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.

Start/Finish Info: Race starts on Staten Island and finishes in Central Park. See Transportation to the start and information on the finish line.

Hills:

~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!)

Link to Map and Elevation (from 2014 race)

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!

Expect crowds

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:

NYC Marathon Race Report – Austin Meyers

Race: TCS NYC Marathon Runner: Austin Meyers Race Date: 11/07/2021 Location: New York City, New York Results: 3:12:54 (PR!) Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/6226337150 3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most? The course: The route is awesome. It starts on Staten Island and takes you through all 5 boroughs of New York City. I've been ...
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New York City Marathon Race Report – Heather LeFriec

Team RunRun coach Heather LeFriec shares her experience running the New York City Marathon for the second time. Read on for her tips on how to plan better for the course, whether to choose the poncho or the bag, and how she pushed through her mental wall at mile 19. Race: New York City Marathon Runner: Heather LeFriec Race Date: ...
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New York Marathon Race Review – Cassie G

In this New York Marathon race review, runner Cassie G shares her experience running the 2018 marathon and shares her tips for you! That includes setting your expectations accordingly, planning for a long start, and enjoying the experience. New York Marathon Race Review Race: New York City Marathon Runner: Cassie G Race Date: 11/04/2018 Location: NYC Results: 3:57:11 3 Bests – ...
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new york city marathon race report

New York City Marathon Race Report – Jonny

Runner Jonny reviews the New York City marathon route, logistics, and overall experience. Read why he was converted from a skeptic to a fan! Review: New York City Marathon Route, Logistics, and Overall Experience Race: New York City Marathon Runner: Jonny Date: 11/5/17 Location: New York, NY Results: 3:39:48 Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1263149499 3 Bests – What aspects of the ...
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New York Marathon – Emily M

Runner Emily reviews her experience of the NYC Marathon in 2016. Read on for her advice on hills, booking your hotel, and more! Race: NYC Marathon – http://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/ Runner: Emily M Date: 11/6/2016 Location: New York City Results – 4:50:24 (PR) 3 Bests – What aspects of the NYC Marathon did you like the most? The spectators were amazing! Very well organized The course ...
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new york city marathon matt urbanski

NYC Marathon Race Report – Matt U

In this NYC Marathon race report, Matt Urbanski shares his experience running the 2016 marathon and what you need to know for your race! 2016 NYC Marathon Race Report Race: NYC Marathon – http://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/ Runner: Matt U Date: 11/6/2016 Location: New York City Results – 313th place out of 51,390 finishers; 2:49.27 3 Bests – what aspects of the NYC Marathon did you like ...
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By the way, check out this race website by a guy who has run over 40 New York marathons!