What is special about the New York Marathon?

The New York City Marathon is an yearly marathon that courses through the five districts of New York City (NYC). This race is recognized as on the list of USA’s leading sporting events. This event is the largest one worldwide with 53,508 finishing the 2019 race. The race is really popular, that admission to it for the avergae runner is usually by a lottery method with most wanting to get in not getting accepted. A certain feature of the event will be the nearly 2 million fans that line the course, practically having a celebration to back up all the runners and cheer all of them on with festivities all along the road. The New York City Marathon is put on by the New York Road Runners and has been held every year since 1970, except for 2 yrs. The 2012 event was called off due to the flooding from Hurricane Sandy and in 2020 when it was called off a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The race usually takes place on the initial Sunday in November. The 50th running of the event is planned for the 7 November 2021.

The first race director or organizer was the late Fred Lebow who passed away in 1994. The initial NYC marathon in 1970 only had 55 competitors that finished. Fred then developed the NYC Marathon to gradually end up being the great celebration that it is. The colour, the history, the character and the power of the event was narrated in the entertaining 2009 book by the Liz Robbins, a former sportswriter for The New York Times called ‘A Race Like No Other’. Her book was about the 2007 running of the marathon. Liz followed the stories of both professional and also amateur runners over the 42 kms of the course as it went through the streets of New York, from the starting line near the Verrazano Narrows Bridge all the way to the finish line that is in Central Park. Her book has sold well and caught everything so well.

It was most likely the 1983 event which seized the attention of so many, particularly a national TV audience as it had been broadcast live. Geoffrey Smith from England was leading for the majority of the way and was caught and passed at the 26 mile mark in Central Park by Rod Dixon coming from New Zealand. With 6 miles left, Dixon was two and half minutes behind Smith but slowly came back to get victory by just nine seconds. Immediately after Dixon passed the finish line to rejoice standing, Smith collapsed on the road. A photo captured that moment and became an iconic picture referred to as a “Thrill of Victory/Agony of Defeat” photo.

The present course fastest time for men is 2:05:05, set by Geoffrey Mutai coming from Kenya in 2011 and for females it is 2:22:31 set by Margaret Okayo likewise from Kenya way back in 2003. The slow joggers have 8 hours and thirty minutes to complete the distance. The Olympian Grete Waitz won her initial New York City Marathon in 1978, winning in a then course record time of 2:32:30. Grete later went on to win an additional eight races, still holding the record for the most number of victories.