One of the happiest events in the fall (almost winter) is certainly the one that occurs (almost except for during Hurrican Sandy) every year on the first weekend of November. The New York City Marathon leads through all five boroughs and stretches over 26 full miles. You can see all details on the TCS website here but basically it starts at 9am in Staten Island, leads through South Brooklyn to North Brooklyn, over the bridge into Queens, then into the East side of Manhattan, makes a short trek into the Bronx and leads back down the West Side of Manhattan until it ends in Central Park.
Up until this point I hadn’t’ been fully aware of the fact that New York is that large, and that a route like this can stretch up to 26 miles (and more). The idea of combining all five boroughs in an event thousands of runners participate in each and every year is quite lovely to me. The entire city turns into a so-called block party, during which people stand next to the closed off streets and cheer for the runners they know and the ones they don’t. Nowadays, there is even an app (of course) on which you can track where exactly your friend is at the moment (mile 1 or mile 20…).
My apartment is not too far from Fourth Ave in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Naturally I am always woken up every Sunday when the marathon happens, as you can hear the cheers, claps, and overall excited voices from far away. (But since the clocks are also turned back an hour on the same day, I am not too grumpy since technically I got some extra sleep). I love the excitement you can feel once you enter the crowd and take a peek at the runners. Usually there is also a band standing close-by to give some musical support to the marathoners.
Starting at 10 am today I was pretty much out and about, just trying to snag that positive energy and see some runners again. We are at mile 8 of the overall 26 miles, so the runners tend to look well-motivated and still ready to go. Here are some photos I’ve taken over the past couple of years (pretty much since I started watching the marathon) up until today. Usually it is way colder the first weekend of November but today was a crisp and warmish fall day with beautiful sun rays peeking out most of the morning, making the wait and event even more worth it.
I also found this great article on the true cost of the NYC marathon and a hands-on view of one of the runners this year.