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Best Places to View the NYC Marathon

November 1, 2019 | 4 min Read

November 3, 2019, is a huge day for New York City. It’s the annual TCS New York City Marathon! The TCS New York City Marathon has grown from a small race in Central Park that began in 1970 with a mere 55 finishers, to the world’s biggest and most popular marathon, with more than 52,000 finishers in 2018. Last year the average finish time was only 4 hours, 42 minutes, and 22 seconds! Individuals from 129 countries participated and over $40 million dollars were raised for charity. The race is organized by New York Road Runners whose mission is to help and inspire people through running.

The 26.2-mile course winds its way through all five New York boroughs. Runners will be cheered on by over a million spectators! The race starts at 8:30 am EST and participants are staggered in different heats from thereon.

If you’re not willing to brave the streets and watch in person, the race will be covered by ESPN and highlights will be shown on ABC, in addition to local New York channels. And there’s also an official TCS New York City Marathon Mobile App Powered by Tata Consultancy that you can use to follow a specific runner, map the course and more.

But for those who love the action and race buzz, there’s nothing like cheering on runners during the marathon. Read on for a few recommended viewing spots courtesy of the NYRR website, where you can also find a full mile-by-mile spectator breakdown.

  • Miles 2-4: Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn at the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
  • Mile 16: First Avenue at 62nd Street. Here you’ll find the New Balance Mile 16 Block Party with some of New York’s best performers such as DJ Corey Townes and Brooklyn United Drumline. Join the cheering party!
  • Miles 18-20: East Harlem, aka Spanish Harlem. As the race winds to its final miles, the participants need encouragement more than ever. This historically Latino neighborhood is the perfect place to help boost runner morale. Known for its race-day music and effusive encouragement of runners, the energy is palpable.
  • Miles 21- 22: Cheer on the runners in their final miles at the Charity Cheer Zone on  First Avenue at East 120th Street. Here you can help celebrate runners who’ve raised funds for one of NYRR’s official charity partners. Individual charities have their own cheer zones and there’s also a DJ with tunes to keep the energy up!

  • Miles 23-24: Fifth Avenue, East 90th Street-East 105th Street. This is a cultural hub with five museums within a short distance of one another near Fifth Avenue. It’s also the last chance to see the runners before they head into Central Park.  
  • The last miles are run through Central Park to the finish line at 67th Street on West Drive. As the finish line comes into sight, spectators will witness plenty of emotion from glory to relief, laughter to tears, and utter joy to fatigue. To be at the finish line, grandstand tickets must be purchased in advance. There are two additional nearby cheers zones: TCS Cheer Zone: Columbus Circle. United Stage: Columbus Circle.

Wherever you choose to cheer, from the couch or the streets, dress appropriately, stay hydrated and enjoy the electric city-wide energy that is the TCS New York City Marathon. Be forewarned, you might get caught up in the excitement, fun, and drama, and find yourself training for the 2020 marathon!

Staying in New York City – About The Lombardy Hotel

The Lombardy Hotel is just as iconic to Midtown Manhattan as many of the other historic and cultural attractions in the area. Not only are our rooms comfortable and tasteful, we provide amenities such as a full salon, coffee shop, and exercise room. We also host the American Cut Midtown steakhouse, perfect for a business lunch or dinner on a special occasion. We look forward to hosting you.

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