While it’s not as prestigious as the Boston Marathon or as cool as the London Marathon, the New York City Marathon may be the best overall. The vibe, atmosphere, and surroundings of the NYC Marathon make it an experience you’ll never forget — even if you’re not running. If you’re planning to attend the New York City Marathon as a runner or spectator, you’ll want to know some important information before race day. Knowing this information will help you make the most of your experience and avoid certain hassles.
To run your best race possible, Runner’s World suggests tapering your training wisely in the days leading up to the event and to do enough training on hills since there are some tough hills to conquer on the NYC Marathon course.
When you’re waiting in the start area before the race begins, it’s best to have a blanket or towel with you to sit on and a newspaper, a magazine, or an electronic device to keep you entertained until you line up for the start of the race. Wearing layers of clothes at the beginning of the race that can be disposed of along the course when you start to feel warm from running will also be to your advantage. During the race, you’ll have an easier time conquering all 26.2 miles if you focus on one phase of the race at a time as you’re running it.
There are several great spots along the course that are ideal for spectators who want to cheer on the runners as they pass. If you want to cheer on runners toward the beginning of the race, the Bay Ridge point at miles two and three will be a great place to watch. A block party for spectators usually takes place at First Avenue and 62nd street in Manhattan. To see runners who are near the end of the race, try to get a spot along Central Park South or next to Columbus Circle. The areas around the start and finish lines can be crowded, but you may be able to get a good view if you arrive early enough.
Where to Stay
Many hotels and other local lodging facilities might be booked solid on race day, so it’s important to make your reservation as soon as possible to guarantee a room. Some of the best hotels in the city that offer easy access to the racecourse include Omni Berkshire Place, Hotel Le Bleu,and Park Lane Hotel.
You should also consider Jersey City hotels. You can get into Manhattan within a matter of minutes and avoid some of the congestions that the marathon brings. Hyatt House Jersey City, among other hotels in the area, offers comfortable accommodations and is located right near the PATH station. You can get to and from the city with ease.
The 1, 2, 3 subway trains along with the A, B, C and other trains that stop at major points throughout the city can take you to many areas along the race course. The D train runs through many parts of Brooklyn while the E train will be ideal if you’re trying to reach any part of the race course from Queens.
If you’re coming from Jersey City and want to get to the start line, the PATH train from Exchange Place for the World Trade Center and the R subway train or X27 bus can get you to the Manhattan side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, but you might have to take a taxi across the bridge to reach the starting point on Staten Island.
Food and Drink
Street vendors throughout the city will be selling NYC favorites like hotdogs and cold drinks to spectators on race day. The bars and restaurants near Manhattan’s Central Park or along Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn are great to go for pre- and post-race celebrations.
No matter if you choose to stay in a hotel in NYC or Jersey City, you’ll have easy access to some of the best local attractions. The Statue of Liberty can be reached by catching a ferry from Battery Park, located on the southern tip of Manhattan. Central Park is another top NYC attractionand information about all the features of the park can be found at CentralPark.com. Other top city attractions include Times Square, Chinatown, and Little Italy.
Following this guide will help you have the best experience during your NYC Marathon adventure. Whether you plan to run or just want to watch, there are many ways to make your experience even more enjoyable.