Overall Rating
Overall Rating (67 Reviews)
4.7
(67 Ratings)(67 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.3
SCENERY
4.2
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.3
The TCS New York City Marathon course is a 26.2-mile block party through the world’s most diverse city, and a model for big-city marathons around the world. As the most popular and inclusive marathon in the world, the event attracts the world’s top professional athletes and a vast range of … MORE
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Recent reviews

    dwhitehorse FIRST-TIMER '18

    It's the New York City Marathon!!!! HUGE is an understatement. I can't believe how well an event of this size runs, in the largest city in the USA. Everything was … MORE

    It’s the New York City Marathon!!!! HUGE is an understatement. I can’t believe how well an event of this size runs, in the largest city in the USA. Everything was amazing, easily my favorite marathon to date, despite my personally dismal performance. Be advised, this is a tougher than expected course, it is not flat and going over all the bridges is like climbing and descending decent sized hills. Oh..and remember that the closed the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge a few hours before the race starts, so if you plan your own transportation (Uber, Lyft, POV) plan accordingly.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Kneilan FIRST-TIMER '19

    3rd Abbott World Major, great course, great crowds. Lots to do befor and after the marathon, Lady Liberty, Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial MORE

    3rd Abbott World Major, great course, great crowds. Lots to do befor and after the marathon, Lady Liberty, Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    cedoyle REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Fun, fast start (e.g. "New York, New York" playing on the loudspeaker and confetti in the air as you start over the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge). Good bands in Brooklyn. Frequent water … MORE

    Fun, fast start (e.g. “New York, New York” playing on the loudspeaker and confetti in the air as you start over the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge). Good bands in Brooklyn. Frequent water stops and timing points. Consistent enthusiastic crowds, but not too overwhelming. Race seemed to be most crowded in the last 5 miles due to narrowing of the running path.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    chapinwc FIRST-TIMER '19

    NYC marathon should be embraced for what it is- a big city marathon with so many runners and spectators. The course can be crowded and the fans loud. If you … MORE

    NYC marathon should be embraced for what it is- a big city marathon with so many runners and spectators. The course can be crowded and the fans loud. If you can take the Staten Island Ferry-a unique race transportation experience- to the buses that will get you to the start area. Embrace the energy at the beginning of the race and don’t get flustered in the first mile with the congested Verrazzano Bridge climb. If you’re following a pacer/pace group be on your toes and ready to dodge runners to keep pace in that first mile. Don’t trash your quads going too fast on the descent down off the Queensborough Bridge back to Manhattan just before mile 16. Save something for miles 22-24 as you face a sneaky gradual ascent down 5th Avenue into Central Park for the finish. The crowds should help carry you to the finish after mile 24.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    melissasims3 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first marathon, so I don't have anything to compare it to. It exceeded my expectations - I was nervous after reading reviews about complicated logistics but honestly … MORE

    This was my first marathon, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. It exceeded my expectations – I was nervous after reading reviews about complicated logistics but honestly everything went like clockwork. The weather was stunning, the crowd support was off the charts, there were some hills but they were not terrible. I was disappointed in my finish time – marathons are really hard! But I hope I get lucky in the lottery again next year so I can improve my time. I feel like I learned a lot along the way about how to run a marathon so I’d like to try again. New York is so fantastic – I loved everything (except maybe the long walk out of the park after the race).

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    ashleekucinski FIRST-TIMER '19

    -Best crowd support you'll ever experience! -Bridges are tough (especially Queensboro because of where it is in the race), but doable -On-course fuel is great! Many options every mile -Expo … MORE

    -Best crowd support you’ll ever experience!
    -Bridges are tough (especially Queensboro because of where it is in the race), but doable
    -On-course fuel is great! Many options every mile
    -Expo is huge. Would’ve liked more discount running gear, but it was still really cool. Tons of cool photo ops!
    -Post-race poncho is awesome. Def pick this over the bag!

    My only gripe is travel to the start line. The Staten Island Ferry took two Subway rides to get to, and then a bus after the ferry took FOREVER. Make sure you use the bathroom before getting on the bus! 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Matt Ranalletta
    matthew.ranalletta REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This was my second time running it, and it was even more enjoyable this time around. The hills on the bridges seem difficult for people, but if you do training … MORE

    This was my second time running it, and it was even more enjoyable this time around. The hills on the bridges seem difficult for people, but if you do training runs on hills and fuel yourself properly during the race, you’ll be fine.

