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How to Prepare for the New York Marathon Route

The New York City Marathon draws competitors from all over the world. To be confident in the race, take the time to get to know the route.


  • Step 1: Know where to start Know where to start the race. The start line is on Staten Island at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
  • Step 2: Think of the general area Cover the route by car, bike, or by studying it on a map. Think of the general area that the route covers. It starts on Staten Island, crosses the Verrazano Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn, moves into Queens and over the Queensborough Bridge into Manhattan. Then it moves through Manhattan to the Bronx, and then back into Manhattan. The finish line is in Central Park.
  • TIP: Make your number visible during the race. If you are not seen by someone checking numbers, you could be disqualified.
  • Step 3: Take the bridges into account The New York City marathon route covers 5 bridges--be prepared. The wind and steep inclines and declines on each bridge have been known to slow runners down.
  • Step 4: Take crowds into account Another unique feature of the NYC marathon route is the pack -- mid-level runners tend to bunch up in certain areas, making it difficult to pass. The crowds may add a minute or two to your final time if you don't have a strategy for separating yourself.
  • Step 5: Watch for medical aid Look for where the medical aid stations will be located. If you need medical assistance or want to drop out of the race you will need to visit one of these stations.
  • Step 6: Look for drink tables Look for the drink tables that are available along the route. The official website,, will post where tables will be along the course. Remember that there is also food along the course, not just liquids. Information about these is also be posted on the official website.
  • FACT: The New York City Marathon started in 1970 and was held entirely in Central Park.

You Will Need

  • Map of the route

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