Runners cross the Verrazzano Bridge at the New York City Marathon

Race Guide: New York City Marathon

There are five other big-city races that join London to make up the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) series.

Five of the world’s biggest and best 26.2-mile races – Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City – came together to form the World Marathon Majors in 2006. Since then the series of races has expanded to include the Tokyo Marathon, which joined the club in 2013.

As well as focusing on the elite end of the sport – by awarding a total of US$1 million to the top male and female marathon runners at the end of each series – the Abbott World Marathon Majors also encourages everyday runners to complete all six races in the series and ‘Reach for the Stars’ by becoming a Six Star Finisher. The Six Star Finisher Medal has become one of the most prized possessions in the world of marathon running.

So, if you have yet to run any of the other five races in the Abbott World Marathon Majors family, now could be the time to try...

New York City

The Friday night TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines, featuring the Parade of Nations through the Finish Line in Central Park, really kicks off race weekend in the Big Apple.

The noise and colour generated at the official launch of the race is in stark contrast to the amazing silence on the Queensboro Bridge as runners in the marathon cross from Queens to Manhattan at Mile 15.5 – a tranquil moment in 26.2 miles of otherwise incredible support from an incredible city.

New York boasts the largest proportion of overseas runners of any of the six AbbottWMM races. Check out the flags as you head up West Drive in Central Park towards the Finish Line.

To find out more about running the TCS New York City Marathon, check out the fun facts below or visit

Brooklyn, New York City Marathon

What time does it start?
Four waves from 09:50

Where does it start?
Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island

How many people finished the race last year?

How many people volunteered last year?

When was the inaugural race?

How much was registration for the first-ever race?

Who is the oldest person ever to finish?
Jonathan Mendes is the oldest unofficial finisher in the New York City Marathon's history, crossing the line in 2016 after 11 hours and 23 minutes at 96 years old.

What’s the minimum age for entry?

What is the hilliest section of the course?
The opening mile, as runners head to the midpoint of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge

What are the course records?

  • Men’s open division: 2:05:06, set by Geoffrey Mutai (KEN) in 2011
  • Women’s open division: 2:22:31, set by Margaret Okayo (KEN) in 2003
  • Men’s wheelchair division: 1:29:22, set by Kurt Fearnley (AUS) in 2006
  • Women’s wheelchair division: 1:43:04, set by Tatyana McFadden (USA) in 2015

What drinks are handed out on the course?
Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water and Gatorade® Endurance Formula

What is the cut-off time?
6:30 hours (finish line remains open until 8:00 p.m.)

How much is entry?
US runners: $255 affiliated or $295 unaffiliated; overseas runners: $358

What’s the weather like in New York on Race Day?
The average temperature is 14°C

How many people applied for the 2019 race?

How does the entry system work?
From mid-January to mid-February, runners can enter the ballot (drawing) free of charge – successful applicants will find out at the end of February. You can also get guaranteed entry if you meet any of the partner charities fundraising targets – these start at $2,500.

Qualifying times are an option for speedy runners (see here for the full list) and New York residents can secure their place through the New York Road Runners’ 9+1 or 9+1K programmes, both of which involve becoming an official NYRR member and then participating in nine NYRR races. The 9+1 programme also requires volunteering at one NYRR event over the course of a year and the 9+$1K programme requires donating $1,000 to NYRR’s youth and community services programmes.

What was the largest ever field?
52,813 finishers in 2018

What’s the average finisher time?

How many spectators will line the course?
Over one million

How many water stations are on the course?

How many boroughs does the course go through?

How much prize money do the winners receive?

  • First male and female runners: $100,000
  • First male and female wheelchair racers: $20,000

How many countries were represented in last year’s race?

1,229,360 finishers since the first ever race.

40-44 was the most popular age category in last year’s race, with 8,493 runners.

Outside of the US, Italy was the nation with the most finishers (3,125), closely followed by France (2,620), then the UK (1,812).

Brooklyn is considered the fastest borough, because it’s largely flat. The average pace through Brooklyn is 8:14-min/miles

2018 Pro Field Highlights

Mary Keitany won the race for the fourth time, finishing in 2:22:48, the second-fastest women’s open division time in event history.

Mary Keitany wins the 2018 New York City Marathon

The top three men’s open division finishers – Lelisa Desisa, Shura Kitata, and Geoffrey Kamworor – ran the second, third, and fourth fastest times in the race’s history (2:05:59, 2:06:01, and 2:06:26 respectively).

20-year-old Daniel Romanchuk finished with a time of 1:36:21 to become the first-ever American to win the men’s wheelchair division, overcoming legendary three-time champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland.

Manuela Schär of Switzerland won the race for the second year in a row defeating five-time Champion Tatyana McFadden with a time of 1:50:27.