    I think the three different Start Villages are still a bit of a mess organizationally, but I do love that you get free coffee and bagels. And the port-a-potty lines in each village are not that bad compared to other races.

    For those choosing between gear check and post-race poncho (I’ve done both), definitely do the poncho if you can swing it. You exit the finish chute faster, and the poncho is super warm and nice! I’ll definitely be keeping it for future races.

    For transportation, I recommend choosing the Midtown bus option instead of the ferry + bus option. Both take a super long time (2+ hours), but it’s nicer to have a one-seat ride instead of having to transfer.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Donnie FIRST-TIMER '19

    Awesome event even with my poor performance. It wasn’t the course or the odd start time. I just ran Chicago three weeks prior so I wasn’t e petting yo do … MORE

    Awesome event even with my poor performance. It wasn’t the course or the odd start time. I just ran Chicago three weeks prior so I wasn’t e petting yo do well but did even worse than expected.
    We stayed in Manhattan so we were able to walk to the expo, a bit of a walk but doable. Also only a mile from the finish line. And about a 15 minute walk to the bus for the start village. While the hotels are a bit pricy it was convenient. I don’t k ow the area but if I were to come back again, I might could find a lower cost hotel.
    Expo is what I expected. I went early to avoid big crowds. We arrived at about 9:30. Left around 10:45 and it was getting packed.
    Great event. Only part that i am not a fan is catching the bus at 5:30 AM to get to the start village and then waiting three plus hours for my start. I understand why but it was still my least favorite part. I even prepared for it, wore two extra layers, brought a heat sheet and a small throw blanket but still was cold. I did manage to get to the village early and they had a limited number of yoga mats so at least I didn’t have to sit/lay on the ground. But I was happy for the upper 40’s low 50’s when running, sitting/laying around in it three hours prior wasn’t fun.
    Also in the start village were bagels, bananas, coffee, & water.
    There are constant announcements that keep you informed of everything you need to know. Lots of restrooms in the village and in the corrals.
    But having said that NYC Marathon is all everyone says it is……….

    Course was great. Not flat but no big hills. Awesome crowds most of the way. Bands and other entertainment along the route. Lots of water stops, official and unofficial. Several stops with gels, bananas, and fuel bars.
    On the bridge around mile 15 there is a place where you can get a good selfie with the skyline in the background
    Finish line moved pretty good. Liked the post race recovery bag, the fact they handed you a bag with your water and recovery food rather than you having to grab everything individually. You still have at least half a mile to a mile to walk before you can exit the runner area then a bit of a walk to the reunion area. So if you are like me and are pretty wiped out post race, be prepared. It took me 45 minutes once I crossed the finish line until I exited the secure area.
    Medal is awesome as expected.
    Probably a one and done for me due to expense but I can see why this is one most everyone wants to run.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    YanisNanashi FIRST-TIMER '19

    New York Marathon is definitively a once in a liftetime must run marathon for every runner. Organization is amazing and the atmosphere along the course spectacular except of a few … MORE

    New York Marathon is definitively a once in a liftetime must run marathon for every runner. Organization is amazing and the atmosphere along the course spectacular except of a few parts.
    Expo is well organized and even though it was very crowded when I visited the expo on Friday at 11 am waiting times were absolutely ok. The start on Staten Island was breath taking with helicopters flying over Verezzano Bridge and fireworks etc. The starter villages (3 different colors) offered coffee, tea, other drinks, bananas, more than enough toilets etc. Even though we took the ferry 4 hours before the start waiting time was not as horrible as I expected – but to be honest: the weather was sunny and not too cold – I would not like to experience all that with rainy weather. Well, the course is tough – everyone knows that. I expected the bridges to be the toughest parts of the race, but in my opinion the hardest part was 5th avenue with a constant slightly uphill elevation almost at the end of the marathon. From my perspective the weakest part of the race was the finish in Central Park. The atmosphere of the finish is quite poor (compared to e.g. Berlin) and after having reached the finish line the second marathon begins: the marathon to get out of Central Park to get your poncho and to meet your friends. It took me almost 45 minutes constant walking!!! Unfortunately this year´s medal i absolutely not my cup of tea. The design of an apple in my opinion is awkward. Well, all in all a fantastic experience, but I will most probably not run NYC again – too expensive, too stressful getting to the start, waiting, etc.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    One of the most amazing marathons. A 26.2 mile block party through one of the greatest cities in the world. When else will you have the chance to run through … MORE

    One of the most amazing marathons. A 26.2 mile block party through one of the greatest cities in the world. When else will you have the chance to run through all 5 boroughs of NYC?

