We welcome you to the world’s largest Marathon, oh yes you read that right! The New York City Marathon is an annual event that courses through five boroughs of New York City.
If you are thinking of taking your passion for running to the ultimate level of running a marathon, then you must focus your training on some elite running events. The New York City (NYC) Marathon is one of the most popular and revered running events that attract hundreds of thousands of people every year. This event is managed by New York Road Runners organization (NYRR) and TCS group is the official sponsor of this event till 2021.
Here is all you’d wish to know about this evolutionary marathon -
- About the NYC Marathon
- A Brief History
- Registration and Entry Details
- Qualifying Times
- Special Entry Programs
- NYC Marathon Course Details and Route Map
- Schedule of the Marathon
- Logistics Information
- Training for the NYC Marathon
- Charity Programmes
- Prize Money
- Frequently Asked Questions:
- Previous Year Qualifiers
About the NYC Marathon
NYC Marathon is held on the first Sunday in November each year, since 1970. This race is so popular among beginners and expert runners that the participation is determined by NYC Marathon lottery system.
The NYC Marathon is being held on November 4, 2018, in the main square of New York City. A 26.2-mile long race, this stands as the biggest event in November for NYC and is organized by New York Long Runners every year. Now renowned as one of the most popular marathons in the world, the original race circled repeatedly through Central Park but now the route expands around New York’s real excitement and city life.
The total time limit for the course is 8 and a half hours. The new course passes through five chunks of New York City including the Big Apple and the marathon witnesses 50,000 finishers yearly, which is quite a staggering number.
It is considered one of the most prominent marathons in the United States, pulling people from around the world to compete. It is a race that is opened to both amateur and professional athletes alike.
The race is an exclusive event and due to the kind recognition it has gained through years, the general participation is based on a lottery system. Register today in the NYC marathon lottery to get a chance to participate in 2018!
The NYRR members have priority gaining entry by meeting certain qualifications or can get nominated by club affiliates.
A Brief History
The NYC journey has been quite a thrilling one if you actually read through it.
The first-ever New York City Marathon was organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta in the New York Central Park. There were 127 entrants in total and in the end only 55 men finished the race. The entry fee was a small amount of $1 and the total budget was $1,000. It seems very funny if you compare this to the scale of the event now!
Post 1976, the event saw an up-gradation each year with the number of participants and the locations on the route of the Marathon. As it continued expanding, runners started shattering individual events and world records. For instance, in the 1978 New York City Marathon, Grete Waitz of Norway, a track Olympian who’d never run farther than 12 miles, won the race in a world-record 2:32:30. Rodgers overcame 75-degree temperatures to become the race’s first three-time winner, and he added a fourth the next year when Waitz broke her own world record.
The 1992 race produced perhaps the most poignant moment in New York City Marathon history when Lebow, in remission from brain cancer, crossed the line in 5:32:34 with Waitz by his side. Shortly before the race’s 25th anniversary in 1994, Fred Lebow yielded to cancer and Allan Steinfeld became the race director. The marathon has always been on top with community spirit, especially in November 2001 post the terrorist attacks. The race became a symbol of hope and renewal for participants, spectators, and all New Yorkers. ING, a global financial services company, became the marathon’s first title sponsor in 2003 and joined with NYRR to initiate grassroots running and fitness programs among the city’s youth.
The marathon was then joined in by Tata Group in 2014 and has been famous as the TCS New York City Marathon since then.
So, how do you run the NYC Marathon?
Registration and Entry Details
The registration process for the general entry application to the New York Marathon opens on the January 15th, 2018 and goes on until February 15th, 2018. The draw is to be pulled out on 28th February 2018. Runners can apply for the general entry draw or can claim their guaranteed entry during this one-month application period ONLY.
The fees for the NYC Marathon entry for 2018 are as follows.
