Side by side, nearly 8,000 women ran 13.1 miles around Central Park on Sunday in the 16th annual Shape Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon.

“It’s so important for people to just be able to share health and wellbeing with each other,” said NYRR President and CEO, Michael Capiraso. “This race really depicts that, some of them are going to run, some of them are going to walk/run. Regardless, we are here to support them.”

The women came from across the country to run two laps around Central Park, starting near Tavern on the Green and ending near the Bethesda Terrace. And they didn’t come alone.

Supporters stood on the sidelines to cheer for their daughters.

“This is her first run after an injury and she’s very excited,” said one proud mother.

 “She’s been trying to push herself. She’s in nursing school, her husband’s in the Army. So he’s far away, so she’s trying to push herself a little bit more and she’s really, really excited,” said another mother.

Others rooted for mom.

“It’s my mom’s 60th half-marathon,” raved one daughter. “She did 60 before 60, she turns 60 in August. She did her first one here five years ago.”

For the runners, this race wasn’t about finishing first or fastest. It was about being a part of a mission and movement to support women, even if it left them breathless at the end.

“Empowering as usual,” said one runner. “Every day is empowering when people speak up for themselves.”

“Beautiful. I run a lot of races, and when you’re out with the women, there’s a sisterhood that can’t be described in any other way than just ‘awesome,’” said another woman.

Organizers of the 16th Annual Shape Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon want to keep the conversation going about women’s empowerment with the social media hashtag #WomenRuntheWorld.