Overall Rating
Overall Rating (129 Reviews)
4.6
(129 Ratings)  (129 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.4
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.4
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

    renata77 FIRST-TIMER '23

    Unbelievable crowds that cheer you up during the entire race, unforgettable experience. You have no time to think about how tired you are, the crowd just keeps you running. One … MORE

    Unbelievable crowds that cheer you up during the entire race, unforgettable experience. You have no time to think about how tired you are, the crowd just keeps you running. One of a kind!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    lbrown73 FIRST-TIMER '23

    Running/Walking through the five NYC burroughs and getting to see the neighborhoods up so close was amazing! The support was amazing, the route was fantastic, the volunteers .... ALL OF … MORE

    Running/Walking through the five NYC burroughs and getting to see the neighborhoods up so close was amazing! The support was amazing, the route was fantastic, the volunteers …. ALL OF IT is so incredible! I really wanted to soak this one in so I was not going for time but just to finish and I did! 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    thegerm REPEAT RUNNER '23

    I admit this may be an unpopular point of view but hear me out. Before I get to the "but" I am a New Yorker through and through. Born and … MORE

    I admit this may be an unpopular point of view but hear me out.
    Before I get to the “but” I am a New Yorker through and through. Born and raised and still work in the city. I love NYC. As for the race, we know it is one of the IT races in the world. It will be hard to find a race with this much noise and crowd support and music along the route. The expo is enormous, the medal is awesome, you get a quality post race poncho and bag of goodies. You get to run the 5 boroughs and traverse some bridges. All these things are 100% true (and here it is) BUT there are certain things you should know about if you’ve never done this race. First, do yourself the favor and run this race at least once. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from doing it.
    I’ve done this race 5 times. My biggest peeve is getting to the race start. Unless you live in Staten Island or get dropped off there by someone. It’s a pain in the neck and time consuming to get to the race start. Your options are the midtown bus or the ferry. Either way there are lots of lines and crowds and waiting. I live in Jersey now. My wave started at 9:10 and I had to wake up at 4:15 to get to my midtown bus. That’s 5 hours of waiting and commuting before the race begins. It’s a long haul and at least for me I felt tired even before the race began. I understand there are 50k people running and it makes for tough logistics. But it’s a pain. Another one of my peeves is how loud it is. Don’t get me wrong, I love crowd support. You see some great signs and support. But between the crowds and bands playing along the route, my head felt oversaturated with the stimulus of sound. I’ve heard others say the same, so it’s not just me. If noise bothers you, playing music in your earphones may help drown out the noise. But conversely, others live for it. I respect that. The other issue I have is that it is a slow crawl to get out of the park once you are done. You have to walk a lot and it takes time to get out. It sucks when you are cold and tired and just want to leave.
    Aside from my peeves, I do need to shout out the amazing volunteers. There are tons of water/ Gatorade stations. They give gels and even Vaseline, bananas and oranges. You also see a lot of medical and other race volunteers after the race attending to people and asking if anyone needs help. They truly take care of the runners and their well being. Lastly, I’ll comment on the race course. I don’t think it is too hilly. The worst is the bridges. The Queensborough bridge seems to be the toughest hill and it is very quiet there. You mostly hear breathing and the pitter patter of steps. It’s not an easy course but not difficult either. I’ve run NYC 5x, Philly, Jersey City and Delaware. All are special but NYC is not my favorite. But it could be yours.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    kbrush0014 FIRST-TIMER '23

    It’s a hard course. Waiting around all morning for your assigned wave can wear you out. Smell off pot everywhere which can be nauseating. But great experience and tour of … MORE

    It’s a hard course. Waiting around all morning for your assigned wave can wear you out. Smell off pot everywhere which can be nauseating. But great experience and tour of the city

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    drrobert909 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    I ran this back in 2021 when they came back from the shutdowns. It was a great time but it was a watered down version of the race and I … MORE

    I ran this back in 2021 when they came back from the shutdowns. It was a great time but it was a watered down version of the race and I really wanted to experience the true NYC Marathon.