For US Residents (Including 50 states in the US and Columbia):
NYRR Members: US$ 225
Non-members: US$ 295
For Non-US Residents: US$ 358
Entry fees are charged upon acceptance. Once you have been accepted, your entry fees are non-transferable under any and all circumstances and are also non-refundable under any and all circumstances except in the event of cancellation of the marathon (You can check full Terms and Conditions on the website).
Register for the NYC Marathon Here!
The TCS New York City Marathon is known for being an exceptionally varied race, and the New York Road Runners intend for these time standards to offer equal access to most spirited applicants across all age categories. They allow the highest possible percentage of runners from each category to earn guaranteed entry into the TCS New York City Marathon.
A limited number of time-qualifier spots will be available to runners who meet the time standards in a non-NYRR race and these positions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, with details available after December 31, 2017. The men qualifying time for the age of 18-34 years is 2:53:00 for the full marathon and 1:21:00 for new york city half marathon wherein for women belonging to the same age group, the qualifying time for full marathon stands at 3:13:00 and 1:32:00 for the half marathon.
Qualifying Times Details for New York Marathon 2018
Given below are the qualifying times of the races that make you eligible for direct entry to the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon:
- 18- 34 years- 02:53 h (Marathon) and 01:21 h (Half-marathon)
- 35- 39 years- 02:55 h (Marathon) and 01:23 h (Half-marathon)
- 40- 44 years- 02:58 h (Marathon) and 01:25 h (Half-marathon)
- 45- 49 years- 03:05 h (Marathon) and 01:28 h (Half-marathon)
- 50- 54 years- 03:14 h (Marathon) and 01:32 h (Half-marathon)
- 55- 59 years- 03:23 h (Marathon) and 01:36 h (Half-marathon)
- 60- 64 years- 03:34 h (Marathon) and 01:41 h (Half-marathon)
- 65- 69 years- 03:45 h (Marathon) and 01:46 h (Half-marathon)
- 70- 74 years- 04:10 h (Marathon) and 01:57 h (Half-marathon)
- 75- 79 years- 04:30 h (Marathon) and 02:07 h (Half-marathon)
- Above 80 years- 04:55 h (Marathon) and 02:15 h (Half-marathon)
- 18- 34 years- 03:13 h (Marathon) and 01:32 h (Half-marathon)
- 35- 39 years- 03:15 h (Marathon) and 01:34 h (Half-marathon)
- 40- 44 years- 03:26 h (Marathon) and 01:37 h (Half-marathon)
- 45- 49 years- 03:38 h (Marathon) and 01:42 h (Half-marathon)
- 50- 54 years- 03:51 h (Marathon) and 01:49 h (Half-marathon)
- 55- 59 years- 04:10 h (Marathon) and 01:54 h (Half-marathon)
- 60- 64 years- 04:27 h (Marathon) and 02:02 h (Half-marathon)
- 65- 69 years- 04:50 h (Marathon) and 02:12 h (Half-marathon)
- 70- 74 years- 05:30 h (Marathon) and 02:27 h (Half-marathon)
- 75- 79 years- 06:00 h (Marathon) and 02:40 h (Half-marathon)
- Above 80 years- 06:35 h (Marathon) and 02:50 h (Half-marathon)
Special Entry Programs
NYRR allows direct entry to the TCS NYC Marathon under the 9+1 Program and 9+ $1K Program.
This program is only applicable for NYRR members. In order to avail direct entry by this program, the runner must become a member of NYRR and complete at least 9 qualifying races in the qualifying year, irrespective of the time. In addition, the runner must volunteer for at least 1 NYRR event in the qualifying year.
9+ $1K Program
The requirements for this program are the same as for the 9+1 Program, but the runner can choose to donate $1000 to NYRR instead of volunteering for one of their events.
NYC Marathon Course Details and Route Map
The TCS New York City Marathon course runs through all five of New York City's boroughs namely: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan's iconic Central Park.
