On Sunday, tens of thousands of participants will run in the New York City Marathon, the largest in the world. The NYC marathon is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Sunday with special races including its wheelchair division, handcycle category, and select athletes with disabilities. The first official wave of runners is set to begin at 9:40 a.m. The second wave starts at 10:05 a.m., third at 10:30 a.m., and fourth at 10:55 a.m. The marathon, though, includes a footnote that start times are subject to change.
In 2014, 50,530 people ran the marathon. A similar number are expected to run this year. In 1970, at the inaugural event, the participants were all men. But now, nearly 40 percent of runners are women, and it's not just women who are big winners every marathon season. The entire city of New York cashes in at the beginning of November from marathon revenue. Over 250,000 international visitors came to the city to watch, bring in $22.2 million in sales and occupancy taxes, according to Bloomberg. There are also tons of fun events planned around Sunday's race, which will be the main event of the weekend. Let's check them out.
What Will Happen This Weekend
On Friday, an Opening Ceremony will officially begin weekend's festivities. The event, hosted by United Airlines, will celebrate international participants in the marathon and will include a parade. According to the event website, professional runners, amateur participants, and wheelchair athletes will ceremonially cross the finish line, located in Central Park, at 6:30 p.m. Seating is available first-come first-serve.
If you're a runner, but not quite a marathon-level runner, you can still join in the athletic part of the fun. On Saturday, New York Road Runners is hosting a 3.1 mile run that concludes at the Central Park finish line. Oh, and if you join the Dash To The Finishline 5K, you'll get a free T-shirt. Who doesn't love swag?
Nov. 1 is the day of the marathon, which is, of course, the main event of the weekend. The course runs 26.2 miles and goes through all the boroughs. It starts on Staten Island, then continues north through Brooklyn and Queens. Runners then pass through the Upper East Side, push on to the Bronx, and finally circle back down Manhattan to finish in Central Park. If you're like me and get winded walking through the Village, you'll understand how enormous a feat this is.
After the marathon, if you've got an extra $1,000 lying around, you can meet the winners of the marathon at the New York Road Runners Night of Champions that evening. Spectators and runners can also attend the event, without the VIP hookup, for $350 and participate in the reception and silent auction.
You can also just choose to cheer on the runners as they pass through your neighborhood. The official site lists a few locations that will have especially spectacular views of the race, though you'll need to purchase a ticket ahead of time to sit near the finish line. Whether you're running, braving the cold as a spectator, or cozying up at home to watch the marathon on TV, this weekend is sure to be a ton of fun.