    The Support on the course is second to none. Lines of crowds lined up pretty much from the moment you get off the Verrazano Bridge at Mile two till you hit the 59th St Bridge in Long Island City. On the 59th St Bridge, things go quiet for about a mile and half as you cross the Bridge but as you get closer to running off the Bridge, you can hear the crowds from 1st ave getting ready to cheer you on. The moment you are off the Bridge it’s pretty much deep crowds cheering you from Manhattan to the Bronx and back to the Central Park finish.

    After the race can be tough as you will have a long walk from the finish till you exit the park and there no official after party, but once your out and you have your medal and finisher poncho, you will get cheered as you walk through the door of many of the bars and restaurants.

    This is a must do Marathon and I can’t wait till do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    RunningDunes FIRST-TIMER '23

    For 22 of the miles, it’s like running through a football stadium that doesn’t end. People show out to cheer and support EVERY runner - not just the ones they … MORE

    For 22 of the miles, it’s like running through a football stadium that doesn’t end. People show out to cheer and support EVERY runner – not just the ones they know. The people of New York always get a bad rep for not being “nice” but DAMN do they support their boroughs and the people running through them.

    Definitely write your name on your shirt, because people will be chirping at you all race. If there was ever something to help you push through a fairly tough course (mainly the amount of foot traffic around you ~50k of your closest friends) the supporters will make every step of the race feel brand new. It’s an incredible turnout and find it hard to believe any other race can live up to the crowd.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    johnbizzell FIRST-TIMER '23

    Bag check is Friday and Saturday no bag check on day of the race. Learned this the hard way. This is a great race to run easy and have some … MORE

    Bag check is Friday and Saturday no bag check on day of the race. Learned this the hard way. This is a great race to run easy and have some fun! I’ll be back someday.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    roisaac REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This race was awesome. Completely worth it. The crowd support is amazing. This was my 2nd world major. The swag is sweet. The course is challenging with the bridges. Plenty … MORE

    This race was awesome. Completely worth it. The crowd support is amazing. This was my 2nd world major. The swag is sweet. The course is challenging with the bridges. Plenty of water and Gatorade stops.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    LasagnaDelRey REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This is my 4th NYC Marathon and here's how I can best sum it up: it's hard, it's a party, you're a celebrity. It's Hard: -Corralling 50,000 people to the … MORE

    This is my 4th NYC Marathon and here’s how I can best sum it up: it’s hard, it’s a party, you’re a celebrity.

    It’s Hard:
    -Corralling 50,000 people to the start line will always be a challenge. Prepare to start your journey early and lots of waiting along way. Waiting to get on the ferry, waiting to get on a coach bus, walking, sitting at the village. It’s not convenient for any runner but it’s damn near impressive how they do it (even if it takes forever and can be frustrating).
    -The course is hard. Bridges, bridges, bridges. 5th Ave Hill. Sometimes the course gets too small and there is a bottleneck because the crowd is so dense. It’s not an easy course!

    It’s a party:
    -The crowd is electric from start to finish. Every borough shows up in different ways. After living here for close to 15-years, I can safely say that it is a perfect representation of the city I love.
    -Go to a bar or restaurant after. Trust me – the party does not stop once you’ve finished the race.

    You’re a celebrity:
    -In NYC, you’re treated like royalty. Anyone seeing you in a post-race poncho or a medal is going to call you out and tell you congrats! Restaurants the night before, the waiter will always ask “so who here is running?” There are amazing free opportunities for runners from shakeout runs with celebs to free pasta trucks, slices of pizza, short massages.
    -The expo makes you feel like a big deal!

    TBH you’ll be spoiled if this is your first marathon. However, EVERYONE should try to run this race. It is unlike anything else in the world.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    dchaplin1990 FIRST-TIMER '23

    The on course atmosphere was super amazing, and the medal was super cool, getting to be in each burrow was so amazing, and the atmosphere was amazing in each burrow, … MORE

    The on course atmosphere was super amazing, and the medal was super cool, getting to be in each burrow was so amazing, and the atmosphere was amazing in each burrow, would definitely consider making a return trip

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    aimeeault FIRST-TIMER '23

    "The marathon before the marathon" -- transit there was mostly pretty good. Shuttle buses once again for another year had issues and didn't drop runners off at the actual drop-off … MORE

    “The marathon before the marathon” — transit there was mostly pretty good. Shuttle buses once again for another year had issues and didn’t drop runners off at the actual drop-off point and required a half mile walk, which was unfortunate.