The 26.2-mile long race begins near Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on Staten Island, Fort Wadsworth. The otherwise very busy road bridge is closed for traffic for this event. The course then proceeds towards Brooklyn through Fourth Avenue and Bedford Avenue and the runners travel a distance of about 11 miles as they cross Sunset Park, Williamsburg and also the Green point.
The Pulaski Bridge arrives on the course at halfway, and then the runners enter Queens. They climb the Queensboro Bridge to cross the East River and this part of the course is considered to be challenging.
The next part of the course takes runners through First Avenue, Bronx, and Manhattan. The last part of the race is run along the 59th street at the south side of Central Park before the course enters the park and culminates right next to Tavern on the Green.
Distance Markers and Time Measurement
Distance markers and digital clocks will be placed after every mile. Additionally, yellow markers will be placed every 5 kilometers. The race will be timed at the start, at every 5 kilometers, at half-point of the marathon, at every mile and at the finish. In addition, several random checkpoints will be made.
The TCS NYC Marathon course will have an aid station located at every mile, in addition to the stations at start and finishing lines. These stations will dispense water and electrolyte mix, except the station at mile 17 that will only dispense water. At mile 18, the station will dispense energy gels. Between 20 and 23 miles, the stations will provide fruits.
For the health of runners, medical units will be set up at the finish line and across the course at every mile. These units will have trained medical professionals and paramedics. In case of an emergency, fully equipped ambulances located at the finish line will be used.
Regular and wheelchair accessible portable toilets will be positioned at every mile after the third mile of the course.
You can view the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon Course Map Here.
Finishing the Race
All finishers will have their official photograph takes just after the finish line. A video will also be made available. This will be followed by a medal and a heat sheet. Finally, you will receive a NYC Marathon recovery bag containing spring water, electrolyte fluids, energy gel bar, an apple and some pretzels.
Schedule of the Marathon
Runners are allotted wave starts and corrals as mentioned in their Marathon registration form. The race starts at Staten Island and ends in Central Park. The last runners in each wave should clear the start in approximately 10 minutes. Here is the exact schedule timings for Nov 4, 2018.
Professional Wheelchair Division
Achilles Handcycle Category and Select Athletes with Disabilities
Foot Locker Five-Borough Challenge
Wave 1 (including Professional Men)
It is to be noted that the runners are expected to maintain an average pace of 15 minutes per mile. The official end time of the race is 07:25 p.m. Sweep buses will pass through the course after 6.5 hours of wave 1 race commencement and transport non-finishers to the finish line. Any participant who fails to complete the race by then will not be timed. Once the race is closed, the bridges, roads and other parts of the course will be opened for regular traffic.
The New York Road Runners’ travel partners make your stay and travel easy at the New York Marathon.
The official air partner for the New York marathon is United Airlines which is connected to over 140 worldwide routes from New York Airport.
As the Official Travel Partner of the New York Road Runners, Anthony Travel offers marathoners discounted accommodations at 25+ hotel options located in the heart of New York City. These hotels offer special discounted rates to marathoners who wish to be at the hub of pre-race activities.
For those who live outside the United States, guaranteed entry along with the purchase of a "Marathon Package" (i.e. flight to/from the New York City area and/or hotel stay in NYC) may be available through an official International Travel Partner (ITP) in your country or territory.
In addition to this, Medical Aid Stations will be located on the course approximately every mile starting at mile 3 and at the finish. Medical volunteers wearing red T-shirts and supplies will be available at all aid stations. Most runners who seek medical attention are able to complete the race safely.
Training for the NYC Marathon
Want to make your body capable to take on this ultimate race?
The TCS New York City Marathon Training Program is driven by the diversified, statistical platform RunTrix. They provide tailor-made training programme customized to your fitness, style, and lifestyle. You may also sign up for one of three virtual training program tiers—whichever best fits your lifestyle and meets your goals for the TCS New York City Marathon. Available in 20, 16, and 12-week programs, including access to a personal NYRR e-coaching option, or an all-inclusive option that offers VIP perks that’ll take your marathon experience to the next level.
