Overall Rating
Overall Rating (22 Reviews)
4.5
(22 Ratings)(22 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.2
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
4.6
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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    New York...another bucket list list that every marathoner should run once. It's THE New York City Marathon. Chicago, Boston, NYC. Check, check, check. And big city races aren't even my … MORE

    New York…another bucket list list that every marathoner should run once. It’s THE New York City Marathon. Chicago, Boston, NYC. Check, check, check. And big city races aren’t even my thing, but these are special.

    New York, like all of the big city events, is expensive to run, and expensive to sleep in! We stayed at the Sheraton Times Square which was convenient and a big runner hub. My husband and I took the train from VA and cabbed it to the hotel, then walked to the expo and back. There are tons of restaurants too. I HIGHLY recommend carbo-loading at Trattoria Belvedere; wonderful little Italian restaurant, very cozy! The expo is big and crazy but laid out well and organized. We wandered around and bought a shirt after getting my packet.

    The thing that everyone will probably talk about first when speaking of the NYC Marathon, is getting to the start. Fair enough, it is a hassle. But only in that there are a lot of steps; it’s not difficult, in fact they make shuffling 50,000 runners around the city look pretty easy. My morning started early, even though the race didn’t start till 10-something. After having breakfast and coffee, I made my way a couple of blocks down the road to the subway. Easy. Took the subway (with several other runners) to the Staten Island Ferry. Check. Hung out a while just because there was no reason to rush by now. It’s warm and there are bathrooms (race day was COLD and WINNNNNDY). Finally got on one of the ferries, which was enormous and comfortable. Check. Got to Staten Island, took a warm bus to the start village. Done. Shivered and walked around the starting village until it was time to line up in my corral and wave.

    The course is unique, meandering over the various bridges and through each borough. Very cool. Fantastic crowd support the whole way, lots of well stocked aid stations. Even in the windy weather, the people came out in droves to cheer us on. Passing Central Park in the home stretch was awesome, and crossing the finish line was special all by itself. Great medal too.

    Exiting the finish area was lengthy but the walk is good for tired legs. I highly recommend not checking a bag so that you get the giveaway, in my year it was a sweet blue hooded poncho. Very nice for the walk back to the hotel with my husband. It’s lined and pretty warm.

    All in all, NYC is special. I never want to live there, but I loved running there. Take the time to explore the city, see the sights, enjoy the many, many restaurants, and cherish the run. OH…and eat a black and white cookie (my favorite!).

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    lchristensen44 FIRST-TIMER '16

    I ran as a charity runner and made the mistake of doing too much site seeing the day before. Even though I did not run the time I wanted, I … MORE

    I ran as a charity runner and made the mistake of doing too much site seeing the day before. Even though I did not run the time I wanted, I had a great time and would do it again. Each section of the course had its own vibe with spectators who were proud of their community. The course was like running a 2 mile start followed by a 24.2 mile finish line. There was a lot of entertainment and signs along the way in additional to some interesting architecture. The expo was good too and seemed less crowded than Boston’s. Perhaps the venue was bigger. We went to the parade of nations and fireworks the Friday night before the Sunday race which was short but a good experience. It really made us appreciate the breadth of runners in town for the race. The athlete’s village was very well organized as were the starting corrals. The course had a little more elevations than I anticipated. If you are in a later starting wave/corral be prepared that it might be getting dark before you get to the finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    rrbernier FIRST-TIMER '15

    The experience is like none other. The crowds along the way were crazy. It's tougher course than it looks. The bridges can be killers. Definitely worth it, though, for the … MORE

    The experience is like none other. The crowds along the way were crazy. It’s tougher course than it looks. The bridges can be killers. Definitely worth it, though, for the experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    vwb6509 FIRST-TIMER '16

    The last 2.2 miles in the park were the worst. If you're a visual runner who needs to be able to see your mile markers before you get to them, … MORE

    The last 2.2 miles in the park were the worst. If you’re a visual runner who needs to be able to see your mile markers before you get to them, you will hate the miles in the park.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
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    CAZALA REPEAT RUNNER '16

