More than a run around Central Park – New York Marathon

The New York City Marathon is a 42.195 kilometre and 26.2 mile race through all five boroughs of New York City, and ranks as the largest marathon in the world, with around 50 000 finishers every year. The 2016 version of this marathon event will take place on 6 November 2016. A truly international event, and since its inaugural race in 1970, 28 men and 23 women have won the open division of the New York City Marathon. These winners represent 19 different countries around the world, and along with the Boston Marathon and Chicago Marathon, it is among the pre-eminent long-distance annual running events in the United States and is one of the World Marathon Majors.

The Route

From 1970 through 1975, the race was held entirely in Central Park. Currently advertised as a proper tour of New York City, traversing all five boroughs is a habit that was implemented since 1976. This was when the now traditional route if starting in Staten Island and gone through New York City’s other four boroughs. Grete Waitz of Norway has won the race more than any other athlete, having completed her 9th victory in 1988, setting three course records in the process. Current course records were set by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya in 2011 in the men’s division, and by Margaret Okayo of Kenya in 2003 in the women’s division. In 2015, Stanley Biwott from Kenya won the men’s division and the women’s division was won by Mary Keitany, who also hails from Kenya.

A wheelchair race has been held since 2000. Among the wheelchair racers, Edith Hunkeler of Switzerland has the most victories, with five. She also holds the women’s course record with a time of 1:52:38, while Kurt Fearnley of Australia holds the men’s record with 1:29:22.

Organising the New York City Marathon

The race is organized by New York Road Runners Club and has been run every year since 1970, with the exception of 2012, due to landfall of Hurricane Sandy. In past years, it has been sponsored by the financial group ING. In 2014, Tata Consultancy Services, a multinational information technology service, consulting, and business solutions company headquartered in India, began an eight-year term as the title sponsor. It is held on the first Sunday of November and attracts professional competitors and amateurs from all over the world. Because of the popularity of the race, participation is chosen largely by a lottery system. Runners who are members of NYRR can gain entry by meeting the qualifications for guaranteed entry or via nomination from an official running club.

An Invitation

For anyone involved in running, the TCS New York City Marathon should be at the top of the list. The city is big, brash and the marathon is equally so. The route covers a smorgasbord of ethnic and cultural influences as it goes through suburban Staten Island, zigzags through Brooklyn and Queens before crossing into Manhattan, and then briefly passing through the Bronx before finishing in Central Park.

The crowds are reputed to be the best, the loudest, and the most fun. New Yorkers have always been determined to show off their city to welcome the World to Run. This is the welcome the New York Road Runners extend to the world; a taste of the Big Apple.

Author: Shuusaku Saito