Ten Best Reasons to Run the NYC Marathon
Running a marathon can be one of the most memorable experiences in your lifetime. Doing it in New York City can be even more amazing than you ever imagined. Whether you are an experienced athlete or you are gearing up for your first 26.2 miler, make sure you consider running the race in the Big Apple. There is nothing quite like it! Here's why:
Roads Less Travelled
More than 53 million visitors come to New York City each year. They marvel at impressive skyscrapers, laugh, cry, and sing along at Broadway shows, and wine and dine in the best restaurants in the world. Yet, many New Yorkers could tell you that tourists never have the chance to experience the "real New York", that is, unless they are marathoners!
Runners pass through all five boroughs and experience the unique flavor of each one. From the exciting start in Staten Island, the lively music in Brooklyn, the cultural mix in Queens, the contagious excitement of Bronx residents, and finally, the finish line in Central Park, no tourist gets a better glimpse of the whole city than participants in this magical race.
Each year, 50,000 runners come from every corner of the world to run the NYC Marathon. Each one of them has a story. You can see the beginner who looks excited but terrified at the starting line. You can also spot the veteran, who is running the race for the tenth, twentieth, or even thirtieth time. You meet survivors, allies, families, elite athletes, and everything in between.
Talk to a fellow runner at the starting line, at the finish line, or even in the days before or after the race, when you can easily spot marathoners on the streets of New York. You are guaranteed a great running story. Savor them, and don't forget to share your own!
Passing the Brooklyn Academy of Music, at mile 8, runners can enjoy a crowd favorite, Bishop Loughlin High School Band and its lively atmosphere in Atlantic Avenue. The tree lined streets that follow provide runners with a great combination of music and shade that pumps them up for the rest of the long road ahead.
After passing Long Island City, an industrial area in Queens, and right before entering the famous Queensboro Bridge, runners are rewarded with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. This spot marks the halfway point and is also an opportunity for runners to make a quick stop and get a selfie. Some have even bonded enough by that time to decide to get a group picture!
More than 130 bands play music of every genre along the route. Bagpipes, country music, punk rock, and even louspeaker music blasting from neighbors' cars pepper the road. With an average of five acts per mile, you will not need to make a playlist for this race.
Run for a Cause
The New York Road Runners, who organize the race, have partnered up with various charitites that provide race entries for runners who raise funds on their behalf. There are many organizations that can add meaning to your miles. Run while making the world a better place, can you think of anything more worthwhile?
It is common knowledge that marathoners burn so many calories during their race that they have license to eat whatever they want post-race. But did you know that they also need to stack up on carbs before the big day? Runners need to get enough energy to burn during the marathon, which is why the NYC Marathon features a pasta dinner the night before the race, where runners can enjoy this necessary meal and fraternize with fellow runners. Bon appetit!
The 2014 marathon attracted the best of the best in the sport to compete for a prize purse that totaled $750,000 and $103,000 for wheelchair racers. First prize winners receive $100,000 plus a time bonus if their performance is exceptional. Kenyan runners continue their tradition of high performance in the marthon distance, but they face tough challengers every year. The elite race is not to be missed.
Get (More) Fit
Running a marathon is not something you just wake up and do one day. It takes months of prepartion. Months of grueling sprints and long runs. Months of going jogging even when you do not feel like it. Months of eating right and partying less (hey, long Sunday runs are no fun after a long night!). But there is a reward! By the time you finish the race, you'll probably be in the best shape of your life... and you'll probably want to do it again! Running in NYC can be the beginning of a whole new you.
The biggest race in the world is even bigger because it has the loudest fans. One million of them, to be exact.
There is not a moment in this race where the crowd will let a runner down. If you need an energy boost, there is a kid in the Bronx who will hand you a piece of banana. If you slow down to a walk, someone in the crowd will yell out encouragement so you can start back up.
The only moment of quiet, when runners are crossing the Queensboro Bridge, where crowds are not allowed, only contrasts with the loud roar of the crowd that greets marathoners as they exit the bridge onto First Avenue. One million spectators cheering on each and every runner, making them all feel like famous celebrities, make the race truly unforgettable.
If you have decided to run a marathon, these are only some of the many reasons to choose the New York City Marathon. Whether you are a seasoned runner or a beginner, the biggest, loudest, and most exciting race in the world can make your experience the highlight of your running career.