    The New Yorker dream for a Frenchman in search of his Six Stars medal. What a wonderful autumn day to return to New York and get an appointment with my … MORE

    The New Yorker dream for a Frenchman in search of his Six Stars medal.
    What a wonderful autumn day to return to New York and get an appointment with my destiny as a runner on the finish line.
    It is always a real celebration to participate in the most emblematic marathon of the planet.
    In the company of my fellow Gerard, we crossed the 5 boroughs in incredible fervor and a shared fraternity. What a joy to cross the Queensboro Bridge and climb up the first avenue towards the Bronx. And that lactic acid that accompanies me on the Central Park up and down.
    But Columbus Circle is in sight and the delivery is close, and the prospect of winning 2 medals on the same marathon tenfold my determination.
    It is there, I cross the finish line and I become, on this sunny Sunday, both World Marathon Majors Finisher and Seven Continents Marathon Finisher.
    A great pride for a “simple marathon runner”.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    RunnerGirlKT FIRST-TIMER '16

    Running the 5 boroughs is like nothing else, but the Verrazzano Bridge was my favorite part of the race. Getting to Staten Island on public transit was a nightmare. Took … MORE

    Running the 5 boroughs is like nothing else, but the Verrazzano Bridge was my favorite part of the race.

    Getting to Staten Island on public transit was a nightmare. Took an hour of standing and shuffling to get on a bus from the ferry, then almost another hour to get from the bus to the start village. We barely made it before the corrals closed.
    Because we started so late, fueling before is a challenge. There are much fewer spectators for Wave 4 and I was disappointed in the turnout especially since the weather was so beautiful. Plus, finishing in the dark sucks.

    DIFFICULTY
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    Mike Sohaskey Jan 02, 2017 at 12:24pm

    Katy, sorry to hear your NYC experience didn't live up to expectations – and yeah, it's tough to argue that finishing in the dark doesn't suck. I had the same experience getting to Staten Island before the 2014 race, so that by the time I made it to the start corral I felt like I'd already run 26 miles. That said, congrats on adjusting on the fly and getting it done – definitely speaks volumes for your mental game! :)

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    r7j7b7 FIRST-TIMER '16

    An amazing city run with an enthusiastic audience covering the complete journey. I must have past a dozen live bands or choirs. Blessed with a perfect temperature and clear blue … MORE

    An amazing city run with an enthusiastic audience covering the complete journey. I must have past a dozen live bands or choirs. Blessed with a perfect temperature and clear blue skies. A wonderful way to experience a great city.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    cedoyle FIRST-TIMER '16

    Well organized race; nice to meet runners from all around the world; flat course and surprisingly not very crowded at the start (I was able to get on my pace … MORE

    Well organized race; nice to meet runners from all around the world; flat course and surprisingly not very crowded at the start (I was able to get on my pace very quickly); water stations at each mile kept me hydrated; lots of cheering spectators to keep you going; nice poncho provided at finish, but not sure of its utility after the event; there seemed to be a rush to get you out of Central Park after the finish (I guess for security reasons) – after running 26 miles, I just wanted to sit down and rest a little (no such luck)

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    mikeyseymour FIRST-TIMER '16

    This should be on any distance runner's bucket list! I absolutely loved the race. Here are my thoughts on non-race logistics: I took the marathon sponsored bus to the start … MORE

    This should be on any distance runner’s bucket list! I absolutely loved the race. Here are my thoughts on non-race logistics: I took the marathon sponsored bus to the start line. It left from Midtown at 5:30am. I got on a bus around 5:25 and my ride took 30 minutes. I met someone who got on a bus at 5:35 and her ride took 90 minutes. Given how it felt cold that morning, the longer bus ride would have been preferable. The only drawback I found to the race was how early I was dropped off. I had over four hours from when I arrived, to my start. I strongly recommend bringing warm clothes so you don’t waste energy shivering. The starting process is organized and we managed to start on time. The beginning of the race has Sinatra singing “New York New York” which really got me amped up to run.

