In between the Queens and Bronx portions of the course is the first section of the race in Manhattan, which is possibly the loudest section of the marathon. When runners come off the relatively quiet Queensboro Bridge, the wall of sound is a huge energy boost. Spectators line the course several people deep on First Avenue from 59th Street to 96th Street in Manhattan, so if you like a crowd, this is the spot to be.
In East Harlem, catch the runners before they head into the Bronx toward the 20-mile mark anywhere along First Avenue from 110th Street to 125th Street, an area served in several locations by the 6 subway line. The crowds get smaller the farther north you get — just as the race is getting harder for the runners — so they could use the encouragement.
After the Bronx section of the course, you can catch runners just before they enter Central Park at Fifth Avenue from East 105th to East 90th Street. This is a particularly iconic section of the race, with museums dotting the east side of the course and Central Park to the west. Many train lines will take you here, including the 4, 5, 6 and Q lines. This section is uphill for the runners in a way that feels extra difficult this late in the race, so they will be glad for the cheers. But you should still avoid saying, “You’re almost there.”
If you want to yell that, go to Central Park South along the bottom of the park, using the A, C, D or 1 trains at Columbus Circle or the N, Q or R trains at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue. The runners leave the park to run along the road before entering Central Park again at Columbus Circle. With almost 26 miles behind them, they are finally almost there.
If you want to scream and shout as runners triumphantly cross the finish line, you can purchase tickets for the grandstand event at West 67th Street and West Drive.
Metellus had some advice for people watching and cheering the race: Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and stock up on throat lozenges to ease the effects of cheering for thousands of runners.
“Spectating is as much a physical act as running,” he said.
How to watch the New York City Marathon on TV
The marathon will be broadcast live on ESPN2 nationally (8:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern time) and on WABC-TV, Channel 7 locally (8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern), and in Spanish on ESPN3, ESPN’s streaming service (8:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern time).