Here’s What to Expect on the New York City Marathon Course – LIFESTYLE BY PS icon

Here’s What to Expect on the New York City Marathon Course

More than 2.5 million fans stay on the streets of New York City's five boroughs each year to cheer and watch over 45,000 runners running in the famous New York City NYC Marathon. While spectating the marathon is not as difficult as participating in it, the spectators must still be well-prepared if they want to have a great time.

Preparing for the Marathon as a Spectator

You'll need to gather important information and bring a few necessities. Make sure to do some homework before race day if you want to see friends or family members running in the NY Marathon. Let’s check out what to expect as a Spectator and how to prepare for these circumstances effectively:

Issues Related to Finding out the Runner’s Details

Discuss your runner's projected pace for every mile ahead of time, so you would be capable of arranging where to be on the race day.

Get the runner's wave started period and projected pace to determine when to expect to see the runners after you've gathered that knowledge. Look through the racing map to devise a strategy.

Find out what your favorite runner will be put on ahead of time; this will keep you informed on what to expect. You'll see dozens of sprinters pass by every second, and spotting clothing is way easier than locating a face in the crowd. It's also a good idea to let your runner know what you'll be putting on so they can keep an eye out for you. Make sure your runner knows which area of the racecourse you'll be on from their point of view.

marathon running

Shortage in Essential Items, so Bring Your Essentials

Make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes because you'll be walking and standing a lot. Even within a single day in early November in NYC, the weather can change dramatically. If rain is forecasted, make sure you're dressed in different layers with rain gear. For your running friends, let them know to bring the essentials, including the watch app for running.

A copy of the detailed course map, a cell phone, a subway map or wireless device, a Metro card, cash (for the subway), drinks, and snacks are also required for viewing the New York City marathon. If you want to check out your runner more than once, you can use the MTA planner to organize your stops. Don't forget to bring your different signs to show your support for your racers. The messages on the signs could be encouraging, amazing, or motivating.

 marathon runners

Deciding What Exactly to Look out for

Since the marathon passes through all five boroughs of New York, it's challenging to watch racers in several spots. If you strategize ahead of time, ride the subways, and try not to mind walking swiftly to be on schedule, you can get from one viewing location to the next. In each kind of borough, here are some fantastic viewing spots.


  • Staten Island is a small island off the coast of New.

Although Staten Island represents the first borough in the marathon, there is no suitable place to cheer. Until the cannon fire on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, marathoners formed groups in the Fort Wadsworth village. On the bridge, with zero onlookers.

  • Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Music Academy is a music school in Brooklyn, New York (Mile 8). This area has a lot of entertainment and people, making it a fantastic place to watch the game. At this stage, sprinters are still feeling strong. If you want to see your runner in a couple of other places, you may quickly jump on the metro and head straight to Manhattan.

  • Queens

Immediately after passing through the Pulaski Bridge. As the runners approach the halfway position, a large audience cheers them on. Queens has around 3 miles of the racetrack.

Tips for Spectators at the Finish Line

The final three miles of the race take place in Manhattan's Park, with the finish line located on West Drive at 67th Street, close to the former Green restaurant’s Tavern. Some entry points will be prohibited because of the many spectators, race officials, and runners expected in Central Park. As a result, traveling around the central park is challenging.

On race day, there are a few options for getting about the park:

  • It is forbidden to cross Park Drive, but one can get over the major road by simply going beneath it. Greywacke Arch is located at 80th Street, Willowdell Arch is at 67th Street, Trefoil Arch is at 73rd Street, and Inscope Arch is at 62nd Street.
  • Find a location between East 86th and East 90th streets in the park. You can get across the central park through the Transverse lane near 85th Street, which is less busy than spots further south.




Final Thoughts

Don't get your hopes up if you're hoping to see your sprinter cross the finish line at Green’s Tavern. You won't be able to see much unless you're a participant, volunteer at the finish line, an official, or have bleacher seats reserved.

Make adequate plans with your sprinter to converge at a designated area outside the park before the race. They'll be able to call you once they've finished, given that they've checked their phone in their sprint bag.