    As for the actual race, the start is surreal. The Verrazano Bridge is beautiful with great skyline views on one side and ocean views on the other. The two mile bridge is an epic start to the race. Once you’re off the bridge, the fans are there and they are loud! It is so uplifting to see so many happy people out cheering. The next 9 miles or so are in Brooklyn. This stretch is pretty flat. You go through so many different neighborhoods and really get a feel for why people love Brooklyn. There is a stretch where you turn off the wide main road and onto a smaller street. It creates a logjam for runners, but feels much more intimate with the crowds. It was one of my favorite parts. Around the half way point you cross a long bridge into Queens. The Queens stretch is just a few miles, but the residents make their presence known. They are loud and proud. You exit Queens on the Queensboro Bridge which was probably my least favorite part of the run. You’re on the lower deck so you can’t see very much and there are no fans. Once you get off the bridge in Manhattan you go right back to a boisterous crowd. The first Manhattan stretch is straightforward, right up 1st Ave. The crowds are amazing, probably the loudest stretch of the entire race. Then you take a relatively steep bridge (that I walked) into the Bronx. You’re just in the Bronx for 2 miles, but there are some great stretches of crowd support. You cross one more bridge back into Manhattan where there is excellent crowd support as you work your way south. The last four miles are in Central Park which is an amazing end to the race.

    As far as the race course, I consider the first half flat and fast. The only real hill is mile 1 on the Verrazano and a smaller bridge going to Queens. The second half is much more difficult. The Queensboro Bridge is long, plus the other bridges seems more difficult because my legs were getting tired. Central Park actually has lots of rolling hills which I wasn’t expecting. By that time though you’re on such an adrenaline high it doesn’t matter. I was given advice to hold back on the first half because you need it for the second half. That was sound advice.

    Post race is a very slow process. You get your medal almost immediately, then keep walking. You get a goody bag next. That was the best SWAG bag I’ve ever had. There was water, Gatorade, chocolate milk, an apple, protein bar (that’s just what I consumed, but there was more). Even the bag itself is great and worth keeping. You keep walking further for a foil wrap. Then you are split into a poncho group and a bag-check group (you have to pick one ahead of time). I chose the poncho. I am glad I did. They are amazing. They are fleece-lined and did a great job of keeping me warm. I donated all my warm clothes at the start so I didn’t need to do a bag check. After the poncho you work your way through the family meet-up spot which is organized by letters. Letters like X and O didn’t have any families so if you want to have your family meet you there, it would be easy to spot them. All told it took an hour from when I crossed the finish line to when I exited the race area. At the time all I wanted to do was sit down, but the walking is actually quite good for you and I felt good the next day in large part because of it.

    This race exceeded every one of my high expectations. The crowd support, the volunteers, the organized race from start to finish are all second to none. I can’t say enough about how spectacular the New York City Marathon is. One of the best experiences of my life!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    HeatherJ FIRST-TIMER '11

    I registered for my first marathon, the NYC marathon, as a New Year's resolution goal set in 2010. Running the 9+1 program with NYRR, I was in for 2011. The … MORE

    I registered for my first marathon, the NYC marathon, as a New Year’s resolution goal set in 2010. Running the 9+1 program with NYRR, I was in for 2011. The day starts early, but is totally worth it – it’s absolutely, hands-down the best way to see so many different neighborhoods that make up the city. It’s a big deal for businesses and residents as well – every section of the course is lined with people (except the Queensboro Bridge where spectators aren’t allowed) and many businesses blast music as you pass by their establishment. You’ll never experience a crowd or energy like this, at any other race – except maybe, maybe Boston. But, I’m biased.

    Memorable Moments:
    – Every runner singing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” after crossing the start line onto the Verrazano Bridge.
    – The roar of the crowd as I turned the corner from Queens into Manhattan
    – Running into the Bronx and hearing the residents yell “welcome to the Bronx”, and then running out of the Bronx and hearing the residents yell “get the f*** out of the bronx”, while laughing (loved the sense of humor)!
    – Unexpectedly seeing a co-worker on the sidelines who recognized me based on my shoes (which were a gift from my boss for work on a project).
    – How the entertainment changed depending on the culture of the neighborhood.
    – Bridges are hills disguised as architecture.
    – Literally 99.9% of the people I passed on the street congratulating me on my finish.

