The New York City Marathon is an annual event that takes place in the city of New York. It one of the most prestigious events in United States and is also the largest marathon on the globe, with more than 50,000 people finishing the race in the 2013 marathon. It is also a part of the World Marathon Majors. The New York City Marathon is being organised and managed by New York Road Runners Club. It has been organised each year since 1970, but was not run in 2012 because of the Hurricane Sandy. The New York City Marathon is being currently sponsored by a multinational company, Tata Consultancy Service.
The New York City Marathon was started by Fred Lebow and is held in November’s first Sunday each year. The race attracts amateur as well as professional runners from all over the United States and the world. The race is so much popular that the officials have to use a lottery system to grant entries to the prospective participants. Though there are some ways by which the willing people can get guaranteed entry into the marathon. Firstly a guaranteed entry can be gained by coming up to the requirements of 9+1K program, meeting the set qualification time standards or having participated and completed 15 or more previous New York City Marathons. In 2000, the hand cycle and wheelchair division of the marathon were also introduced.
The course of the New York City Marathon was planned by Ted Corbitt, who himself was a long distance runner. The course of the 1970’s New York City Marathon was designed in such a way that the runners had to repeatedly run near and around the Central Park but these days the course of the marathon passes through all the five of New York’s boroughs. The race begins on the Staten Island, Fort Wadsworth. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge which is close by also has great significance with regards to the event. In the initial minutes of the race the whole bridge is filled with the running participants. After passing the bridge the runners have to pass through Brooklyn, most of the course here winds along the Fourth Avenue as well as Bedford Avenue for almost 18 km or 11 miles. Then the runners have to pass through the neighbourhoods of Bay Ridge, Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Greenpoint and Williamsburg.
The runners also pass by the Pulaski Bridge at 21.1 km or 13.1 miles. It also marks the half way of the race and then the runners have to enter in the Long Island City, Queens. About 4 km or 2.5 miles into Queens the participants have to cross the East River for going into Manhattan for which they pass over Queensboro Bridge. This point is also very testing for the runners because of gradient of the bridge. When the runners reach Manhattan the race then proceeds on the First Avenue. Afterwards the runners proceed towards Harlem moving down the Fifth Avenue and then into the Central Park. The race then finishes just outside of the Tavern on the Green. The race starts at 10:10 in the morning and the runners have to complete the race on 8 hours and 30 minutes.
The New York City Marathon’s first edition was held in 1970 and was organised by president of New York Road Runners Club, Mr. Fred Lebow and Mr. Vincent Chiappetta. There were only 127 runners in the first edition and they had to run in loops around the Central Park. At the end of the race only 55 runners were able to cross the finish line. The race has since grown and has achieved worldwide success. In the 1976’s edition of the race, Dick Traum became the first person to compete and finish any marathon. Then two years later Greg Waitz, a Norwegian broke the women’s world record for marathon when she was times at 2:32:30. The 1983 New York City Marathon became famous because of Rod Dixon of New Zealand who beat the English runner Geoff Smith by just 9 seconds. Smith had been in lead for the better part of the game and with just 10 kilometers to go Dixon was almost more than 2 minutes behind Smith but eventually pushed on to win the race by 9 seconds.
The 2012 New York City Marathon was cancelled because of the devastation caused Hurricane Sandy just a week before. As a result people who had already registered for the 2012’s edition of the marathon were given three option, wither they could have their amount refunded, non-complimentary yet guaranteed entry to 2013, 2014 or 2105 New York City Marathons or a guaranteed but non-complimentary entry in the New York City Half Marathon in 2013. The officials at the New York City Marathon are also very much concerned about the safety and security of the participants, partners and spectators. The security officials stay active along the whole course of the marathon. There are also prohibitions on what the spectators and the participants can bring along. All the bags that items that people bring along are subject to inspection by the officials of the New York Road Runners, other security personnel and the officials of New York Police Department.
The New York City Marathon raised more than 415 Million US Dollars for the city in 2013 according to the statistics of New York Road Runners.
The New York City Marathon has also been quite helpful for the charities in raising funds for various causes. The rules for the charities are also quite flexible. If any prospective runner is not able to get an entry into the marathon, he or she can get a guaranteed place in the marathon through the official charity partners of the marathon. Though each charity partner might have their own terms and conditions and incentives for their fundraisers.
The New York City Marathon has become the largest marathon event of the earth and more than two million people come to see this annual event. Runners from all over the globe look forward to compete in this prestigious event and also attracts elite athletes. It is surely a great feeling to complete shoulder to shoulder with the elite of the world. If you are looking to compete in any marathon then New York City Marathon is not worth missing.