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
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,