On Sunday, the streets and avenues of the Big Apple will set the stage for the 51st New York City Marathon. More than 50,000 runners from all over the world are getting ready to put themselves to the test at an event that has become mandatory for fans of running, a type of exercise that involves a deep, almost stoic knowledge that extends beyond the mere physical sport. Mind and body, as the Greeks say.
It is not an easy thing to endure 42 kilometers (26.2 miles). It is a test that shows one’s degree of health, endurance, ability and physical and mental strength if the idea is to finish the race, to reach a goal. And the New York City Marathon has been characterized by its power to attract runners from all over the world who are hungry for victory. This year the marathon is resuming its activities at full capacity after the pauses due to the Covid pandemic; that is why, in addition to the traditional race through the five boroughs, it will be viewed as a celebration of life and health.
A bit of history
The first running of the New York City Marathon was held in 1970 in an almost impromptu manner, intended as a trial run by the presidents of the New York Road Runners Club, Fred Lebow and Vincent Chiappetta, who managed to get about 130 participants to register for a race along a path inside Central Park’s Park Drive. The registration fee was symbolic in nature. By the middle of that decade, the race began to grow rapidly thanks to the extension of the course proposed by Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton, and which included all five boroughs.
At the beginning of the 1980s, the New York Marathon had already established itself as a major international event: thousands of professional athletes from around the world signed up for the competition, inspired by the famous feats achieved on the circuit. Among the most celebrated winners of the New York Marathon is Norwegian Grete Waitz. Of the 10 victories that Scandinavian women have scored in the event, Waitz accounts for nine of them, dominating almost a decade. She won between 1978 and 1980 and again from 1982 to 1986 before claiming her final win in 1988. A silver medalist at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, Waitz was the first woman to go under two and a half hours at marathon distance, clocking 2:27:33 in New York in 1979.
What time does the 2022 New York Marathon start?
Different race categories will get underway at different times on Sunday November 9. At 8am local time, the professional wheelchair athletes will set off, followed by the handcycle sprinters and runners with disabilities at 8.20am.
The professional women’s race will get underway at 8.40am with the men’s professional race to follow at 9.05am. After the professional athletes have set off, the general public will begin the race in staggered slots at 9.10am, 9.45am, 10.20am, 10.55am and 11.30am
What route does the New York Marathon follow?
The 26.2-mile (42km) course will pass through all five of New York’s boroughs. The start line is on Staten Island and from there the course wends through Brooklyn Bay Ridge, Sunset Park Slope, Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg. Runners will then pass through Long Island City and Queens before heading across the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. From there, the course runs along First Avenue into the Bronx and the Willis Avenue Bridge.
The route then backs on itself across Manhattan Island via the Madison Avenue Bridge and then runs along a stretch of Central Park, where the finish line awaits on the south side. Spectators can watch the marathon from fenced-off streets that run along the route. The official New York City Marathon website provides a downloadable map of the detailed route.