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Editor’s note: New Balance is supporting four runners to compete in the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon. From now until November, Tempo is partnering with New Balance as we follow these four aspiring runners to the finish line and beyond. Along the way, we’ll also shine a light on some of the inclusive run crews and communities helping them reach their highest goals.

We're celebrating the message that each person has their own story and their own way of running. Because the only right way to run is your way.

It’s every runner’s ambition, right? The TCS New York City Marathon. The biggest in the world, with 47,743 finishers in 2022.

From Staten Island through Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx to Manhattan. Five bridges, five boroughs. All the way, thousands of strangers cheering you on.

Looking out to the Statue of Liberty early on; running through Central Park to reach the finish line. The term “iconic” gets 26.2 miles of wear and tear on this race.

And yet, for Australians, it’s pretty much a pipedream. First, it’s on the other side of the world. If you’re on the east coast, for example, it’s almost 16,000km between New York and Sydney. This adds a considerable expense, plus the rigours of long-haul travel, before you can even think about getting to the starting line.

“As we follow these four aspiring runners’ journeys to the finish line and beyond, we’ll shine a light on the run crew communities that support them to reach their highest goals.”

Dylan Rainforth

But the real barriers come with gaining entry to the race. You can sign up for the draw, but good luck with that. Last year, more than 84,000 runners applied and about 12%, roughly 10,000 runners, were chosen.

Or you might aim to run the – very fast – nominal qualifying time for your age and gender. Even that might not guarantee you a bib, since times run in the organising body New York Road Runners’ races take priority over other competitions, which presents the Catch-22 that the NYRR events are run in New York. Non-NYRR events on certified courses are acceptable but are judged on a first-come, first-served basis (during a narrow 14-day application window in February) rather than fastest times.

You could book a charity team spot or with a tour group. The charities are great causes, but neither they nor the tour operators come cheap. You’re looking at thousands of dollars, with a battered Aussie exchange rate to boot.

If that weren’t enough, most of these entry points are now closed or at capacity for the 2023 marathon anyway. But we’ve found another way for four lucky – and dedicated – runners.

Sophie Hlipala


New Balance is a sponsor of the London and New York City marathons and has access to a select number of entry bibs for NYC. At Tempo, we’ve always championed Australia’s run crews. They’re the collective engine room that powers the sport and the culture.

So it’s a natural fit – and massively exciting – to partner with New Balance on its initiative to give one runner from each of four leading Australian crews an experience they will never forget: a chance to run the New York City Marathon.

Sam Friend

Along the way, as we follow these four aspiring runners’ journeys to the finish line and beyond, we’ll shine a light on the run crew communities that support them to reach their highest goals. To put that in context, for three of our runners, New York will be their first complete marathon. But all of them are serious about their commitment – they’re everyday runners, just like you, who are out there giving it their all.

On this journey, we’re celebrating the New Balance message that running doesn’t care what you look like or where you’re from. There is no right or wrong way to run. Running will take you exactly how you are, so Run Your Way.

Nima Mirzarazi

These four runners represent a microcosm of Australian running culture. You’ll hear stories from someone who only started three years ago but who is already pushing into the sub-elite category. You’ll learn how the sport helped one runner to embrace his sexuality amid the welcoming, inclusive community of his run club. We’ll chat with someone who only reluctantly traded his football boots for running shoes but who now plays an essential role in his crew’s social fabric. And we’ll follow the remarkable journey of a Gold Coast runner who, after losing her father at an early age, was raised and supported in her running endeavours by her single mother. This runner recently made a triumphant marathon debut on the same course that she had run her first 10km race when she was only 10 years old.

All of them are running their way.

Leshay 01P
Leshay Wells

The project will explore the ways in which these amateur runners juggle marathon training alongside normal life. We’ll follow them to New York to capture the week leading up to the big day as well as the marathon itself. We’ll be there for the highs and lows – all the first times, the feels, the emotions.

Our four amateur runners will receive material support from New Balance, too. As well as the all-important entry bib, they’ve each been given pre-release access to the new Fresh Foam X 1080v13 for their training mileage and, on the big day, will be running in the cutting-edge FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3. That's as well as New Balance kitting them out head-to-toe in the latest apparel for training and the race itself. After the race, the Tempo video crew will head to Boston to bring you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at New Balance headquarters.

Click on the links below to meet the runners New Balance is helping reach the New York City Marathon.

Sophie Hlipala from RunAsOne
Sam Friend from Hunter Athletics
Nima Mirzarazi from Furies
Leshay Wells from Gold Coast Run Co.

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