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Connoisseur's Guide · North America · united states · New York City ·

New York City Marathon

Author: Aigars Nords0 COMMENTS

New York City Marathon

The NYC Marathon is one the most famous marathons in the world, listed among the five premier marathons known as the World Marathon Majors. It is also very best one to start with if you wish to enjoy the maximum support of the crowd, reaching an unparalleled number of about two million devotees! Any Latvian long-distance runner would be thrilled to participate there, mostly because the Latvian athlete, Jelena Prokopcuka, has been a two-time winner in NYC - in 2005 and in 2006. The 42 km course is a supreme way of getting the first impression of this celebrated US city, as it exposes a completely different New York City, stripped down of its pompous and glamorous upper crust. It's a perfect chance to savor the charm of all five city neighborhoods and see the places never reached by an average tourist. Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Manhattan, in this exactly order, giving a chance to get a glimpse of each of them.
The marathon starts with Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York", and then the course leads across Verrazano-Narrow Bridge. The runners fill both levels of the bridge, which seems swinging and vibrating in the rhythm of several tens of thousands of feet crossing it all at the same time. What a wonderful cityscape opens up from the bridge in the distance! The roar of supporters along the course is so impressive that the first 15 km flies by almost unnoticed. Then the route winds through Brooklyn, South West Queens, across the Queensboro Bridge, up to Bronx and straight to the Central Park. Yet when you finally reach it, you have almost no strength left to enjoy a lush greenness of Manhattan, and the otherwise much admired symbol of New York seems insignificant. All you can think of is the finish line! And it's no wonder - the 42 km distance is no joke at all. Especially in comparison with flat Berlin terrain, the bridges of New York require more strength and stamina and make the distance even more difficult. Maybe therefore there are practically no colorful costumes, so popular elsewhere. It cannot be said about paparazzi, however - after all, you wouldn't see running celebrities, like Katie Holmes or Lance Armstrong very often, would you?

Foto: New York City Marathon

The impressive prize fund of 600 000 USD is an attraction as well and lures lots of sport stars, including Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain. The downside, however, is that not everyone gets a chance to participate at the grand event - applicants are so many that the lucky ones are selected in a random lottery drawing, limiting the number of participants to 37 000.
The event includes a runner's Expo few days ahead of the race and a traditional night-before pasta dinner, while a substantial post marathon party takes place on the same night at one of the city nightclubs, if you still have some strength left. By the way, be sure to buy New York Times on the next day - it publishes the names of all the NYC Marathon participants!
The marathon takes place on the first Sunday in November, but the registration for the event ends several months before. More information on the website:

Useful information
- The official marathon transportation ensures on-time arrival at the start, and is the only transport allowed to enter the marathon zone. New Yorkers have done a great job and demonstrates excellent logistics during the event.

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