ING NYC Marathon is Today!

And It all starts here:

Fort Wadsworth

Fort Wadsworth sits on 226 acres of the Gateway National Recreation Center in Staten Island New York. It is the oldest Military base in the the United States and has been home to the Army, Navy, and now the Coast Guard and Park Police. Fort Wadsworth also boasts some of the best views of New York Harbor:

View from the Overlook

The Visitor Center open Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-4:30pm and free tours are available.

A couple of weeks ago the set up for the marathon began with fences being set up, portable toilets lined up along the streets and signs to inform runners where the need to be. Last year I volunteered to help runners determine where they needed to be and assisted in the clean up, but this year I’ll be working. Here are some pictures before all of the runners and volunteers descended onto Fort Wadsworth.

UPS trucks used to take runners belongings to the finish line

Will you be in the crowd cheering or watching from the comfort of your couch? The first New York City Marathon occurred in 1970 and 127 runners paid the $1 entry fee to NYRR to participate in a 26.2-mile race that looped several times within Central Park. In 1976, the course map was redrawn to include all five boroughs.

26.2 miles….Have you ever run a marathon? I’ve run several 5k’s, I’m training to run a 10K, and I ultimately plan to run a half-marathon. At this moment in my life I can’t imagine running 26.2 miles let alone finishing it in 3 hours. It takes a lot of work and dedication to run 26.2 miles, and I’m sure that the runners appreciate every fan on the sidelines and every cheer to give the extra boost they need to continue.

Staten Island
While the race begins on Staten Island, runners quickly leave the borough via the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge. Spectators are not allowed at the start, but you can catch the action by tuning into NBC4 New York.

Kings County claims the most miles of any borough on the ING New York City Marathon course, stretching from Mile 2 to Mile 13. The route travels through a diverse range of neighborhoods from Bay Ridge, through the Hasidic Jewish neighborhood of Williamsburg, to Greenpoint, home to a vibrant Polish community. Most of the Brooklyn miles will have crowds, but they’ll be thinner than the ones on the lower stretches of 1st Avenue.

Runners cross into Queens via the Pulaski Bridge and exit the borough two miles later on the Queensboro Bridge. While it’s just a couple of miles, the Queens section of the course tends not to be overly crowded, and the 7 train offers easy access back into Manhattan to catch the 1st and 5th Avenue portions of the race.

After a hilly mile-long stretch with no spectators across the Queensboro Bridge, runners arrive in Manhattan at First Avenue and 59th Street: Mile 16. This is by far the most densely crowded part of the racecourse with spectators lined up, often five people deep. The atmosphere is electric, but if you want to be absolutely certain you catch a runner, head north on First Avenue. Crowds are thinner north of 96th Street, and you’ll find plenty of room to watch.

The Marathon route takes a quick trip into the Bronx between Mile 19 and Mile 21, which is when many runners hit “the wall.” If you make the journey this far north, you’ll find lively spectators, and marathoners who will greatly appreciate your support at this difficult point in the race.

Manhattan (Again)
Runners return to Manhattan for the final stretch of the marathon. Miles 21 to 24 flow from Harlem, down Fifth Avenue, with crowds building as the race moves south. The route turns into Central Park at 90th Street. From here, it’s just about two miles until the finish: Crowds will be thick in the Park, and energy will be high.

Official start times are as follows:

Wheelchair Division starts at 8:30 a.m.
Handcycle Category and certain AWDs start at 8:55 a.m.
Wave 1 (including other AWDs) starts at 9:40 a.m.
Wave 2 starts at 10:10 a.m.
Wave 3 starts at 10:40 a.m.