MANHATTAN (PIX11) — The TCS New York City Marathon is just one week away, and to kick off festivities.

Through the rain, almost 1,000 kicks tied their laces to run through Central Park Sunday. All for the first-ever Rising New York Road Runners Kickoff.

“It feels good,” said Rishi Upadhyay. “It wasn’t that hard.”

Upadhyay came in first for one of the races. His mom said he practices once a week, and it’s been a lot of work to get here.

The race was open to kids 2 to 18 and featured several lengths, including short dashes and a 1.5-mile run.

Organizers said the race is a wonderful way to start marathon week ahead of the TCS New York City Marathon next weekend.  

“It’s a great way to get our kids out, get families out, get them into running. And start our big marathon week in New York City,”  said the CEO of NYRR, Rob Simmelkjaer.

Yuhan Cruz was another one of the day’s big winners. The 15-year-old called it a huge accomplishment.   

“It’s my second race of the season, and it’s really nice to win,” Cruz said.

His parents said they couldn’t be prouder. 

“We’re really proud he wanted to break 730, and he did it,” his parents said.

For many of these runners, the goal is to one day run the full marathon. They hope this race is a step in that direction.