when it was the USATF 10-K Championships in 2019, will be running this year’s race, officials said.  Hall, a ten-time national champion, had a tremendous competitive year in 2020 despite the pandemic.  Although she failed to finish the USA Olympic Trials Marathon, she clocked 2:22:01 to take second at the special fall edition of the Virgin Money London Marathon, then rallied back to win The Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz., in a career best 2:20:32.  That made her the second-fastest American of all-time behind only national record holder Deena Kastor.

“The Mini is such a great celebration of women, history, and running, and it was an honor to add my name to the winners’ list in 2019,” said Hall through a statement.  “It’s been such a groundbreaking race in so many ways, so it seems fitting that it will be one of the first big events in New York City since the pandemic began. I’ve been really lucky to benefit from some cool new race opportunities over the last year, and it’s exciting to see the return of established and historic events like the Mini.”

The professional athletes taking part will be in a controlled environment, New York Road Runners officials said.  The field will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before traveling to New York and will undergo daily COVID-19 testing and tracing while in New York for the race. There will be a separation of the pro field and general field at the start, no guests will be allowed to accompany the athletes, and they will be required to wear masks at the start and finish. Additionally, there will be an elimination of touchpoints, including no large gatherings or in-person meetings until race morning.

The full professional athlete field –-both the open division and wheelchair division-– will be announced closer to the date of the race; the event is the only all-women professional wheelchair race in the world.

The Mini has won by some of the greatest runners in history, including Grete Waitz, Tegla Loroupe, Lornah Kiplagat, Deena Kastor, Mary Keitany and Paula Radcliffe.  The 2019 race, where Hall was the winner, was the first and only time that the race served as a USATF Championships.  Other notable American winners include Molly Huddle, Anne-Marie Lauck, Judi St. Hilaire, and Francie Larrieu.  Jacqueline Dixon won the inaugural edition of the race.

Mastercard is the first title sponsor for the Mini since eyewear company Oakley in 2015.

“The New York Mini 10-K is a momentous symbol of the perseverance and dedication shared by women all around the New York running community,” said Cheryl Guerin, executive vice-president of North America Marketing & Communications at Mastercard through a medial release.  “We are proud to partner with New York Road Runners on bringing this special race back and inspiring all New Yorkers to prioritize their health, wellness and exercise in their daily lives.”

Over 200,000 women have finished the race which begins on Central Park West and finishes at the TCS New York City Marathon finish line in Central Park.  The 2019 race had 8,886 finishers.

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