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Countdown to the 2023 New York City Marathon

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On Sunday, November 5th over 50,000 runners from over 150 countries, 12,000 volunteers and over 2.5 million spectators will come together in New York City for the 52nd running of the NYC Marathon. Started in 1970 with 127 runners (55 finished), the course consisted of over 4 laps around Manhattan’s Central Park. The race course was updated to cover all 5 boroughs of NYC in 1976.

NYC's 5 boroughs & their land areaNYC's 5 boroughs & their land area
The race begins in my hometown of Staten Island but runners won’t be there for long; within minutes of the start they’ll head over the first of five bridges, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, that will take them into Brooklyn to cover miles 3-12. Hitting the halfway mark in Queens participants will cover miles 13-15 before heading into Manhattan for miles 16-18. To finish the race, runners will take a quick trip into The Bronx for miles 19-20 and then back into Manhattan where they will cross the finish line in Central Park. You can view and save the route here and check out the TCS New York City Marathon Club page here

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Throughout the 54 years of the marathon there have been winners in the open division representing 22 countries. Here's a few other highlights from previous years: 

-1970: Gary Muhrcke is the first finisher with a time of 2 hrs 31 min and 38 sec
-1971: Beth Bonner becomes the first women finisher with a time of 2 hrs 55 min and 22 sec
-1979: Greta Waitz (Norway 🇳🇴) becomes the first female to finish in under two and a half hours (Greta went on the win the NYC Marathon 9 times in her career) 
-1981: ABC nationally televised the marathon for the first time, this will continue through 1993
-1986: For the first time the marathon is held in November (and has been ever since)
-1995: The coldest NYC Marathon ever at 40 degrees (warmest was 1979; topping out at 80 degrees)
-1997: The finisher field surpasses 30,000 for the first time (30,427 finishers)
-2000: The event’s first-ever wheelchair division is added 
-2011: The still-standing event record of 2:05:06 was set by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya 🇰🇪
-2012: The marathon was canceled for the first time following Hurricane Sandy
-2013:The finisher field surpasses 50,000 for the first time (50,062 finishers)
-2020: The marathon is canceled for the second time in history due to the COVID-19 pandemic

For those of you running this year, you’ll be joining 17 Olympians, 11 World Championships Medalists, and 6 Past Champions along with a number of Strava employees. Check out this post to learn more about some of the Strava employees that are running this year. 

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For those who won't be in NYC, you can join the Virtual TCS New York City Marathon Challenge on Strava that will run from Oct 28, 2023 to Nov 5, 2023. Finishers of this virtual race will earn a digital badge for display on their Strava profile. And find out how you can watch the race from wherever you are on TV, computer, tablet, or phone here.

Best of luck to those running, virtually or in person, we look forward to seeing your activities on Strava! 

Scout (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team



What a fun article - Loving the facts and figures. 


Great article, I find the history of the event quite interesting.  Question for you though Scout.... did you see many vampires in Staten Island growing up, there seems to be quite a few there!

🤣  No vampires when I lived there (that I know of); they seem to be a recent addition to the Island.

Scout (she/her)
STRAVA | Community Hub Team

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