It rained, all day long as we ran the New York City Marathon.

Race Report: New York City Marathon

A fully-exposed course that visits all five of New York City’s boroughs. The course is not as flat as you might expect as the bridges over major rivers have a decent climb and descent to them.

New York City Marathon Course Profile

New York City Marathon Course Profile

Having completed several “big” races (Berlin, Chicago, New York, and The Original Marathon), I have to say, large events are special in their own way, but almost not worth it. The crowds are huge, the waits are long and it doesn’t have the same charm as the small races. The flip side of that coin is that there is something very unique about running a race with 50,000 people.

I must say, The Original Marathon is the best of the big races we have run. It is hard to understand the cultural importance of marathon racing in Greece. Because of that factor, The Original Marathon is still one of my favorites. Chicago was amazing. New York is cool, but overrated.

Getting to the start line is cumbersome. Waiting for your start time seems to take forever. Although the race does technically visit all five boroughs, it only technically does. The race starts on Staton Island but immediately leaves that borough. The tour through Brooklyn is decent but Queens is cut short. Having lived a year in Queens I was disappointed you don’t get to see more of that borough when you clearly could. Similar to Staton Island, the Bronx is visited but only as a technicality. I understand the limitations of courses but the concept of visiting all five boroughs is overhyped and underdelivered.

There is another factor about this race that really disappointed me. The runners were very rude. I understand the crowds are huge but being a jerk doesn’t help. Throughout the course, people shoved, elbowed and forced their way through and all without apology. It is not as if anyone I encountered was setting a record that day – we were ALL back of the packers in a 5-hour start wave. The behavior was inappropriate and highly unnecessary.

Perhaps worst of all, the logistics at the exit were atrocious. Having just run a marathon, you are dispatched into an exit chute. This logistical problem means you complete the marathon and then stand in a line for 30 minutes or more. I can’tt begin to explain how awful it feels to stand in line after a marathon. All you want is to sit down or cool down with an easy walk, but no. Stand in a line, packed on all sides. It is the most brutal end to a race I have encountered and surely there must be a better way.

If you can’t make it abroad but want to experience a large marathon, I would recommend Chicago over New York any day of the week.

Race Website:

Lowest Point: 7 feet

Highest Point: 260 feet

Approximate Gain: 805 feet

Approximate Descent: 850 feet

Annie's Finishing Time: 4:57:45

Scott's Finishing Time: 4:59:38

View all race results by clicking here.