    Tip:
    – Bring toilet paper if you think you’ll need to go before the start line.
    – Give specific directions on where to meet family and friends (example, the Northeast corner of 1st and 73rd streets). I did this and saw everyone at every point we had mapped out!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Donnald69 FIRST-TIMER '15

    The expo was overwhelming, very New Yorkish. I had planned on at least looking at a few items to buy, but the crowds to purchase were large, the number of … MORE

    The expo was overwhelming, very New Yorkish. I had planned on at least looking at a few items to buy, but the crowds to purchase were large, the number of checkers small. The race was on a warm, slightly humid day. I unfortunately ran under the bridge the first couple miles, at the time I did not know what that meant. I learned that it would be quite warm the initial miles. So much so, I actually was chilled miles 5-8, but not too any extreme. I recovered, ran easy and enjoyed myself. The crowds were AMAZING!!. I have never enjoyed saying hi, waving, fist pumping as much as I did in this race. There were spectators absolutely at every turn. I was glad I decided to run easy, because it made it easier to enjoy the crowds. The route was well marked, including at the finish where you get the opportunity to finish the last couple miles running through the cheering crowds of Central Park. My only real complaint, after finishing, you are put in a narrow chute, that seemed to go on for miles. Of course, people had their phones out, walking slowly, blocking the pathway, and making it seem even longer. I could not get out of the park fast enough. The race itself was well run, well organized and enjoyable. I ALMOST forgive them for the fiasco on how they handled the cancellation of the 2012 marathon. ALMOST 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    susank FIRST-TIMER '15

    Such an amazing, adrenaline-pumping experience! The 2015 NYC Marathon was EVERYTHING I thought it would be, including one of my worst fears - bonking before the end. This race was … MORE

    Such an amazing, adrenaline-pumping experience! The 2015 NYC Marathon was EVERYTHING I thought it would be, including one of my worst fears – bonking before the end. This race was my 2nd real marathon (Chicago two years ago, and Machu Picchu quite a few years back which was more of an endurance day-long walk run so I don’t count it). Having been a half-marathoner up to this point, I’ve been trying to “graduate” to the big girls’ club and the 26.2 mile run! So though I was very happy to be there, admittedly I was pretty nervous about finishing well.

    Waiting at the staging area was easy compared to other years, I’ve heard. Transportation was a cinch booked through Marathon Tours; we rode on a private bus with our friend Donn through the city until we reached Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island. We took our own blankets and throw-away sweats and sweatshirts expecting to be freezing, but it was a beautiful day. The sponsors served ton of coffee, tea, donuts, bagels, energy bars and fruit and we definitely weren’t hungry. With three different corrals and 3-4 start times this race went off without a hitch! Walking through the corrals to the start line was very fun with a small spectator crowd and loud race music (they even have port-a-potties walking in the corrals).

    The race – From the initial one mile climb up the Verrazano Bridge in a tight, crowded group, it was such an exciting day! Although hillier than one would think with quite a few inclined bridges, this race is mostly running through neighborhoods of friendly, partying Brooklyn-ites, Queens folk, Bronx natives, Harlem well-wishers and of course, Manhattan-ites. These people and the NYPD along the entire 26 miles were the most uplifting and entertaining fans I’ve ever seen, and they made my day! Every borough in NYC was alive and partying, every street and street corner packed with lively families and well-wishers. Thank you, New York!

