The first New York City Marathon was held on September
13, 1970. The course was limited to Central Park and
there were only 127 men running. In 1972 ten women
entered the race and in 1976 the course was expanded
to include the streets of New York.
The first marathon was won by Gary Muhrcke in 2:31:38.
In 2001 Tesfaye Jifar, a runner from Ethiopia finished
in the record time of 2:07:43. The woman's record,
2:22:31, was set in 2003 by Margaret Okayo from Kenya.
top finishers in the first race were awarded a few
bowling trophies adapted to become runner's awards
and Fred Lebow scrounged some extra money to buy a
couple of watches for the winners.
the NYC Marathon draws more than 85,000 applicants
from around the world, and the total prize money reaches
upwards into the $500,000 range.
1970 there were 55 finishers. Today, almost 40,000
entrants cross the finish line.
New York City Marathon currently begins on the Staten
Island side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The runners
make their way through Brooklyn and Queens and across
the Queensborough Bridge into Manhattan and the 16-mile
course turns north in Manhattan and runs along First
Avenue across the Willis Avenue Bridge for a short
stretch in the Bronx. This section of the race is
where "the wall" that infamous 20 mile mark,
is hit. Runners struggle through the physical exhaustion
and leave the Bronx by crossing the Madison Avenue
Bridge back into Manhattan, and along Fifth Avenue
into Central Park.
the last 3 1/2 miles, the course is back in the Park.
at 72nd Street.
of spectators line up early to cheer on the runners
and hand them bottles of water as they race by.
the weather will be cool and the day cloudy so the
water will keep the runners from getting too overheated.
event in New York City is televised and watched around
the world... not bad for a little race that started
with a $1000 budget and a few crazy guys racing for
bowling trophies ...
York Road Runners Club
I Run This Town