What are the best spots to watch and cheer the athletes along the five-borough 26.2 mile route?
There are oh, so many great spots, including some with block parties with bands and DJ along the route.
Pick your spot, and make reservations now for nearby restaurants.
That’s especially important if your are meeting a runner at the finish line, since restaurants in the Lincoln Center area are sure to be especially popular for Marathon medalists and the people who love them.
My vote for the best spot to watch and cheer the runners 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 them are clearly exhausted by that time and will appreciate your cheers telling them they are on the final stretch and almost there.
There’s also a jazz concert partnership with Jazzmobile and the Central Park Conservancy, one of several bands and concerts along the route to cheer the runners and energize the spectators.
As exciting as it is to be at the finish line, it is chaotic and crowded with TV trucks, race officials, and politicians.
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, eight hours or even longer to finish need encouragement even more than the elite speedsters.
Getting around on Marathon day
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 2018 NYC Marathon is Sunday, November 4th, through all five boroughs of New York City.
The best way to get around as a spectator is to take the subway.
There will be lots of street closings around the route, and traffic will most likely be gridlocked
Be sure to buy a MetroCard in advance to avoid long lines on race day. Use the MTA Trip Planner for up-to-date schedules..
The race kicks off in Staten Island and crosses into Brooklyn on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
Spectators are not allowed at the starting point or on the bridge, of on any of the bridges the runners cross during the race.
Here are the best spots to watch the NYC Marathon, mile by mile, and some places to eat nearby each watch spot.