The New York City Marathon took place last year after the 2020 race was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but this year’s race should feel more like it did in 2019 and in earlier years.
“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is we’re back to full scale with 50,000 finishers,” said Ted Metellus, the race director. (Last year, the marathon was limited to 30,000 runners.)
And he has one tip for all those runners: Put your name on your bib or shirt so spectators can cheer for you by name.
“It will be a 26.2-mile celebration of you,” he said.
He is also excited that international runners are able to participate this year. Last year, the U.S. border reopened to international travelers on Nov. 8, the day after the marathon.
About 40 percent of the field this year is international, which Metellus said adds to the marathon’s effect on the city’s economy because of spending on hotels, travel, dining and shopping.
The on-course entertainment will return this year, and Metellus said some of the programming earlier in the week, including the Friday night opening ceremony, parade of nations and fireworks, and the race expo at the Javits Center, is open to the public again.
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s race.
Conditions for Sunday will be on the warmer side for a late fall race, with a forecast for cloudy skies and temperatures in the 60s in the morning and the low 70s in the midafternoon when later waves of runners will be finishing.
When does the race start?
8 a.m. Professional wheelchair division
8:22 a.m. Handcycle category and select athletes with disabilities
8:40 a.m. Professional women
9:05 a.m. Professional men
9:10 a.m. Wave 1
9:45 a.m. Wave 2
10:20 a.m. Wave 3
10:55 a.m. Wave 4
11:30 a.m. Wave 5
What is the marathon route?
The 26.2-mile race begins in Staten Island and turns north through Brooklyn and Queens. Runners then head west across the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan, up north into the Bronx and back to Manhattan to finish in Central Park.
Here’s more information from New York Road Runners, which organizes the race.
Where are the best places to watch the New York City Marathon?
There are few places without spectators along the 26.2-mile route.
If you’re looking for an easy transit option from across the city, go to the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, served by the B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains.
If you’re looking for a place where your cheers will make a big difference for the runners, go to the Bronx. The race’s 20-mile mark, around 135th Street and Alexander Avenue, is a notoriously challenging part of the course where runners may hit the proverbial wall.
If you like a crowd to cheer with, First Avenue from East 59th Street to East 96th Street in Manhattan, which is lined with bars and restaurants, is always jammed with spectators.
When are winners expected to finish?
9:30 a.m. Professional men’s wheelchair athletes
9:40 a.m. Professional women’s wheelchair athletes
11:05 a.m. Professional women
11:15 a.m. Professional men
Beginning at 11:55 a.m. Finishers throughout the day
8:30 p.m. Final finishers expected to cross the finish line
What’s different about this year’s race?
After no race in 2020 and a smaller field of 30,000 runners in 2021, the marathon is back to its usual field of 50,000, and on-course entertainment has returned. However, this year runners must be vaccinated, in line with the rules for all New York Road Runners races in 2022.
Metellus said several other changes would make this year’s marathon more inclusive. The race added a nonbinary category for runners in 2021. This year, the top five finishers in that category will receive prize money. New York is the first of the six World Marathon Major races to add prize money for nonbinary runners.
The marathon has also increased the bonus paid for breaking the course record in the professional wheelchair races to $50,000, equal to the bonus for the professional men’s and women’s divisions. It had been $7,500.
The race has added more support for nursing mothers, including private lactation tents at the start village on Staten Island and the finish line in Central Park, as well as at three locations along the course.
How can I watch the race 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 ESPN’s streaming service, ESPN3 (8:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern time).
ESPN3 will also have a view of the finish line from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time if you’re watching for a particular runner to finish. Here’s our guide on how to track specific runners so you know when to watch for them.
The race will also be broadcast on a variety of global networks, listed here.
Which celebrities are running the race?
The headline name among the celebrities running the race is Ashton Kutcher, who is running his first marathon. Other actors running this year include Ellie Kemper, Claire Holt and Lauren Ridloff.
Returning marathoners include former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, running his eighth straight marathon, and the MTV producer and host of “Catfish: The TV Show” Nev Schulman, running his sixth New York City Marathon.
Three Olympic medalists in other sports are running the marathon this year: a Norwegian cross-country skier, Marit Bjorgen; a former American ice hockey player, Meghan Duggan, and a former tennis professional from Puerto Rico, Monica Puig.
Several stars from “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” franchises, including Matt James and Zac Clark, are also among the celebrities running.