    My boyfriend-trainer and I ran a fairly fast-paced (for me) 18 miles and were determined to not walk until at least mile 21 if at all. It was rewardingly fun also to see my sister, brother-in-law and brother at the appointed 18 mile mark we had planned out the day before. I’ve never experienced family on the sidelines so this meant so much to me and had been a great goal up to that point! However, just past this mark, I found myself walking suddenly through a water top, very dizzy and cramping. I have never cramped before and wow, does that hurt! My months of training definitely came into play, helping me to persevere and push through a painful, zero-electrolyte spiral downward for miles 18-24. Following this slump and thanks to pounding energy drinks and random pretzels and bananas from the generous sideline crowd, I was able to reach my middle-of-the-road goal of finishing under 5 hours by picking up speed the last two miles in the park (gorgeous and largely downhill!) and sprinting up the final hill to the finish, with ten seconds to spare – lol! I ran with my boyfriend, Jeffrey, who thank-goodness stayed with me the entire race and pulled me through my “crazed” 6 mile struggle with a walk ten-run 20 type approach. I also had fellow Antarctic racer Karen P. to thank, whom we also covered a few miles with during my bonk.

    Overall, the entire race was super-organized, from the start to finish, and the medal is beautiful and such a wonderful reward for the work! In the end, I was very happy with my finish and already planning new strategies to prevent future salt deficiency!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    fernandog FIRST-TIMER '14

    If you want a million spectators from all over the world cheering you on, NY Marathon is the only one in the world that can offer that. This particular edition … MORE

    If you want a million spectators from all over the world cheering you on, NY Marathon is the only one in the world that can offer that.

    This particular edition was so windy that the wheelchair division had to start the race on the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Bridge. For the rest of us, side winds made it for a very, very cold start.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    peonysnail REPEAT RUNNER '99

    Born and raised in NYC, this is my hometown race. I have run it multiple times and would do it again in a heartbeat. The highlights include the start over … MORE

    Born and raised in NYC, this is my hometown race. I have run it multiple times and would do it again in a heartbeat. The highlights include the start over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the roar of the crowd as you come off the 59th Street Bridge, and the fall leaves through Central Park.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    dansolera FIRST-TIMER '11

    From the moment you start the New York City Marathon until you cross the finish line, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience. Journeying through the iconic City that Never Sleeps … MORE

    From the moment you start the New York City Marathon until you cross the finish line, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience. Journeying through the iconic City that Never Sleeps through each of its five boroughs is nothing short of exhilarating. Each neighborhood has its own vibe and the skyline is never too far away. With mile markers at every mile starting at 3, you will have reliable splits and your loved ones can easily track you from home. Well-stocked aid stations and millions of supporters make this a truly special event. HOWEVER … you will have to wake up five hours before your start time to get to Fort Wadsworth, and there you will wait for upwards of two hours in the cold to start. Then once you’re done, you will find yourself in the middle of the city with nowhere to rest up and relax from your 26.2-mile journey. It feels like you get kicked out of a party too soon without a chance to kick up your feet. But that aside, the race is one-of-a-kind and worth the high price of admission.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    rfrimmel FIRST-TIMER '09

    Qualified for Boston at this race! Tons of fans long the route. The course is not as tough as you would think. There are the bridges but overall it's a … MORE

    Qualified for Boston at this race! Tons of fans long the route. The course is not as tough as you would think. There are the bridges but overall it’s a nice mix of hills and flat. The entire race is very well run. You have to get up early to get to Staten Island and wait until your corral and wave take off, so be prepared with blankets, food, drink. Also, at the finish, they make you walk about a mile before you get out of park. It’s definitely a must do race. What helped me was the pace band given out at the Nike booth in the expo hall. It wasnt the typical exact mile splits but took in account of the up and down hills. And if you check number of BQ, NYC has a good number who qualify.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    FLTLBrun REPEAT RUNNER '14

    This was my 13th running of the NYC Marathon. Yes, lucky 13. In the past I have complained a lot about this race. Well, after all it is my hometown … MORE

    This was my 13th running of the NYC Marathon. Yes, lucky 13. In the past I have complained a lot about this race. Well, after all it is my hometown marathon and I have the right to complain loudly. But I must be softening in my old age because it seems that either I have less ambition to complain or perhaps they have addressed the previous issues.

