Your Guide to the 2020 NYC Marathon

Everything you need to know

2016 TCS New York City Marathon
Getty Images/Michael Reaves/Stringer

About the New York City Marathon:

Since the first New York City Marathon in 1970, where just 55 runners finished the race, the first Sunday in November has been marked by this annual event. The marathon now features over 52,000 athletes, not to mention thousands of volunteers and over two million spectators. It is an amazing experience to cheer on the marathoners as they make the 26.2 mile trip around New York City. The course covers terrain in all five boroughs, beginning in Staten Island and ending in Manhattan's Central Park.

New York City Marathon Basics:

Tips For Being in the New York City Marathon:

  • All runners must be at least 18 years old at the time of the race.
  • There is a general-entry lottery for race participants.
  • There are spots available for runners who have qualifying times in other races as well as those who have run 9 scored, qualifying races with New York Road Runners (NYRR) and either volunteered at one qualifying NYRR event or donated $1,000 to a specific charity. Find more details on the 9+1 program here. It's too late to sign up for the 2020 marathon this way. For the 2020 marathon you must have completed the tasks by December 31, 2019.
  • There are also numerous spots available for runners who will be fundraising for charity. You need to choose a participating charity to get a guaranteed entry into the race and must meet the charity's minimum fundraising goals. Participating charities are ranked Gold, Silver, Bronze and Community, and offer amenities to runners that reflect the different level of participation (i.e. Gold level charities offer many VIP perks, while Community charities usually do not.) Typically the amount of fundraising required by participants in each charity also reflects the perks afforded to runners for that charity. In addition to race-day perks, you're also providing important funds and exposure for the charity, so choose one that is meaningful to you.

Tips For Watching the New York City Marathon:

  • If you're following a particular runner on race day, buy a MetroCard and use the subway to get to a few good viewing spots over the course of the race. Lines for MetroCards tend to be very long on race day, so purchase in advance to save yourself time and hassle.
  • Make a plan with a runner that you're cheering for so they will know where/when they should see you along the race. Also, pay attention to what the runner is wearing to make it easier for you to spot them in the crowd.
  • The only way to watch the starting portion of the leg is on TV. There are no viewing areas for spectators near the start line.
  • The Spectator Guide has lots of helpful spots to view the race. Insider tip - avoid these spots if you don't want to find yourself at the most crowded spots along the route.
  • To see the finish line of the race you'll need to purchase Grandstand Tickets.
  • This NYC marathon app can help you track runners you'd like along the course.
  • The weather in early November can be chilly in New York City. You'll probably want a hat and gloves, as well as comfortable footwear to maximize your enjoyment and comfort while watching the marathon.
  • There are entertainment and cheer zones along the route where you can enjoy access to items you can use to improve your cheerleading skills, including sign-making materials, noisemakers, pompoms, etc.

New York City Marathon Start Times:

  • Professional Wheelchair Division: 8:30 a.m.
  • Achilles Handcycle Category and Select Athletes with Disabilities: 8:52 a.m.
  • Foot Locker Five-Borough Challenge: 8:55 a.m.
  • Professional Women: 9:10 a.m.
  • Wave Start 1 including Professional Men: 9:40 a.m.
  • Wave Start 2: 10:10 a.m.
  • Wave Start 3: 10:35 a.m.
  • Wave Start 4: 11:00 a.m.

New York City Marathon Results:

Includes archive of all results for past races:

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