NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)New York Road Runners welcomed athletes back Saturday for the first in-person race since the pandemic began.

Thousands of women hit the pavement in Central Park for the annual New York Mini 10K.

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Runners began at East Drive and 73rd Street and crossed the finish line at West Drive and 72nd Street.

After a year of virtual races, participants were thrilled to be back.

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“The women’s race is gonna set the standard now for the rest of the year,” Puerto Rican Olympian Beverly Ramos said.

“It’s not the same when you’re just doing virtual races and everything. It’s different. Something feels completely different when you’re here,” 13-year-old runner Venus Tario said.

Sara Hall won her second consecutive title with a time of 31 minutes and 31 seconds.

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Race officials say it’s the fastest time by an American in the event’s 49 years.

CBSNewYork Team