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    ravyoly FIRST-TIMER '18

    Got in through the lottery FIRST TRY! What can I say but the lottery gods were smiling on me. I applied and was selected to represent my motherland, the Philippines … MORE

    Got in through the lottery FIRST TRY! What can I say but the lottery gods were smiling on me.
    I applied and was selected to represent my motherland, the Philippines and I was honored to be part of the NYCM Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations. Awesome expo. Very organized race. Spectators were cheering from start to finish. I think there were only a couple of quiet moments and they were pretty much on the bridges where spectators were not allowed. I should’ve trained more for this race but I didn’t. I was also told to just take it all in and enjoy the journey….so I did. What an amazing experience! Star #2…..here I come! Berlin or BUST!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was a truly amazing experience. I have run large races before but this race was on an entirely different scale. It is also a race that I will never … MORE

    This was a truly amazing experience. I have run large races before but this race was on an entirely different scale. It is also a race that I will never forget.

    I managed to get extremely lucky and get in via the lottery on my first attempt. This race also thankfully gives you a 9 month lead time to plan and prepare since you are notified of your acceptance pretty soon after you apply. This should be standard (WTF London Marathon). They do a good job of sending you lots of emails in the months leading up to the race, lots of them are ad type things but you can’t just ignore them all because important things like your registration confirmation email which you have to take to bib pick up is sent via email, the ferry/bus selection email and well as the email notifying you of your need to pick a post race poncho or check a bag are in there as well so it is not all spam.

    I flew cross country from Seattle on Thursday and then went to our hotel on the upper west side. I highly recommend staying in the upper west side if you can afford it for two reasons: First the exit for people who got post race ponchos dumps out there so you can find hotels that are only a few blocks from the finish, also the #1 red subway line has various stops in the area and drops off at the Staten Island ferry which is also how I recommend that you get to the start line. You can take the #1 red line without having to make any transfers.

    It is important to arrive a few days early to adjust to the time change, but unless you are from the area you will likely want to see some of the sights while also trying to stay off your feet. A few things I would recommend are taking in a Broadway or off Broadway show and then something I never would have though of on my own was the bus tour of the marathon route that my wife bought for me. This was nice for two reasons, it allowed me to see the city and familiarize myself with the course and hills. It also allowed me to have a much better picture of the course in my head in my memories, when I am racing I tend to get in a zone and don’t really notice the scenery around me, i tried to do a little more of this while I ran this race but there are many things I would not have seen without the bus tour.

    EXPO Quality:
    We took the subway across town to get to the EXPO which was a thing to behold. A massive building with banners and decorations everywhere. If you really only want to get in and out to get your bib then you would have an easy time because it was very well organized and not crowded. The rest of the expo was actually quite crowded even on Friday afternoon/evening when I was there. There was tons of merchandise (something I never buy at expos but for a marathon major i made exceptions) and tons of vendors selling everything under the sun. An expo tip for NYC would be that if you find something you like but they only have the item available in giant sizes that won’t fit you, you can find it all online in the weeks after the race for the same price or cheaper. Just take pictures of the tags and item numbers and get it shipped to you, very easy. Do yourself a favor and buy a shirt or two for the memories then at least spend some time walking around. They also have a booth where you can find all of the pacers (I was able to meet the guy I would be running with 3:15) and they also have pace bands you can put on your wrist which would give you all your split times for your goal pace.

    GETTING TO THE START:
    I was scheduled to take the 6:15 Staten Island ferry since I was in Wave 1 (9:50 start time). I took the red #1 line from the upper west side and got to the terminal around 6 am. The terminal was packed and it quickly became apparent that I would not make the 6:15 ferry. My family and I were able to make the 6:30 ferry, barely. The ferry is nice because it allows you to sit down during the transit and it also allows you to go to the bathroom if needed which you can’t do if you take the bus. The ferry also goes close to the statue of liberty which means you can get some nice pictures. Once you get off the ferry things get much more crowded. My family took the free ferry back to Manhattan before heading to the course while I got in a giant line of people waiting for the bus. This probably took close to an hour slowly shuffling forward in a giant crowd of people before we made it to the bus. Then it was a 15 minute drive to the unloading area and another bit of a walk to the start area, security was very tight between the bus and the start area.