    Having run Chicago the previous year, I was really curious how the two would compare and they felt pretty similar. NYC had phenomenal crowd support and the only dull moment was the Queensboro Bridge where the crowd isn’t allowed.

    The Queensboro Bridge is a beast. It is not a steep beast. It is just a very long uphill slog that slowly eats away at you. There are two additional bridges after it up in the Bronx but they are comparatively mild and/or short.

    There were parts of Brooklyn and Willimsborough where there wasn’t good crowd control and as a result, the course itself became bottlenecked and runners were slowed down to a walking pace, which leads me to my next concern: People just stopping running randomly without warning. I broke a toe tripping and almost falling into a retainer wall thanks to multiple people being unpredictable. I did not have this problem at Chicago–there’s just too many people on too narrow of a course–you can PR here, but understand that all of the various “people” problems will impact you from setting specific goals for a PR (I really wanted to sub-4 but it just was not possible due to human factors outside of my control).

    I know that’s a lot of nits but this race is AMAZING all the same–the energy, the emotion, the whole vibe—it makes up for the issues in spades. Wear your name on your shirt–you will have all of the supporters/fans in the world screaming your name in the most sincere fashion. Did I meet my goal time? No. But did I feel like a freaking badass? Oh hell yeah.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    SDSusan REPEAT RUNNER '22

    The NYC marathon is my favorite of all, after running 4 of 6 majors and many others, including Boston several times. I've run NYC 7 times and it never ceases … MORE

    The NYC marathon is my favorite of all, after running 4 of 6 majors and many others, including Boston several times. I’ve run NYC 7 times and it never ceases to thrill me to pieces! There is absolutely nothing like the wave of energy from the crowd, which you can ride from start to finish. Then there’s the music and dancing you see, hear and feel along the way – AMAZING! NYC really goes all out and shows up to support, scream, cry, cheer, and yell for the runners. Yes, it’s not a flat, easy course, but it is not that hard, despite the bridges and the crowd will let you ride their energy, which gets you through it all. Truly nothing like it. You will be so moved. I hope all runners get the chance to do this race, which is not only a world-class marathon through one of the most exciting cities, but also an experience. I look forward to this day all year long. Nothing makes me feel more alive!!!! Do it.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    samderusso FIRST-TIMER '22

    This major is a MUST do if you get the chance. Hands down the best crowd support you’ll ever experience. The feeling was unreal when they are just screaming for … MORE

    This major is a MUST do if you get the chance. Hands down the best crowd support you’ll ever experience. The feeling was unreal when they are just screaming for you as you run through a tunnel of people. Every moment of the race was amazing.
    The weather this year was hot and even with a bad finish time for myself, it was incredible.
    Race morning logistics can be overwhelming but once you read through things and read some tips online, it’s not bad at all. The only downside is the wait to start late. That was hard for me to start late but again, WORTH IT. This is truly a once in a lifetime race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Vendsweet REPEAT RUNNER '22

    The New York City Marathon is a bucket list race. Sure there are things about it that are inconvenient-- like having being transported to the start at 4AM for a … MORE

    The New York City Marathon is a bucket list race. Sure there are things about it that are inconvenient– like having being transported to the start at 4AM for a 9AM or later start, but the race is so fun and there are so many people out on the course encouraging you. This particular year it was super hot and humid, so my time was slow– but the race typically has great weather.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    mwpotter5 FIRST-TIMER '22

    What can I say? This is THE New York City Marathon. I have been wanting to do this race for years and it did not disappoint. I'd say the only … MORE

    What can I say? This is THE New York City Marathon. I have been wanting to do this race for years and it did not disappoint. I’d say the only thing that really went wrong was the bus situation getting off the ferry. Otherwise, the crowds were amazing, the on course support was great, and the swag was on point.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    GM2018 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This was my third major after Chicago and Berlin. The crowd was amazing--both Chicago and Berlin were cold and rainy, so the crowds were sparse. The course was well organized … MORE

