NYC Marathon Sunday Starting line at Verrazano Bridge

NYC Marathon Sunday

Yep, it’s that time of year. Tomorrow night, you will see thousands of extremely fit (and we mean zero-%-body fat fit) men and women carb-loading to prepare for the NYC Marathon. Here’s what you want to know about NYC Marathon Sunday:

How the NYC Marathon got it’s start

The first New York City Marathon was organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, Vice President of the NYRR (NY Road Runners Club). It took place only within Central Park, 127 people entered and the fee was $1. The mission of the NYRR is to build community through running, and the Marathon certainly does that. It became a symbol of unity, hope and renewal when it ran just 2 months after 911.

Over the years, it grew in popularity and included running the 5 boroughs in 1976 with 2,090 entrants. Read the history of the NYC Marathon here

On Sunday morning, thousands of runners speed their way across all 5 NY boroughs. In 2018, 52,811 runners completed the 26.2 mile course. The average finish time was about 4 hours, 40 minutes. 

About the Marathon

The run starts in four waves, beginning at 9:50 am. The course is 26.2 miles and travels through all 5 boroughs. The runners gather at the starting point in Staten Island, at the western end of the Verrazano bridge (pictured in the featured photo).

The highest-ranking runners take off first and the pack follows.  It is a spectacular sight.

The athletes then make their way through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx before crossing the finish line in Central Park, just outside of the famed Tavern on the Green.

Check out the Marathon route here:


If you want to watch it live, here are designated points where you can get the best view:

  • Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn (Miles 2-4)
  • Brooklyn Stage, Fourth Avenue and Atlantic Avenue (Mile 8)
  • Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn (Miles 10-13)
  • Pulaski Bridge (Mile 13.1)
  • First Avenue at 62nd St. (Mile 16 Block Party)
  • First Avenue, Manhattan (Miles 16-18)
  • East Harlem (Miles 18-20)
  • Fifth Avenue, East 90th to East 105th St. (Miles 23-24)

Cheering on family, friends and total strangers is a NY tradition, and the runners really appreciate the encouragement. 

Applying to run on NYC Marathon Sunday

If you want to apply for a spot, you need to meet the time-qualifying standards. View the standards here

Priority is given to NYRR members and other organizations, but there are places held for non-members through a lottery. Disabled participants are also welcomed. Get information here

It’s an exciting day watching those who strive to be better and better every year. We salute them and, along with our fellow non-running New Yorkers, plan to cheer them on!

Image via Metropolitan Transit Authority/Flickr