More than 48,000 runners and one million spectators turn NYC into a giant sporting event and street fair on Sun., Nov. 5th for the 2016 NYC Marathon. What’s the best location to watch and cheer the athletes along the five-borough 26.2 mile route?
My vote for the best spot to watch and cheer is where they enter Central Park for the final surge to the finish line. That spot is Fifth Avenue at 110th Street, also known as the Duke Ellington Circle.
Expect the elite women to enter Central Park at around 11:30 a.m., and the elite men around noon, followed by everybody else. The Duke Ellington Circle is at the 22 mile marker of the 26.2 mile race, so it’s a great spot to cheer the runners, many of whom are clearly exhausted by that time. The jazz concert is in partnership with Jazzmobile and the Central Park Conservancy.
As exciting as it is to be at the finish line, it is a chaotic and crowded scene. The runners need encouragement all along the route, not just at the finish line. If you do want to be at the finish line, go late, after the crowds and the TV cameras have left. The runners who take six hours, or even eight hours, to finish, need our encouragement even more than the speedsters.
Download the NYC Marathon course map here. It’s a great map, complete with the NYC subway stop to get you to your viewing and cheering location of choice, in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx or Manhattan. The NYC Marathon website also has information on street, highway and bridge closures.
The 2016 NYC Marathon is Sunday, November 5, 2016.
What’s your favorite spot to watch and cheer the runners in the annual NYC Marathon?