    Let’s start at the beginning. The EXPO – I went on Friday morning just as it opened. Some have said how smoothly it went for them and how organized it was. I didn’t have that experience. I had to wait outside for 50 minutes before being allowed into the Javits Center (in the past 12 times this has never happened). Once inside though, number, shirt and packet pickup went smoothly. The official merchandise area was okay but their chutes for the cash registers was awful. This was followed by a very cramped and IMHO unorganized vendor area. When I attempted to stop at a vendor and browse I found myself being pushed and shoved by the crowds passing by. But these issues have nothing to do with the race itself.

    My transportation was the bus from the 42nd Street Library. The lines moved swiftly, security was efficient and moving the buses out to Ft. Wadsworth was a breeze. I was anticipating a muddy mess in the Villages, but it seems they brought out mounds and mounds of straw to help. And it did! Announcements were clear, signage was clear, port-a-potties were plentiful, and getting into the corrals went smoothly. Yes, it was windy and cold, but there’s not much race organizers can do about the elements. The little they could do, e.g. eliminating signage that would have created danger, was communicated to everyone via email the day prior to the race.

    It really takes every ounce of planning and organizing to move 50,000+ people from one place to another. And, as long as the NYRR continues to increase participation, it will continue to be a challenge. However, in spite of these challenges, once the race begins it seems that everything goes smoothly. The water stations were all very well supplied and managed, gu, sponges, and other treats were all equally organized.

    I believe they have made improvements to the finish line area as well. I was able to receive my medal immediately upon finishing and then walk to the heat sheet and finisher recovery bag area without being crushed as in previous years. However, once beyond this point however everything came to a halt and the shuffle began. I chose the “no baggage” option, so I would be leaving the park sooner than those who needed to retrieve their dry bags. Last year we had to walk almost a mile, this year it was a bit closer. I was “caped” and felt nice and toasty in spite of the temps and wind.

    All in all, knowing how difficult it is to produce this mega event, I believe it was well done. There will always be something to complain about but when you consider the size of this event, it was extremely well done.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '14

    BOTTOM LINE: New York City is a marathon in every sense of the word, and if you don’t like your races epic, you probably won’t enjoy New York. But I’m … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: New York City is a marathon in every sense of the word, and if you don’t like your races epic, you probably won’t enjoy New York. But I’m willing to bet you will – and that like the rest of us, once you’re running through its five boroughs with thousands of raucous strangers cheering you on, you’ll be willing to forgive New York its logistical hoops. The lengthy lag time between rise-and-shine and time-to-run is now an engrained part of the New York experience; it’s well worth the chance to start on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and it hella beats running several loops within Central Park (as runners did until 1976). And by the time you reach that start line, you’ll be ready to run through a wall. Besides, what marathoner doesn’t want to be part of the world’s largest running party? Boston may be the marathoning mecca for the fast kids, but for everyone else, that distinction goes to New York City.

    PRODUCTION: Not once did I hear – nor have I ever heard – a single runner complain about the marathon’s $255 entry fee ($288 for me, taking into account my three previous lottery entries at $11 apiece). Because it’s clear where all the money goes. This is a first-class production, choreographed down to the smallest detail and on par with the Best of Broadway. The NYRR did a {insert superlative here} job of ensuring the race and the entire weekend went off without a hitch. The expo was easily navigable, the swag (nice shirt, cool medal, sleek finisher poncho) was great, and the entire weekend was laid out in a colorful 53-page PDF, of which half the pages were ads.

    So race production was silky smooth from the time we set foot in the expo to the moment I crossed the finish line. Which makes the NYRR’s misstep in mile 27 even more perplexing. Once the cheering died, and despite finding ourselves in the city’s emerald oasis, exhausted finishers were unceremoniously funneled out of the park and regurgitated onto Central Park West. Even – or maybe especially – with post-marathon brain it struck me: Why can’t we hang out here?

    Note to NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg: official post-race party or not, that’s your call… but you need to convince the city to open up Central Park to your runners and spectators. You already have the biggest race on the planet – this will bring you one step closer to having the best.

