Marathon runners

What To Expect At The Largest Marathon In The World

This weekend, for the 46th time, the TCS New York City Marathon will cut through the five boroughs of America’s most iconic city. The race is everything you’d expect from a New York event: It’s the largest marathon in the world; it’s full of surprises and will feature thousands of runners as diverse and driven as the city itself. We are excited to see not only who crosses the finish line first, but to hear the amazing stories the athletes bring with them to the race. But, before the big day gets here, we wanted to share a few pointers with the runners and spectators alike.

To the runners:

  • Mind the hills – The NYC Marathon doesn’t have Boston’s infamous Heartbreak Hill, but that doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing. You’ll knock elbows in the crowd crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. You’ll rally across the 59th Street Bridge. But, while these two seem to be the talk on race day, don’t push too hard up front and forget the small, repetitive hills waiting around Central Park. It’s not their incline or length as much as where they are so late in the race that makes them a challenge.
  • Thank the weather gods – Much of the country is experiencing unseasonable temperatures right now, but this weekend in NYC? Race day highs are in the upper 50s. Of course it will depend on where and how you’ve been training, but if you have to hand pick the weather for a race day, it’s looking like this year’s forecast would be a hard one to beat!
  • Enjoy the course! – Yes, you are here to race. Yes, you want to set a new PR and return home with a story to dazzle and delight. But be sure to look up. Take in the sights and sounds of the city. As much as music and mind games keep your head in the race, so can truly engaging in the sensory experience of the course. This is one of the most famous cities on earth, after all!

To the spectators:

  • Stake your spot!There are plenty of great places to watch and cheer on the runners. Make sure you find yours early. Remember, there are no spectator spots at the start or on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Also, the area around the finish line is for grandstand ticket-holders. Check the course map, do a little research on the area, and stake your claim to a few square feet of sidewalk for the morning. If you plan well, you may be able to do some crafty spot-hopping throughout the morning.
  • Cheer the runners – The (loud) good wishes and encouragement are often a welcome refrain to a tired, goal-seeking runner on mile 4 or 24. So, whether you’re sipping an artisanal coffee in Williamsburg as the runners race past or standing guard at a Duane Reade on 1st Avenue, whistle and cheer for the racers when they reach your perch. You’ll have more fun and the runners will appreciate your efforts.

Whether you’re running the race or watching from the sidewalks, marathon day is one like no other in the city. Make sure that you plan your time carefully to make the most of race weekend. There will be events across the city leading up the big day and plenty of light-hearted reverie (or partying) around town after the photo finish. We’ll be there cheering and hope to see you there. Keep in touch with us before, during, and after the race over on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Best of luck the runners of the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon!



Shalane Flanagan's Marathon Training: How the Olympian trains for the marathon. 

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Amy Cragg's Marathon Tips:  See what the Olympic marathoner recommends when it comes to tapering, accountability and nutrition. 

Running Tips: How to taper for race day. 

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