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Word spread among committed runners and soon there were 250 members.
Longtime president and marathon co-founder Fred L'bow chose Central Park as the location for the first NYC Marathon, but the group soon shifted to a five borough race, which was the beginning of pulling a struggling city together through running.
The seventies were an era of rapid growth for the organization. Race after race was added. And the world’s best runners started racing in New York. Unknown runner Greta Whites came, raced, and won in 1978 eventually winning nine times and establishing a lifetime friendship with Fred.
When women were demanding sports equality and Title 9 was was on people’s minds, New York Road Runners was right there supporting with the first all women’s road race. And it wasn’t just women who wanted equality. With over thirty one thousand members and at just over 30 years old, New York Road Runners meant serious running. But also, serious fun.
Beloved Fred Lebow was an inspiration as he ran through treatment for brain cancer. When he passed away, Allen Steinfeld took over as President and a new era of expansion, inclusion and outreach was ushered in.
Not even two months after terror gripped the country, the NYC Marathon brought the healing power of running to a devastated city.
To combat childhood obesity and a lack of funding for PE programs, Team For Kids was created to share the joys and benefits of running with children around the country.
New York Road Runners members have raised money and attention for countless charities And they’ve gone the distance for New York. Over half of the 200,000 kids in our programs today are Mighty Milers in NYC elementary schools.
Our training teaches the fundamentals in an engaging and motivating way. We’re getting seniors moving while inspiring connection. And we’ve got programs in all five boroughs. But we don’t stop there, we’re spreading the joy of running across the globe.
Today more than a million people have run the marathon. Raised over $165 million dollars. But countless more have spread our mission of helping and inspiring people through running. Here. Across the country. And around the world.
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