Previewing The NYC Marathon: November 3rd

The NYC Marathon is an annual event that highlights the city and world’s best long distance runners. The 50,000 runners will be charting 26.2 miles through all of the city’s five boroughs, and it’s truly a spirited event not to be missed. This year, the race falls on November 3rd, and whether you’re running or spectating, it is an event every New Yorker should take part in, if only for a few minutes. The excitement, determination, and sheer persistence you’ll witness will remind you all over again why you live in this city.

Today’s preview will guide you as to where to go to be a spectator, as well as tips for getting the most out of your experience.

NYC marathon runners grouped together


Where To Watch The Race In Person

With 26.2 miles of road (of which about 23 are available to spectators), there is really no limit to where you can cheer on the runners! However, we consulted with the official TCS marathon website to get their take on the best spots for watching the race in Manhattan. Here is what they said:


  • New Balance Mile 16 Block Party (First Avenue at 62nd Street): Join New Balance as we feature a DJ, Jumbotron, and local NYRR marching band churning out NYC-inspired music. The NB Cheer Section will be lively and engaging, celebrating the distance runners have traveled and encouraging them for their final 10.2 miles. Subway: Q, 4, 5, 6


  • First Avenue, Manhattan (Miles 16-18): First Avenue is known for being packed with spectators who line the sidewalks and shout encouragement. The avenue’s many bars and restaurants contribute to the festive atmosphere. Subway: Q, 4, 5, 6


  • East Harlem (Miles 18-20): This neighborhood is home to a vibrant community and provides fantastic music on race day. This is a perfect location to cheer your heart out to help keep the motivation high. Subway: 6


  • Fifth Avenue, East 90th Street-East 105th Street (Miles 23-24): This stretch of Fifth Avenue has the Guggenheim Museum, the Jewish Museum, the National Academy Museum, El Museo del Barrio, and the Museum of the City of New York on the east and Central Park on the west. It’s a cultural hub as well as a crucial spot to catch your runners before they enter Central Park. Subway: Q, 4, 5, 6, Q


  • Charity Cheer Zone, Fifth Avenue, East 90th Street to East 92nd Street: Help celebrate the more than 9,000 runners who’ve chosen to add meaning to their run by raising funds for one of NYRR’s 380+ official charity partners. This area will have cheer zones for select individual charities and a DJ to get the party going. Subway: Q, 4, 5, 6


  • TCS Cheer Zone: Columbus Circle. Subway: A, C, B, D, 1


  • United Stage: Columbus Circle. Subway: A, C, B, D, 1


As you can see, Upper East Side residents are in an ideal spot for the festivities–especially Hampton Court and The Somerset residents!

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NYC marathon runners on the 1st ave bridge

How To Watch The Race From Afar

Perhaps Marathon Day is a bit too chilly for you, and it’s hard to leave your cozy Glenwood home. We get it. Don’t let the excitement totally pass you by, though. You can still watch digitally in a few different ways. You can easily watch the WABC-TV, Channel 7 broadcast, or you can follow the progress via the TCS New York City Marathon App, available free of charge starting late October in the Apple Store and Google Play. In fact, whether you live Downtown or in Riverdale, you can even make watching the NYC Marathon from home a fabulous date opportunity, with our apartment date night tips!

Orange nyc marathon route flag

Tips For Spectators

As a spectator, there’s a few tips you’ll want to have in your back pocket to make this the best marathon watching experience yet!


  • Download the TCS New York City Marathon app ahead of time, especially if you are cheering on a specific person. You’ll be able to enter their bib number and track exactly where they are on the course, so you know when to expect them at your cheer spot and won’t miss them (because what a drag that would be!) Also…triple check that your phone is charged, or bring a charger!


  • Wear comfy shoes and warm clothes! November in NYC may not feel super chilly to the runners, but if you’re standing around for hours chances are you’ll start to feel the cold set in! Perhaps come ready with hand warmers to crack open in your pockets.


  • Bring snacks and a thermos of something warm, it will help to keep your energy and your cheering voice up!


  • All runners appreciate your cheering. Many of them write their names on their shirts or jerseys–and if not names, at least their runner’s number and/or country will be noted. Make your cheering personal and call out names/numbers/countries…this may be just the push they need when they’re about to hit that runner’s wall!


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Want To Run?

If spectating the 2018 race really got your athletic juices flowing, start thinking ahead now for next year’s race! As one can imagine, competition to get entry to the marathon is pretty tough. If you don’t qualify for a spot based on your race time alone (which is typically reserved for the most elite worldwide athletes), you can plan to join the race via lottery.

Are you planning on watching the NYC Marathon? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

Posted in Glenwood News, manhattan living, NYC Events, Upper East Side |