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Feats Of Strong Will: 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter Anchor Nicole Briscoe Completes (Half) Marathon Day

"When I got up from the desk to walk away, my hips were a little sore, and you feel like the Tin Man," said Briscoe after her double-duty with ESPN and the 13.1-mile United Airlines NYC Half

Sunday was a marathon of a day for SportsCenter anchor Nicole Briscoe – literally and figuratively.

Briscoe admits to feeling a little tired when she anchored the 11 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter Sunday night, and rightfully so. Earlier in the day, she and her husband Ryan Briscoe competed in the United Airlines NYC Half, a 13.1-mile running race on New York City streets.

The race was another step in her return from a serious knee injury she suffered in February 2021 that required two surgeries. She ran in and finished the full New York Marathon last November but says she wasn’t ready and shouldn’t have done it.

But for this half-marathon, she was much more prepared.

“It was a really, really good day,” she said. “Since the knee injury, it’s just been a battle to get back. It feels like it’s been such a long process and there’s been so much rehab and training and trying to feel like I’m still in there.

“So I need to do these things to get back in terms of getting stronger again, and it’s been nice to have the race as a goal – it’s the payoff for the hard work. And I like doing it. It’s just fun.”

The Briscoes spent the night in Manhattan but were up before 5 a.m. to get ready for their starting time of 7:20 a.m. in Brooklyn. Her race time was 2 hours, 10 minutes – only a few minutes off of her personal best. They had lunch, drove home to Connecticut, and she spent some time on the couch.

“I felt tired,” she said. “Not necessarily terribly sore, just tired.”

Then it was on to ESPN to prepare for the show.

“I probably wasn’t my most energetic self,” she said. “And by the time the end of the show came, I’d been sitting and had gotten a little stiff. When I got up from the desk to walk away, my hips were a little sore, and you feel like the Tin Man where you need to oil your joints. I felt like I was squeaking when I was walking down the hallway.”

Her goal now is a return to the full New York Marathon in November. For this unplanned March double-bill (see sidebar below), she was congratulated by – among others – her former SportCenter AM tag-team partner Randy Scott.

“Last year, finishing it was the goal,” she said. “Now that I know I can do it, I want to go back and be properly trained and do it.”

(L) Nicole and Ryan Briscoe after the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon; (R) she’s on the SC set with college basketball analyst Jay Bilas. (L: Courtesy Nicole Briscoe’s Instagram account; R: ESPN)
Double-Booked: Running Half-Marathon and Working in Same Day Wasn’t Planned

Doing both things in one day wasn’t planned – it was due to an oversight on Briscoe’s part. In February, she moved from her former home on the morning edition of SportsCenter to nights, and the half-marathon commitment conflicting with work slipped her mind.

“I’d been signed up to do this for a long time, so I had just planned that I wouldn’t work the day before,” she said. “I forgot that working the night of would be a possibility with the schedule change, and I never requested the day off. Then when the schedule came out, and I saw I was working that night. I was like, ‘oh well, I’ll make it work.’”


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