    THE START AREA:
    I found this area to be remarkably easy to navigate and really not overly crowded. I was able to find a place to sit down, I was able to walk around and get some free breakfast and the bathroom lines were very short. This all must be taken under the lens of me being there from 8:30-9:00am, i was leaving in wave 1 so not many people from later waves were there, I’m sure things got a little more crowded as the day went on and people who missed their start mixed with people who made it on time. I had warm throw away clothes from good will and was not checking a bag (they still give you a bag for the start area so you can carry a few things), which is what I highly recommend you do. When I entered my corral they had a little walled off area with bins for throw away clothes and plenty of bathrooms although finding a place to really stretch out was a little tight. We were in this area for a long time (probably 30 minutes) but it was completely fine. You then trudge to the start area in a big crowd and hear the national anthem and cannons.

    COURSE/ELEVATION/AID STATIONS:
    The first two miles of the course are the bridge, it is both oddly quiet as there are no spectators but also exciting because you are so amped up to start the race. Do yourself a favor and make sure to take in the view while you are on the bridge. If you are on the lower deck stay near the center as people are famous for peeing off the upper deck and showering those below them. I really don’t understand why because I found bathrooms to be plentiful in the start village.

    When you come off the bridge the spectators are there in full force, make sure to move to the side from time to time to get some high fives. Also if you can write your name on your shirt do it because people will cheer for you directly. Brooklyn is most peoples favorite part of the course due to both the fan support and I suspect that fact that you always feel your best during the early part of the race. You are on slow rolling hills that you need to be careful on to keep your pace. People were on their stoops cheering, church choirs were out front cheering, it was amazing. Queens had fewer fans and was pretty short before you head to Manhattan via the queens-borough bridge.

    That bridge SUCKS, it feels like a 1.5 mile uphill that just wont ever end. The downhill into the wall of sound in Manhattan is great and gives you a lift but that bridge really takes something out of you. The early miles in Manhattan were well attended and fun and it where you finally really have room to spread out across the full breadth of the road. The long straight to the Bronx can really feel long since there is not much to break up the monotony. The Bronx was also quick but well attended and had good cheering sections but it is also at the 20 mile mark so you will probably start to feel it at this stage.

    Coming back into Manhattan there is a very long slow uphill which really started to hurt my pace until you finally reach Central Park. It was a minor boost to make it there and know only 3 miles remained but I was getting tired so it felt super hilly and hard and I wasn’t able to enjoy the beauty because I just was ready to be done. You leave the park for a quick half mile then enter back in on the southern end of the park to “sprint” to the finish. I crossed the line with a 3:18:15 PR. My GPS watch showed I ran an extra half mile which of course is partly due to satellites but also due to not being able to cut tangents due to how crowded it was and due to the amount of weaving around people I was doing. The course doesn’t have steep hills other than the bridges but it is almost never flat, lots of slow uphills and downhills, I would call the elevation deceptively hard. Aid stations throughout the course were plentiful and well stocked, due to the number of racing amateurs you will likely encounter aid stations can be a bit frustrating with people who get a cup and just stop dead in their tracks nearly causing collisions, but that is not the fault of the race just inexperience.

    The finish chute is long, very long. You get your medal and lots of pictures taken then have to walk a good .5-.7 miles even if you did the poncho option which is much shorter than the walk to the gear check line. You get a finishers bag with some food and then you get the wonderful fleece lined poncho. We had some drizzling rain through most of my race so this poncho felt fantastic. I can’t recommend the poncho option over the gear check option enough.

    TSHIRTS/SWAG:
    The free shirt is long sleeve and pretty nice. The design and things were not amazing but because of the race it represents I still really like it. The medal is all one color and if it were a normal race you would call it pretty bland but the medal has been similar for so long that I would call it more classic and understated and again is one I cherish.

    RACE MANAGEMENT:
    First class all the way. It is crowded and you are on your feet for a long time before the race, but when you consider the logistics of organizing the largest marathon in the world and making it go as smoothly as it does it really is amazing. The app they have for the race is great because they have timers at every single mile so your family will have an easy time tracking where you are within less than 5 minutes. Make sure to set up places on the course where you know your family will be, the crowds can be 5-10 people deep in places so you need to know exactly where they will be and again where they will be after the finish so you can find them.

