2014 New York City Marathon in Central Park

Watching the NYC Marathon in Central Park

The New York City Marathon has a very close relationship with Central Park. The original Marathon, run in 1970, took place entirely in the park. Runners covered over four grueling loops of the park, including the daunting hills at the northern end, and out of the 127 that entered only 55 actually completed the course. Now, after wending its way through all five boroughs, the race enters the park at E. 90th Street. and Fifth Ave. and, after a brief sprint outside along Central Park South, finishes at Tavern on the Green.

For spectators Central Park also offers one of the best places for watching the race. While being cheered on by the over two million fans anywhere along the course is exhilarating and inspiring and few runners ever forget the thrill of running along First Avenue. in Manhattan and being urged on by the screaming throngs (especially the ones that have spent the afternoon in one of the many bars that line the avenue) it is along the last few miles inside the park that the encouragement is most appreciated.

As you might imagine the finish line is bit crowded and you actually have to purchase tickets to watch the runners cross the finish line. However the east side of the park, from 90th Street. down, offers lots of great places to view the race and cheer on the runners. There are just a few simple suggestions that might be worth remembering.

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