The Best Places to Watch the New York City Marathon

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It has go the city’s biggest artifact party. Here’s wherever to cheer for the 33,000 runners successful each borough.

The 2019 New York City Marathon drew millions of spectators, and an adjacent   fig   of precocious   fives. 
Credit...Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Ashley Wong

Nov. 1, 2021, 1:14 p.m. ET

The New York City Marathon, 1 of the world’s largest marathons, is back. This year’s contention volition beryllium smaller, with 33,000 runners alternatively of the accustomed 55,000. But it is expected to beryllium a major, and emotional, milestone successful New York’s betterment from the coronavirus pandemic.

A large portion of marathon Sunday is the crowd. Spectators dot the 26.2-mile people and support bushed runners motivated.

People who enactment the people and propulsion for the participants powerfulness the runners forward, Ted Metellus, the New York City Marathon contention director, said.

“The azygous top happening successful the satellite is navigating done this city, and each azygous idiosyncratic is cheering your name, each azygous idiosyncratic is excited to spot you,” Metellus, a 15-time marathoner, said. “They are portion of the participant’s travel and their story.”


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Here’s a breakdown of the champion places to ticker the contention successful each borough:

It is astir intolerable to cheer successful Staten Island, arsenic marathoners walk astir of their clip determination successful the Fort Wadsworth commencement colony earlier the cannon goes disconnected connected the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. But immoderate New Yorkers enactment encouraging signs successful their yards, conscionable successful lawsuit a autobus shuttling runners passes by.

One of the champion places to spot runners besides happens to beryllium the first. Without immoderate spectators astatine the commencement oregon on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, the archetypal 2 miles of the contention are quiet. So participants are anxious to spot spectators on Fourth Avenue successful Brooklyn, close aft they exit the bridge. The closest subway halt is Bay Ridge-95th Street connected the R line, and you tin hop connected and disconnected the R bid on Fourth Avenue to drawback runners done Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Park Slope.

If you’re looking for an casual transit enactment from crossed the city, spell to the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, served by the B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains. Walk from determination to Lafayette Avenue betwixt Fulton Street and Bedford Avenue, wherever you’ll beryllium treated to 1 of the champion parties on the course. Expect to perceive “Gonna Fly Now,” the taxable from the movie “Rocky,” connected loop.

You tin drawback runners astatine aggregate points successful Williamsburg and Greenpoint, on Bedford Avenue from Flatbush to Nassau Avenue. Take the L bid to Bedford Avenue, the M oregon J bid to Marcy Avenue oregon the G bid to Nassau Avenue oregon Greenpoint Avenue.


Credit...Hilary Swift for The New York Times

About 2 miles of the contention spell done Queens. Catch runners arsenic they exit the Pulaski Bridge connected the Queens side, which is close astir the race’s halfway mark. This is wherever immoderate runners recognize they are lone halfway done, truthful a small other vigor tin spell a agelong way. You tin instrumentality the 7 bid to Hunters Point Avenue, Vernon Boulevard oregon Jackson Avenue, oregon the G bid to 21st Street.

Though the Bronx is 1 of the shortest stretches of the contention — from Mile 19.5 to Mile 21 — it is besides 1 of the champion places to cheer. The race’s 20-mile mark, astir 135th Street and Alexander Avenue, is simply a notoriously challenging portion of the contention wherever runners whitethorn deed the proverbial “wall.”

Many section moving clubs acceptable up determination to ringing cowbells and cheer, truthful it is guaranteed to beryllium a boisterous spot for spectators and runners. Take the 6 enactment stopping astatine Brook Avenue oregon Third Avenue-138th Street, oregon the 4 and 5 lines to 138th Street-Grand Concourse.

One tip? Do not, nether immoderate circumstances, scream, “You’re astir there,” on this stretch. They are not, successful fact, astir there.

The contention moves done Manhattan doubly — archetypal coming retired of Queens from East 59th Street to 125th Street (Mile 16 to 19.5), and past again heading retired of the Bronx earlier ending successful Central Park (Mile 21 to 26.2).

If you’re the benignant of idiosyncratic who likes a assemblage to cheer with, First Avenue from 59th Street to 96th Street successful Manhattan is ever lined with spectators, particularly with each the bars and restaurants connected this portion of the course.

In East Harlem, drawback the runners conscionable earlier they caput into their 20th mile anyplace on First Avenue from 110th Street to 125th Street, served astatine aggregate points by the 6 subway line. The further northbound you go, the little crowded it is and the much needed your encouragement volition beryllium for the marathoners.

You tin besides drawback runners conscionable earlier they decorativeness successful Central Park astatine Fifth Avenue from East 105th to East 90th Street. This is simply a peculiarly iconic conception of the race, dotted by museums connected the eastbound and bordered by Central Park connected the west. Many bid lines volition instrumentality you here, including the 4, 5, 6 and Q lines.

And if you privation to shriek and outcry arsenic runners triumphantly transverse the decorativeness line, you tin purchase tickets for the grandstand lawsuit astatine West 67th Street and West Drive.

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