NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thousands of runners will be hitting the pavement over the weekend for the New York City Half-Marathon.

If you aren’t ready to take on such a challenge, you may want to consider running as the weather warms up.

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As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson explained, it’s not only good for the body, but good for the mind as well.

Jon Schlueter, 27, took up running just over a year ago and got hooked. He’s run in 17 races so far.

“It’s just such a positive feeling when you’re surrounded by thousands of people for the same passion, same goal,” he said.

Running, and the positive feelings from it have turned Schlueter’s life around. Before he started to run he suffered from crippling bouts of depression.

“It was difficult,” he said, “You’re just in this very dark place that you don’t know which way you need to go to get out.”

It turned out, what he needed to do was run.

“Your mind gets a lot clearer, you feel a lot better. You just get put in this very, very positive mindset,” he said.

Psychiatrist Dr. Drew Ramsey knows why Schlueter is feeling better. Science has proven that running floods the brain with mood enhancing endorphins.

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“They increase our perception of happiness and decrease our perception of pain,” Dr. Ramsey explained, “They really change the overall chemistry of the brain, and put us in a much more positive space.”

Running alone gave Schlueter time to clear his mind and sort things out.

“Even your worst run will still feel amazing no matter what. I don’t think I’ve ever had a run where I felt worse,” he said.

Recently he’s found it helpful to run with a group.

“Once you’re out running with other people that have the same passion it feels even better,” he said.

Although his depression resurfaces from time to time, Schlueter said running has given him strength and endurance, not only in the sport, but also in life.

“It’s given me hope that I am getting better. I will get better, and there’s something always to look forward to,” he said, “I will be crossing finish lines every month of every year.”

Schlueter is taking part in Sunday’s race, and so is CBS2’s Johnson.

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The half-marathon begins in Central Park at 7:30 and ends near the famous bull statue on Wall Street.