WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- When Steve Siegel, 79, of White Plains hits the streets of Brooklyn on Saturday to take part in the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon, it will be the 97th time he has run a half-marathon in 38 years.
And while he might not run the entire race, mixing in a little walking, then running again, Siegel said running is a big part of his life, something he still does three to four days a week as part of the New York Road Runners, the organization behind the NYC Marathon and many other races year-round.
The former information technology employee, who has also run 30 full marathons including 19 NYC marathons, has pounded the payment since 1977 from the streets of White Plains to Iceland, London, Prague, Stockholm, Rio de Janeiro and back to New York City.
"Running in the NYC marathon is like attending a live, moving party," Siegel said. "It's exhausting, but a lot of fun. It's hard to explain how exciting it is."
He began running after his tennis partner in Scarsdale was late to a tennis match because he had been out jogging. "I figured if he can run three miles, so can I," he said with a laugh.
After this weekend's run, Siegel is already signed up and ready for his 98th in Vermont and his 99th to Albany. The big 100th is still being planned and will depend on where and how much it cost. And, of course, if his wife agrees with the location.
On Saturday, May 21, Siegel will join an estimated 25,000 participants from around the world – the largest half marathon in the world. The Brooklyn 13.1 mile course will take runners from the historic Brooklyn Museum down to the finish line on the Coney Island boardwalk.
A crown jewel of the NYRR Five-Borough Series, the Airbnb Brooklyn Half and the NYRR Kids’ Boardwalk Run will kick off with the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Pre-Party presented by New Balance — a free, three-day celebration for runners and the public, Thursday, May 18 to Friday, May 20, at Pier 2, Brooklyn Bridge Park.