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It’s almost here! The NYC Marathon is all set for this Sunday, November 5th. The 26.2-mile course travels through all five boroughs. (To this, our feet say, “Ouch!”) The starting point is at the western end of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on Staten Island; the race begins at 9:30 a.m. The route then weaves through Brooklyn Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx and finishes up in Central Park right near Tavern on the Green. Over 130 bands will play along the route–that’s an average of five per mile!

So where’s the best place to watch? First of all, yes, it will be crowded. Over 1,000,000 fans will be cheering on the expected 50,000 runners. Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn is a great place to cheer on the runners as they exit the Verrazano (miles 2-4). (FYI spectators are not allowed on the bridge.) The sidewalk in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn (mile 10-13) will be a cool place to watch, not the least because there are plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can get a bite or a cup of coffee. Ditto First Avenue on the east side of Manhattan (miles 16-18). Check out East Harlem’s vibrant Latino community during miles 18-20. And of course you know that Fifth Avenue is the home to many of our best museums (miles 23-24).

Want to get a center seat for the finish line by 67th St. and Central Park West? Purchase a grandstand seating ticket, which runs from $25 to $50.

“Forget watching,” you say. “I want in! Where do I sign up?”  Well, head right here to register, our superfit friends. We’ll be cheering you on! And don’t forget to drop by  North Square for a bit of carb loading on Saturday night!

Check out the course map here.

Image via Philip Bump/Flickr