You can check all the training programmes for this Marathon Here!
You run for a cause and your body feels all the more alive!
Guaranteed entry can be made to the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon if you choose to run for charity and complete the fundraising goals set by the charity organization you choose to run for.
There are different Charity Level Partners who guarantee a particular number of entries to the marathon. Each entry level provides certain privileges to the Marathon.
You may choose to run for any of the registered organizations that are classified into gold charity, silver charity, bronze charity or community charity. Organizations like Team for Kids, NYRR’s featured organizations, NYRR community champions etc. are part of this program.
You can refer to the official website of the marathon to check all the various Non-Profit Organizations that are participating in this prestigious Marathon.
The 2018 TCS New York City Marathon prize money is to be announced yet!
The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon offered a total guaranteed prize purse of $825,000 with potential time bonuses. The wheelchair division prize purse increased by 25 percent in 2017 to become the largest wheelchair prize of any marathon in the world.
Open Division Price Money
In the open division, the first-place holders in men and women category receive a cash prize of $100,000 each. Second-place holders receive $60,000 each and third-place holders receive $40,000 each. Cash prizes are given to top ten finishers, amounting to $534,000 in total.
This makes a total of $534,000 out of which $267,000 is for men and $267,000 is for women.
In addition, cash prizes worth $116,000 are given to top five finishers in the USA division to both men and women; special cash prizes worth $12,000 are given to runners above the age of 40 years (Masters category) in men and women categories.
NYRR members receive $38,000 in total if they finish the race in the open category, Masters category or as a team.
Participants on wheelchairs receive a total cash prize $125,000 that is distributed among the top five finishers in men and women categories.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is the age requirement for taking part in the TCS NYC Marathon?
A: The participant should be at least 18 years old on race day.
Q: Is the registration fee refundable?
A: The registration fee is non-refundable except in case of the race getting canceled.
Q: Where can I pick up my race number?
A: Race numbers can be picked up at the pre-race Expo upon presenting the email confirmation and a valid identity card with the participant's photograph.
Q: Can someone else pick up my race number on my behalf?
A: Yes, anyone above the age of 18 years can be sent to collect the race number along with the participant’s email confirmation and a valid identity card with participant’s photograph.
Q: What will the runners get along with their race numbers?
A: The runners will receive a bib with race number and a timer chip, a bag with a sticker, a shirt and some other race-related material.
Q: When will the registration for this race begin?
A: Registrations for 2018 TCS NYC Marathon will be open from 15th January 2018 to 15th February 2018.
Previous Year Qualifiers
The New York City Marathon gained the title 'New York City’s best day' in 2013 when 50,266 runners finished the race; setting a world record. This marathon, in general, has seen the maximum number of record-breaking times by runners and sprinters.
At the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon on November 5, 2017, the race had 50,773 finishers. Shalane Flanagan was the first American woman open-division champion in 40 years, crossing the finish line in 2:26:53. Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya scored his first marathon victory in a time of 2:10:53. Wheelchair champions were Marcel Hug and Manuela Schär, both from Switzerland.
The 2016 TCS New York City Marathon had a record number of finishers, 51,394, setting a new mark as the world's largest marathon. Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea became the youngest male winner in race history; Mary Keitany of Kenya won the women's race for the third consecutive time. Wheelchair champions were Marcel Hug of Switzerland and Tatyana McFadden of the United States (winning the marathon grand slam for the fourth time).
The NYC Marathon is a coveted race that sees an increased participation every year. Running through the five boroughs of New York City, this marathon is the largest form of the event across the globe. Participation in this event is a feat in itself but finishing this race is nothing short of a dream come true for most runners.
So, what are you waiting for?
You wouldn’t want to miss out on being a part of the world’s largest marathon, would you?
Pack those shoes, prepare the gear and get ready to run; be a part of history and run the ultimate New York City Marathon 2018!
Cover image source!