The NYC marathon returns Sunday to the Big Apple. Here’s everything you need to know.

The 50th edition of the New York City marathon returns this Sunday, Nov. 7 after being wiped out in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic. Here's everything you need to know.

News 12 Staff

Nov 5, 2021, 4:56 PM

Updated 930 days ago

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The NYC marathon returns Sunday to the Big Apple. Here’s everything you need to know.
The 50th edition of the New York City marathon returns this Sunday, Nov. 7 after being wiped out in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic. 
A limited field of 33,000 runners will jog off the Verrazzano Bridge and wind its way toward Central Park in the 26.2-mile TCS New York City Marathon.
Below is everything you need to know about the race:

HOW WAS THE RACING LIMITED?

Organizers shrank the field by nearly 40% and are requiring runners be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the race. Spectators will be encouraged to maintain social distancing, and some race-adjacent entertainment elements will be scaled back to accommodate that. 

WAS THE FORMAT ALTERED?

The starting format was altered, too, with a fifth wave added to space out runners as they bus or ferry to the starting line in Staten Island and at the finish near 67th Street on the west side of Central Park. 

WHAT IS THE MARATHON ROUTE?

The marathon starts at the Verrazzano Bridge and ends at Central Park.

ARE THERE ANY ROAD CLOSURES?

Yes! Many roads will be closed most of the day - some going well into the evening. See a list of the road closures here. There will also be disruption to public transportation. Take a look at more information on that here from the MTA.

I WANT TO WHAT THE RACE IN-PERSON!

The best way to get around as a spectator is to take the subway, the organizers say. Please note that face coverings are required on all NYC public transportation. Use MTA Trip Planner for up-to-date info. Click here for more information about watching the race.

WHO ARE SOME OF THE RUNNERS PARTICIPATING?

Several Olympic medalists will compete in the open division, with the men's and women's champions earning $100,000 each. The most anticipated by fans locally will be Molly Seidel, an American woman who won bronze in the Tokyo Olympics marathon in just her third race at the distance. She was the first U.S. woman to medal since Deena Kastor won bronze in 2004.
Seidel's medal-winning run was only 13 weeks ago, a short turnaround for marathon runners. Seidel said she was entering Sunday without expectations. Her top competitor, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, is coming off the same limited rest after winning gold in Tokyo.
It's a big turn into the spotlight for the 27-year-old Seidel, who has never run a marathon amid this kind of fanfare. Spectators at the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials created energy but not on New York's scale, while the 2020 London Marathon was held behind locked gates at St. James Park. Some locals lined the streets for the Olympic marathon in Sapporo, Japan, but Seidel said “it was very low key, a lot of like, golf clapping.”
Her family also will be able to watch her race in person for the first time since the U.S. trials.
Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia is the headliner for the men's race. The four-time Olympic champion is among the most decorated distance runners ever, and at 39, he might be running his last race on U.S. soil.
The top American in the men's field should be Ben True, a six-time national champion at other distances who is making his marathon debut.
American Daniel Romanchuk is seeking a third straight victory in the men's wheelchair race, while former champs Manuela Schär of Switzerland and Tatyana McFadden of the U.S. lead the women's wheelchair division.
There will be some gold medals in the non-competitive waves, too: U.S. women's national soccer team alumni Abby Wambach, Lauren Holiday, Kate Markgraf and Leslie Osborne are among the celebrities running this year.
Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber is racing for the seventh time, while two members of British rock band Mumford & Sons are running NYC for the first time. Tony Award-winning actress Kelli O'Hara will perform the national anthem and then hit the course, and former contestants on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” Matt James, Tyler Cameron, Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark are also participating.

WHAT LANDMARKS ARE ALONG THE ROUTE?

New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission launched “50 for the 50th,” an interactive story map in honor of the New York City Marathon’s 50th running to celebrate the return of what many people call “New York’s Best Day” after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 marathon. The story map highlights a selection of 50 landmarks and historic districts along the route in all five boroughs.  

50 YEARS? WOW! HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ON THE HISTORY OF THE MARATHON?

The first New York City Marathon, organized by New York Road Runners, took place Sept. 13, 1970, in Central Park, with an entry fee of $1 and a budget of $1,000. Of the 127 registered runners, there are 55 finishers. Learn more about the marathon’s history here. 
AP wire services contributed to this report.


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