    If you like to run, do this race, enter every year for years if you have to, but if you get the chance to run it you will never regret it.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    glenberger FIRST-TIMER '18

    The race was TOUGH!! The bridges will get you if you don't prepare. The support was AMAZING!!! I loved it. I would recommend. The park goes on for FOREVER at … MORE

    The race was TOUGH!! The bridges will get you if you don’t prepare. The support was AMAZING!!! I loved it. I would recommend. The park goes on for FOREVER at the end.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    lauriev2782 FIRST-TIMER '18

    What an experience. People everywhere and they're all so supportive. Scenery is amazing. Security is top notch. Getting around was about as easy as possible in a city as large … MORE

    What an experience. People everywhere and they’re all so supportive. Scenery is amazing. Security is top notch. Getting around was about as easy as possible in a city as large as NYC and so many runners participating.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    cabrack REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This is my 2nd time running this race and it was my 10th marathon. I ran this with a friend and kept with her pace. Everything about this race is … MORE

    This is my 2nd time running this race and it was my 10th marathon. I ran this with a friend and kept with her pace. Everything about this race is complicated. Getting to the expo and around the expo is difficult. Getting to the start line is the worst experience ever. The wait for the bathrooms was unbelievable. The bus ride took forever and then the walk to the first toilet was forever. You spend so much time on your feet waiting in lines before the race even starts that you are tired before u start running. The race was so over crowded. There are a ton of spectators but they crowd the course and stand in the street. The finish is horrible. You walk forever to get the cloak and then u walk forever to get out of the park. I don’t understand why people like this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
    SCENERY
    4
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    5

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    Bettejh1 Jun 10, 2019 at 11:11am

    Like RunnerGirlKT, I also think it is overrated. The NYRR site and other runners go on about all the on-course support, but I found the crowds to be so loud… MORE

    Like RunnerGirlKT, I also think it is overrated. The NYRR site and other runners go on about all the on-course support, but I found the crowds to be so loud and so large that it felt very impersonal. I guess I expected the logistics to be tough...so I wasn't too bothered by that, it was mainly the course and that long, almost rudely managed march out of the CP. I get that they need to keep people moving, but you have tight legs, it was cold and rainy, and there was no idea how much farther you had to go....until you were out. I walked with my arms around the shoulders of a girl who's lips were turning blue from cold...I was really concerned about her until we got to the ponchos and just kept her chatting. Spending all day Saturday resting my legs was an expensive way to be in NY and not see anything. I'm glad I did it but have no desire to repeat it. LESS

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    RunnerGirlKT May 28, 2019 at 5:53pm

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the NYC Marathon to be completely overrated! Getting to the start is horrid! Not to mention the entry fee!

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the NYC Marathon to be completely overrated! Getting to the start is horrid! Not to mention the entry fee!

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    sandtar79 FIRST-TIMER '13

    This race is pricey, but worth every penny, in my opinion! I love the crowd support and getting a taste of each borough. My favorite is running through Brooklyn and … MORE

    This race is pricey, but worth every penny, in my opinion! I love the crowd support and getting a taste of each borough. My favorite is running through Brooklyn and the incredible neighborhood parties they have cheering the runners on. To me, this is just a classic taste of what NYC has to offer and I would love to come back time after time.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    BrooklandRunner FIRST-TIMER '10

    I ran this race as a long run. I even accidentally checked my watch at bag check. I got my entry through being rejected three straight times. I was just … MORE

    I ran this race as a long run. I even accidentally checked my watch at bag check. I got my entry through being rejected three straight times. I was just thrilled to finally run New York – what a race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    BrooklandRunner REPEAT RUNNER '15

    It's the New York City Marathon! You'll want to run it. It is an amazing experience. It was a little warm that day. I hoped to BQ, but it wasn't … MORE

    It’s the New York City Marathon! You’ll want to run it. It is an amazing experience. It was a little warm that day. I hoped to BQ, but it wasn’t to be.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    BrooklandRunner REPEAT RUNNER '18

    What can I say? Perfect weather and a great training cycle equal a stellar result. I was on pace to break 3 until coming back into Central Park. It's a … MORE

    What can I say? Perfect weather and a great training cycle equal a stellar result. I was on pace to break 3 until coming back into Central Park. It’s a lot harder than you think, but I am very pleased with my effort.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    sarastew FIRST-TIMER '18

    It really doesn't get any better than NYC Marathon. I could go on and on for days about how much I loved every aspect of this race. Please add this … MORE

    It really doesn’t get any better than NYC Marathon. I could go on and on for days about how much I loved every aspect of this race. Please add this to your bucket list and DO IT.

    Here is my one and only gripe… The expo. Specifically the new balance portion. Now I realize there were SOOOO many people there, but it was obnoxiously crowded and I felt like I needed a cattle prod to move around.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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