    This was my third major after Chicago and Berlin. The crowd was amazing–both Chicago and Berlin were cold and rainy, so the crowds were sparse. The course was well organized with aid stations (medical, port-a-pottys, water and gatorade every mile), but I have 2 big gripes:
    1. They say no running vests/backpacks, but plenty of people used them and were allowed to. I wish I hadn’t read the rules, because I can’t drink gatorade without puking, but it was really hot and humid.
    2. I was really unimpressed with NYRR’s organization of the pre-race logistics. If you can, definitely take a bus from mid-town or use your own transportation to the start; it can’t be worse than the ferry. It took me 3 hours to get from my hotel at Grand Central Station to the race start. Getting to and on the ferry was about as simple as expected. However, after we got off the ferry, it was a mad rush to about 15 buses. It took me an hour and 15 minutes to get on one, and that was only because a cop finally escorted me on after watching me get crushed/nearly trampled 3 times. There was no crowd control/organized lines, and it was pretty dangerous with people surging and shoving to get on buses. There were wave 2 runners who were going to miss their start and wave 5 runners shoving onto buses because they just wanted to get to the start. There were no metal barriers to direct runners onto buses, and buses weren’t stopping in consistent spots, so the front part of the pack would be shoved in multiple directions depending on where buses stopped in that round. No better way to spend the morning of a marathon than standing and being pushed around for over an hour! Once on the bus, it was another 20 minutes to the race start area (the roads were shockingly not closed) and another 10-15 minutes to get to the corrals.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    lchristensen44 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    The expo is easy to get. Getting your bib is easy. There is a place to try on shirts for size BEFORE picking up your shirt. I suggest you do … MORE

    The expo is easy to get. Getting your bib is easy. There is a place to try on shirts for size BEFORE picking up your shirt. I suggest you do this because my husband’s shirt was too small. New Balance had a lot of different items. I arrived around 11 on Friday and the New Balance area was like a Black Friday frenzy. If you see something you’re interested in buying, grab it before it’s gone.
    If you have not run NYC be prepared to wait. If you’re slower than a 9 minute pace, be prepared to wait a long time. Our bus time was 5:30am (it took 30 minutes to get on the bus, about an hour bus ride). Our start time was 11:30. We packed a second breakfast that we ate about three hours before our start time.
    In 2022, the weather was unseasonably warm. When we started at 11:30 the temperature was about 75 degrees F. I hope this was an anomaly but at mile 9 water station they ran out of cups. I had to cup my hands and drink like a dog lapping water from a bowl. Hopefully that issue will be resolved in the future.
    The crowds are fantastic. We were slower than most runners. Heck, we started after the elites had already finished. Even so, I was amazed at the number of people cheering for us. The race bibs don’t have names on them. Be sure to put your name on the front of your shirt so people can cheer for you. I learned the start villages had some tape and markers for this. The start villages also had bagels, drinks, Dunkin beanies, porta potties and therapy dogs.
    The course is deceptively hard. It’s all pavement so if you train on soft surfaces, like me, you may start to feel it in the later miles. There are also what seem to be a lot of inclines.
    The finish area has your medal, poncho (leave room in your luggage for this) and recovery bag which had two drinks, pretzels and an apple. It’s a walk to get out of the finish area to meet spectators. If someone is going to watch you, plan on a spot to meet up afterwards.
    NYC is an experience like no other race. If you’re up for it, go for it.
    PS – We got in by being lucky and snagging virtual with guaranteed entry virtual spots. If you are interested in that, register on NYRR and watch for the announcements. I think that opportunity takes place in early June.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    melaniecaceres FIRST-TIMER '22

    Get to the expo early if you want to buy stuff. Come back on Saturday if you want to meet your heroes! I would most definitely sign up through a … MORE