    You must know better than anyone that endorphins sell merch. Were I in your position, I would a) be overwhelmed, but b) take full advantage of each and every runner’s post-race euphoria and hard-earned sense of accomplishment by setting up food carts, sponsor booths, a massage tent, the Asics finisher gear store and a medal engraving station right there in Central Park. My guess is the NYRR lost a lot of potential profit by inexplicably herding runners out of Central Park immediately after the race, and by asking them to return on Monday to buy finisher gear and have their medal engraved. Many folks were on their way home or already back at work by Monday, so this finish-line faux pas was a head-scratcher.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Daniel Otto
    Otter FIRST-TIMER '14

    Be prepared to wake up at an ungodly early hour to catch the Staten Island ferry, followed by a lot of standing/sitting around in often-chilly temps waiting for the race … MORE

    Be prepared to wake up at an ungodly early hour to catch the Staten Island ferry, followed by a lot of standing/sitting around in often-chilly temps waiting for the race to start, but them’s the breaks when you’re running the largest and most famous marathon in the world. It’s not uncommon to board the Staten Island ferry 4 hours before your actual start time, but this race is a true tour of the city — Staten Island (briefly), Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx (briefly), and Manhattan again. A lot of races will SAY they offer a “tour of the city,” but the NYC Marathon actually delivers — the crowd support was unlike anything I’ve experienced before, and I’ve run both Chicago and Berlin. Be prepared to grind through some lengthy-but-necessary queues at both the start and the finish of this race, but those blissful 26.2 miles in the middle make it all worthwhile

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    jrohlede REPEAT RUNNER '14

    Ah New York - what can you say that hasn't already been said. But I'll try..... Spent 3 days in NY doing the sights before the Sunday run. NY is … MORE

    Ah New York – what can you say that hasn’t already been said. But I’ll try…..
    Spent 3 days in NY doing the sights before the Sunday run. NY is a great city. So much to do and so little time. This would come back to haunt me (i.e. legs) as this was my 3rd marathon in 6 weeks. The highlight of the three day pre run trip was having dinner with Web Site creators (RaceRaves) and future Internet moguls Mike Sohaskey and Katie Ho. Who would ever think a poor Midwestern marathon runner would be hobnobbing with celebrities? But on to the actual race…
    The morning dawned cold and windy and the day ended cold and windy. Would like to blame my time on the wind – gusts up to 40 mph but it never really affected the run. Was at our back or side for probably 95% of the run. The trip out to our 3 hour wait on Stanton Island (I took the bus from the Midtown Library) was uneventful. Was hoping for a delay so we would could stay warm on the buses longer but no such luck. The time on Stanton Island was mostly spent wrapped in 3 layers of clothes, a blanket and a parka. The sun actually made some appearances and made passing the time tolerable. The elites and 10:00 starts went off without a hitch. Then it was our turn (the 10:30 start times). Off we go without a hitch. The run was great as was the crowd support. The first two miles across the Verrazano Bridge are definitely the best and most scenic part of the run. I started on the top part of the bridge and can’t say I was too fond of dodging clothes shed by other runners blowing in my face at 40 mph but hey – can’t have a perfect weather day every time. Then the run settled into a run thru the other 4 Burroughs of NY finishing in Central Park. Now for the pros and cons.
    Pros
    Every thing done in NY is first class – registration, transportation, the course, security, crowd support and organization. The run is fun and due to the ‘fun’ of waiting up to 3 hours in Staten Island to start the race you get to meet plenty of other runners from the US and all over the world. All with stories to tell. If you want to do a large marathon this is the one to do.
    Cons
    This is the largest marathon. If you don’t like crowds when running, sightseeing or being herded to the race then this is not for you. If you don’t like spending lots of money to get in and when visiting NY then this is not for you. If you are into running PR’s every race and trying to sprint pass people in races then this is not for you.
    Conclusion
    If you want to run a world class marathon and have a chance to be involved in a race with world class athletes and don’t mind big cities and crowds then this is the race to run. I like running the bigger major marathons with large prize money because it gives me a chance to be involved in some of the major sporting events in the world. As an upper 50’s age runner I think my chances of playing in the Super Bowl, World Series, or NBA finals are fading rapidly.

    So go (if you can get in – another story all together) if you can, hang lose, have fun. You won’t regret it.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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