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The New York City Marathon is an annual 26.2 mile (42 K) road running race held in the 5 boroughs of New York City. The race starts in Staten Island at one end of the Verrazanno-Narrows Bridge, continues north through Brooklyn and Queens, turns west and crosses the Queensboro Bridge (aka the 59th Street Bridge) into Manhattan to complete 16 miles. The remaining 10 miles consist of a jaunt up 1st Ave. across the Willis Ave. Bridge into The Bronx and then a short 1 mile run west before crossing back into Manhattan and running down 5th Ave. The last 3.5 miles are inside Central Park, looping around Central Park South to finish on the west part of the park by Tavern on the Green.

I ran this race, my first marathon ever, last year (November 1999). I have to say that, in spite of the difficulty of enduring such a race, everything about the event was exhilarating. The long stretch in Brooklyn is lined with people all along 4th Ave. and the other streets. Queens is quieter as the route goes through a little more industrial area. It's a little harder without the crowds, but there aren't crowds when you train so you can slip into a familiar zone. But then, as a first timer, I was totally unprepared for coming off the Queensboro Bridge and turning onto 1st Avenue where there are bleachers set up on the sidewalks and the roar of the crowds penetrates your body. Keep in mind that they were still roaring for people running a 9 min/mi pace -- the lead runners run around a 5 min/mi pace. After going past midtown toward East Harlem and The Bronx, the crowd is thinner and you can prepare yourself for the final haul up the grade in Central Park, where again the crowds are standing shoulder-to-shoulder and three deep. I wish I were running the NYC Marathon again this year, but I'm running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC this coming weekend (22 Oct 2000) instead. I'll post a report on that next week.


Here is some interesting history regarding the NYC Marathon which I gleaned from the pages at www.nyrrc.org .

Notes

In 2005 Paul Tergat beat Hendrik Ramaala, the 2004 winner, by less than a second.

YEAR  Male Winner        time     Female Winner        time  #Finishers
====  ============      ======    ==============     =======   ========
1970  Gary Muhrcke      2:31:38   no finisher                       55
1971  Norman Higgins    2:22:54   Beth Bonner        2:55:22       164
1972  Sheldon Karlin    2:27:52   Nina Kuscsik       3:08:41       187
1973  Tom Fleming       2:19:25   Nina Kuscsik       2:57:07       282
1974  Norbert Sander    2:26:30   Kathrine Switzer   3:07:29       259
1975  Tom Fleming       2:19:27   Kim Merritt        2:46:14       339
1976  Bill Rodgers      2:10:10   Miki Gorman        2:39:11      1549
1977  Bill Rodgers      2:11:28   Miki Gorman        2:43:10      3885
1978  Bill Rodgers      2:12:12   Grete Waitz        2:32:30      8588
1979  Bill Rodgers      2:11:42   Grete Waitz        2:27:33     10477
1980  Alberto Salazar   2:09:41   Grete Waitz        2:25:42     12512
1981  Alberto Salazar   2:08:13   Allison Roe        2:25:29     13223
1982  Alberto Salazar   2:09:29   Grete Waitz        2:27:14     13599
1983  Rod Dixon         2:08:59   Grete Waitz        2:27:00     14546
1984  Orlando Pizzolato 2:14:53   Grete Waitz        2:29:30     14590
1985  Orlando Pizzolato 2:11:34   Grete Waitz        2:28:34     15881
1986  Gianni Poli       2:11:06   Grete Waitz        2:28:06     19689
1987  Ibrahim Hussein   2:11:01   Priscilla Welch    2:30:17     21244
1988  Steve Jones       2:08:20   Grete Waitz        2:28:07     22405
1989  Juma Ikangaa      2:08:01   Ingrid Kristiansen 2:25:30     24659
1990  Douglas Wakiihuri 2:12:39   Wanda Panfil       2:30:45     23774
1991  Salvador Garcia   2:09:28   Liz McColganGreat  2:27:32     25797
1992  Willie Mtolo      2:09:29   Lisa Ondieki       2:24:40     27797
1993  Andres Espinosa   2:10:04   Uta Pippig         2:26:24     26597
1994  German Silva      2:11:21   Tegla Loroupe      2:27:37     29735
1995  German Silva      2:11:00   Tegla Loroupe      2:28:06     26754
1996  Giacomo Leone     2:09:54   Anuta Catuna       2:28:43     28182
1997  John Kagwe        2:08:12   Franziska Rochat-Moser 2:28:43 30427
1998  John Kagwe        2:08:45   Franca Fiacconi    2:25:17     31539
1999  Joseph Chebet     2:09:14   Adriana Fernandez  2:25:06     31786
2000  Abdelkhader El Mouaziz 2:10:08 Ludmila Petrova 2:25:45     29327
2001  Tesfaye Jifar     2:07:43   Margret Okayo      2:24:21     23648
2002  Rodgers Rop       2:08:07   Joyce Chepchumba   2:25:56     31824
2003  Martin Lel        2:10:30   Margret Okayo      2:22:31     34662
2004  Hendrik Ramaala   2:09:27   Paula Radcliffe    2:23:10     36562
2005  Paul Tergat       2:09:30   Jelena Prokopcuka  2:24:41     37597
2006  Marilson Gomes dos Santos 2:09:58 Jelena Prokopcuka  2:25:05  37954
2007  Martin Lel        2:09:04   Paula Radcliffe    2:23:09     38554
2008  Marilson Gomes dos Santos 2:08:43 Paula Radcliffe    2:23:56  37750

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