2015 NYC Halfvia Flickr http://flic.kr/p/sdRPn8Let’s get this out of the way up front, if you look at the course, yes you can run most of this course any day of the week yourself. With the first 6 miles inside Central Park and the last 5 miles running along the West Side Highway, this is a route that many runners do on their own. The big reason to run this race is for miles 6-8, coming out of Central Park you run down 7th Ave (yes in the middle of 7th Ave) to Times Square and then along 42nd St to the West Side Highway. This is your only opportunity to run thru Times Square and it’s a great experience to run thru that area with the streets closed and the crowds along that section.
I ran this at 8:10 pace and finished around ~1:49 but i over-ran the race by about 400M so closer to ~1:46 ignoring the extra distance.
Organization is typical NYRR (which is to say great), this race is pretty large around 20K runners and based on lottery so sign up for NYRR to receive the notice and put your name into the drawing in January. It is a 3 wave start, I was in the 1st wave and it wasn’t too crowded, i could see it being a little more crowded in the back later groups.
Overall i think is is a great race to run, the experience of running through Times Square is unique enough that i feel it’s worth it despite the fact that you can run most of the course on your own.