    Get to the expo early if you want to buy stuff. Come back on Saturday if you want to meet your heroes! I would most definitely sign up through a tour partner like Marathon Tours because the logistics are tricky and they make everything smooth as silk. The course is HARD. I’ve run 18 other marathons and this was one of the more difficult courses. You have to get there WAY before you start running and New York is just a big, tiring city to begin with.
    It starts at an incline over the bridge and then to me it feels like it sorta inclines up more than 1/2 way. The crowds (especially in Brooklyn) are INTENSE! If you’ve ever run the Peachtree Road Race, its like that for 26 miles. Its wonderful and amazing and why you do New York, but it is very hard to focus on what you’re doing and settle into a pace. In many areas the crowd is so thick they are crowding the course and you can only run 2-3 people across the road. Plus no matter how fast or slow you are there are TONS of people all around you at every moment. The people of New York city make this race really magic and special to me! I felt honored that so many people spent hours and hours and hours out on the course cheering and making it really fun! The cops in the Bronx are a highlight for sure! Don’t expect a good time and allow yourself to relax and enjoy and go with the flow and you’re for sure in for a great experience!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    mnjogger FIRST-TIMER '22

    I tell people there are 100 variables that go into race day: Some you can control, others you can't. The weather falls into the latter. I had a rough day. … MORE

    I tell people there are 100 variables that go into race day: Some you can control, others you can’t. The weather falls into the latter. I had a rough day. When I started the race, air temp was about 70 degrees (F) and humidity about 85% if the weather app is correct. By mile two I was dripping in sweat, which is uncharacteristic for me. I intentionally slowed down the first 3 miles, then afterwards found I couldn’t really pick up the pace at all. I needed to stop at every water stop for fluids, but even that didn’t seem enough. Around mile 13 I needed to transition to a walk-run strategy because my body was struggling with the heat. With 200 meters left in the race my right leg cramped up pretty badly and I needed to hobble into the finish. This was by far my worse marathon performance of the 32 I’ve done, but I haven’t raced in these conditions before either. I continued cramping up for several hours after the race despite taking in more fluids and keeping up with Endurolytes during the race.

    For a race this size I thought the coordination was well done. Communications were good and the mobile app helpful. The expo was easy to get in and out if you just wanted to pick up your bib and shirt. But if you wanted to visit expo vendors you needed to pass through the New Balance store and that was chaos! It wasn’t quite shoulder-to-shoulder passing through there, but it was nearly so. On the other side of the store was the expo. I truly hope they have a better floor plan for future marathons because that layout was poorly designed for that volume of people.

    Race day itself started early. I was dropped off to enter the green zone about 4 hours before my start. I recommend bringing a magazine if you don’t have friends with you to pass the time. Fortunately we had a glorious and warm morning. My photo below is from the green staging area. Portopotties were plentiful: If there was any line at all, it was never more than 2 people. I did bring extra TP, just in case, and glad I did. They had (free) bagels, water, coffee, and Gatorade available too. There was plenty of room to sit around. There were many drop boxes for clothes.

    Starting corral was orderly getting everyone lined up and onto the race course. While there were many runners, I still felt there was enough space around me to move freely once the race started. The course itself seemed to have some long albeit minor up hills – just an observation. The bridges I thought were pretty cool in how distinct they were, and didn’t pose any issue for me. Each water stop seemed to have about a dozen portopotties with a wait of at most 1-3 people by the time I came by. The volunteers and the NYC cheering crowds were outstanding! Plenty of police around too cheering people on. Bravo NYC! Once you entered the Bronx (mile 20ish) there was a cop who announced there was a non-loitering law there so we’d better keep our butts moving 🙂

    After crossing the finish line, there is a long exit chute in which you receive your poncho and post race snacks in a bag after getting your medal. For me I appreciated the slow walk and being able to chat with other runners who just experienced what I had. Turns out I wasn’t alone in struggling with the heat. This did reinforce to me the importance of changing a race plan based on conditions, and changing a goal of a certain time to one of just finishing the race. Of that I’m proud that I adjusted my plan as it enabled me to finish. No regrets from running this race and one I’d recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    jstick FIRST-TIMER '22

    be prepared to wait! Wait in line for a bus/ferry, await in line at security, not wait in a field for 3+ hours, wait in a corral, wait at the … MORE

    be prepared to wait! Wait in line for a bus/ferry, await in line at security, not wait in a field for 3+ hours, wait in a corral, wait at the start line.

    Crowd support is unreal though.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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