About the NYC Marathon


From the humblest beginnings, the NYC Marathon has become the most prestigious footrace in the world. Gary Muhrcke was the first of 55 runners to finish the first NYC Marathon by running the Central Park course in 1970. Since 1976, when Fred Lebow, co-founder of the NYC Marathon, realized his dream of broadening the race to all five of New York’s boroughs, the Marathon has grown into a world-class event with over 2 million spectators lining the streets of New York City.

In 1976, to celebrate the U.S. bicentennial, the marathon moved from Central Park to the streets of New York City’s five boroughs: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. In the months, weeks, and days leading up to the first five-borough race, nobody was exactly sure WHAT would happen. Even Frank Shorter, who had won the Olympic marathon gold medal in 1972 and the silver in ‘76, admitted he only showed up to see if the police could actually clear the streets. They did, and Shorter joined 2,089 others on a tour of New York City, eventally finishing second to Bill Rodgers.

Today, the finest athletes in running compete for the opportunity to be the NYC Marathon Champion. The 2009 NYC Marathon will celebrate it’s 40th anniversary and plans to have some great surprises for both the athletes and the spectators.

In the spirit of New York City, the NYC Marathon is marked by the diversity of its participants and spectators. 30, 000 men and women from all over the world and with different levels of ability are cheered on by supportive New Yorkers as they race through the five boroughs. All those who witness the Marathon experience the spirit of New York and its diverse population.

The NYC Marathon is truly a celebration of “friendship, sport and human potential.”



  1. Great blog! I’m a NYC Marathon fan – watching from afar (Missouri).

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