The New Year’s Eve Midnight Run – And How it Got Started

Due to the pandemic, the New York Road Runners won’t be hosting their annual Midnight Run in Central Park this New Year’s Eve. But starting on the first day of 2021, there will be a virtual resolution run; 5 kilometers which can be completed anywhere until January 17. Learn more about it here.

In years past, several thousand people would ring in the new year by “running into it,” often in costume. As they ran, a canopy of fireworks would loom above them while another few thousand spectators would sing “Auld Lang Syne” before “oohing and ahhing” at the sight of fireworks lighting up the skies over Central Park.

Central Park Fireworks

New Year's Eve Midnight Run

New Year's Eve Midnight Run Central Park

The Midnight Run was founded by a man named George Hirsch, with the first run taking place in 1979.

Hirsch had helped Fred Lebow start the five-borough New York City Marathon in 1976 to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial, and with the success of the first race, it became an annual occurrence and one of the world’s leading sporting events. The 2020 Marathon, like many events, was virtual.

Subsequently — in 1979 — Hirsch founded the Midnight Run in New York’s Central Park, a race that has since taken place every New Year’s Eve until now.

We’re looking forward to next year’s run, but for now, here are some clips of the event from years past:


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