On October 7th, 2015 Runners gathered in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to participate in the largest inaugural half marathon ever held in the USA. The Rock n Roll half marathon drew more than 17,000 participants from more than 32 countries around the globe.

The race start line at the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, New York

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series has been designed to make running fun while raising much needed funds for participating charities. What started as a simple idea in 1998 – a marathon with bands along the course, soon transformed into the second running boom. While the entertainment and energy of a festival weekend defines the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series experience, runners have raised more than $310 million for charities. In the case of this event, the funds raised from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Event were going to the American Cancer Society.

Runners starting out on the race course Setting up another one of the RRT rest stops along the route with cups of Water

It was the perfect weather for running and enthusiasm was high as the starting shot was fired. Multiple bands along with strategically placed cheer stations and water stations encouraged the runners as they made their way along Eastern Parkway and Ocean Avenue and finally back to Prospect Park.

Runners grabbing some much needed sustenance to continue the rest of the event

Almost sixty Rapid Relief Team (RRT) volunteers were stationed on Ocean Avenue with refreshments for runners. RRT volunteers began arriving in Brooklyn as early as 4:30 AM to start setting up their stations and preparing for the day. As runners passed, volunteers cheered them on while offering Gatorade and water. During and after the race, they assisted in clearing the streets of debris and cleaning up.

Volunteers clearing the busy streets of New York City of debris

Only 1 hour, 5 minutes and 3 seconds after starting the 13.1 mile (21.1K) race Birhanu Dare Kemal of Ethiopia celebrated with hands raised high as he crossed the finish line, one second before fellow Ethiopian, Mekuria Abebe Sihine. The first female to finish the race was Salome Kosgei of Kenya at 1 hour, 15 minutes and 53 seconds.

The finish line festival in Prospect Park The top finishers of the day

Half marathons are increasing in popularity as they present a significant challenge but do not require the same amount of training that full marathons do.

A Group Photo of the RRT Volunteers

RRT is thankful for the privilege of being part of this great event and looks forward to continuing its volunteer efforts in upcoming events supporting charitable causes.

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