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New York City Marathon: A Brief History

Well it’s official – the New York City Marathon is cancelled for the first time since its beginning in 1970. This was clearly a difficult call to make and no matter what the decision was, people were going to be upset. It’s a sticky situation.

But instead of giving you my opinion on the call (because that really doesn’t matter one bit), I’d like to share with you a little history of this fabulous road race…

The first New York City Marathon started in 1970 and was organized by Frank Shorter. There was a $1 entry fee for the 127 entrants and of all the runners who started the race, only 55 runners crossed the finish line. One was female. Instead of running through New York’s five boroughs, the race consisted of four loops around Central Park. In 1976, however, the course was redrawn to include New York’s boroughs. With the new course in place, 2,090 took to the streets. It has since grown into one of the largest marathons ever with over 47,000 finishers in 2011. The current men’s course record is held by Geoffrey Mutai with a time of 2:05:06. The women’s course record was set my Margaret Okayo with a time of 2:22:31. The prize money for winning the New York City marathon… $130,000. (I REALLY need to start working with my coach 😉 )

Here are some other interesting facts:

  • there are about 100 people working year-round on the marathon
  • there are 6,000 volunteers race day
  • the marathon eve dinner feeds 15,000 marathoners and their guests 6,840 pounds of pasta, 1,800 pounds of salad, 15,000 apples, and 18,000 cans of light beer
  • during the race volunteers will hand out 62,370 gallons of waters and 32,040 gallons of Gatorade in 2,250,000 paper cups
  • the medical tents are equipped with 5 tons of ice, 13,475 adhesive bandages, and 390 tubs of Vaseline

(Information from City of New York Parks and Recreation)

There has been a lot of hard work put in on behalf of NYRR as well as the participants. This was a very hard decision and hopefully it will allow more time and energy to be spent towards helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy. One thing we can never stop is Mother Nature but something tells me there will still be quite a few people out there Sunday morning, getting in their 26.2 miles. Runners will run. It’s what we do.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


7 Comments Post a comment
  1. 390 tubs of Vaseline? Someone has a weird job keeping these stats.
    It’s pretty crazy they cancelled the race, but then again there are people whose houses and lives have been demolished. I appreciate that they didn’t take the irony lightly.

    How are you feeling for this weekend?

    November 2, 2012
    • Yes! Who does keep up with all those crazy statistics?!?! I think if they did decide to go on with the race, there would have been A LOT of public outcry and scrutiny. This way they can focus their energies on helping people get back to normal.

      I’m feeling about 90% better – thanks for asking! Sunday morning I’ll still be running the marathon, but I’d venture to say this is the least prepared I’ve ever been for a race. But I’m just happy to run and eat lots of yummy food afterwards 🙂 We shall see how it goes…

      November 2, 2012
      • Having 47,000 people running by and dumping water on their bodies — with people nearby not even having drinking water — is not the best PR picture. True enough.

        Sounds like your getting better and the leg is getting better too? Sometimes the least prepared also brings the most unexpected results. That being said, it’s still those 26 miles and it does tax the body. I hope you have great race, and definitely enjoy the food after. Best of luck to you (though I doubt you need any “luck” ) — I’m looking forward to hearing how it all turns out.

        November 2, 2012
      • Yes, leg is somewhat better and i’ll take all the luck I can get 🙂 My thinking is no expectations so no stress. Just one mile after the other. I’ll look forward to sharing the experience! Thanks again for the encouragement!

        November 2, 2012
      • No expectations = no stress. Good idea to just take it 1 mile after another. You have enough experience (it sounds like) to know what to expect and just have fun with it.

        Have you started a program with your new coach yet?

        November 2, 2012
      • Experience is what I’m baking on actually. My coach and I are starting after the race, probably one or two weeks afterwards. I am SO excited! It’s crazy how mentally sad I become when I can not run so I’m really looking forward to working with someone who will help me become a better runner. I really think if I can stay off the injured list and stick to a plan, I could be a better runner. Our goal at first is to focus on low mileage and to be able to successfully run shorter distances (10K to half) without getting injured. It’ll help to mix things up a bit too.

        November 2, 2012
      • I think having a coach is great. You obviously have the discipline and motivation to go out and run on your own, so this will be super support. Just one more person thinking about what to make you better, and having more of a long-term approach in mind. I’m super impressed that you have done so well on your own.

        November 2, 2012

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