When 50,000 runners gather on the starting line of the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, you can be sure that there will be a wide range of abilities and levels of preparedness. Some racers prefer to go into a big event without much of a pre-determined game plan and feel their way through the day—good for them, there’s nothing wrong with a little spontaneity.
If you’re not that type of runner, you might want to gather race-specific insights ahead of time. Then you’ve come to the right place. From local wisdom to an “everyman” runner’s perspective, and course-specific tips provided by Meb Keflezighi, who won the race in 2009, we’ve assembled this NYC Marathon guide. Here’s hoping it serves you well on race day!
Find a good pre-race run
New York City is vast, and not particularly easy to navigate. We located five good options to get in a nice shakeout run in the days before the big event. Central Park, the first option on our list, will be the busiest spot to visit, and running there allows you to check out the final few miles of the racecourse. But, if you’re crowd adverse the other options here will be far less busy.
RELATED: 5 Places to Run in New York City
Get the little things right
Every race has its quirks—the main thing to keep in mind with New York is that the 50,000 runner field can feel overwhelming. Mike Rorick, an “everyman” runner we spoke to for this guide, has run the race three times, and has also raced the Boston Marathon. “Boston feels like a large cross country meet compared to New York,” Rorick says. “The start on the Verezano Bridge, with two decks filled with runners, is logistically challenging for the uninitiated, so give yourself plenty of time on race morning.”
Seek advice from a New York-based running coach
Olympian John Henwood, originally from New Zealand, finished 15th at the 2005 NYC Marathon and 21st in 2008. He now lives and coaches runners in New York City. He’s trained several sub-3:00 NYC Marathon runners, as well as Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers. The related article below outlines Henwood’s New York-specific race strategies.
Learn from a champion
Meb Keflezighi has finished in the top 10 of the NYC Marathon seven times, winning it in 2009 and setting a master’s record as a 40-year-old competitor at last year’s race. In the article “Meb Keflezighi’s Ultimate NYC Marathon Advice,” he provided his insights on the course and where to make your moves. Last year, Meb provided additional information for NYC Marathon runners, this time taking a borough-by-borough approach.