The New York Marathon (hosted by the New York Road Runners) is a huge race with thousands of runners and even more spectators each year. At Team RunRun, we’ve had several members run it over the years, so we have learned everything you need to know in order to have a great race (sometimes, we learned it the hard way). Read on for an overview of the race, and then check out individual race reports to hear from runners in their own words!
When is the New York City Marathon?
The New York Marathon is hosted on the first Sunday of November every year.
Is there a New York City Half-Marathon?
There is, in March!
What is the New York Marathon route?
The New York Marathon route begins in Staten Island and finishes in Central Park in Manhattan. In between, you run through Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, which means you get a tour of New York City’s five boroughs as you run. Our runners have highlighted how cool it is to experience multicultural neighborhoods, including the Hasidic Jewish area in Brooklyn.
Some quick facts about the NYC Marathon route:
Course Type: Point to Point, starting on Staten Island and finishing in Central Park, never repeating the same street.
~150 foot hill up Verrazano bridge from 0-.75 miles (you probably won’t even feel this one given the early race energy!)
~50 feet from mile 8-8.5
~100 feet from 14.75-15.5 (you will feel this one!)
~50 feet from 22.75-23.5 (and you’ll definitely notice this one!)
The runners who didn’t train for hills reported that these hills made the course a little tough, but if you prepare for them, you may hardly feel them.
What are the aid stations like?
Locations of water stations: Every mile starting at mile 3
Locations of electrolyte stations: Every mile starting at mile 3 except mile 17
Electrolyte offered: Gatorade at every station and Gatorade Endurance Energy Gels at mile 18. Fruit at miles 20-23
What should I know about the NYC marathon logistics?
Review logistics ahead of time
The logistics for the New York Marathon get tricky, so it is worth paying attention to deadlines and details well before the week of the race. You’ll need to sign up for transportation to the start line on Staten Island, plus the finish line is complex, too. Make sure you know your plan before they close sign-up deadlines. Oh, and everyone recommends you opt for the poncho option rather than the bag-check for the finish line!
Plan for a wait
There are a lot of runners at this race, which means there is a long wait between when you show up and when you start running. The Team RunRun race veterans recommend bringing warm clothing you can toss off and donate as well as water, hot food, and the right attitude.
You’ll be walking after the marathon
There’s a lot of walking to get out of the race chute, meet up with family, and getting back to your lodging. Be prepared to walk, even though you just ran a marathon!
In the average year, there are 50,000+ runners. The course will be crowded pretty much the whole time. Plus, the expo before and after the race is very crowded, too. This is New York City, we’re talking about. Be ready to be surrounded by people!
How should I train for the New York Marathon?
Be ready for hills and cement! Also, be aware that with the energy of the crowd as you wait in your corral, it is easy to start off too fast in this race. Make a plan for how you will handle the race mentally, in addition to physical training.
Want more advice? Check out the Team RunRun marathon reviews here:
By the way, check out this race website by a guy who has run over 40 New York marathons!