Ultimate guide to New York City Marathon

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If you’re heading to New York and don’t fancy shelling out for an open-top tour bus, you could consider running around the city instead.

New York City Marathon Hoofing it for 26 miles on any terrain can be exhausting, but it’s cheap, it’s good exercise, and you go slow enough to really appreciate the scenery.

Not convinced? Check out this route:
New York Marathon kicks off from Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island before crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn. It then travels up to Queens and turns left to cross the East River on Queensboro Bridge. Upon reaching Manhattan the route goes through the Upper East Side to the Bronx, then down again through Central Park to finish near Central Park Lake.
Following this circuit, you pass through 4 of the 5 boroughs and also touch on Harlem as you pass down 5th Avenue. That’s some serious ground you’re covering. The length of this route, though; it’s massive…it must be at least 26 miles.

Welcome to our Ultimate guide to New York City Marathon.

The right gear

Besides the sightseeing and whatnot, the New York Marathon is a fantastic excuse to dress up like a Wally and prance about the city. Skeptical?

Where's Wally?New York Marathon can be a wonderful place to ‘find yourself’.
Okay, okay, it was a poor joke – but the costume thing can be pretty awesome. These crazy costumes look like serious fun:

Motivation

Getting all dressed up may not be the ultimate attraction for some people, but there are some excellent reasons for being involved with a marathon anywhere:

1) Raise money
Many people arrange sponsorship of their efforts to ensure that a worthy cause benefits from their hard work. Orphans, refugees, the Republican Party – there are plenty of movements out there that are always seeking more support. Last year charity runners raised over $34 million. That’s a lot of cookies for Mitt.

2) Raise awareness for a cause…
…endangered rhinos, for instance. This is a great opportunity to get a message seen by millions of people. Why do you think the entire marathon is sponsored by a bank?
Is there an issue you want people to pay more attention to? The New World Order, perhaps? Bailouts into bonuses? Politicians bending to corporate interests? The marathon can be a good way to make that issue more public.

3) Get fit
We live in an age obsessed by body image. Perhaps Marie Claire and Men’s Health are right: you need to tone up your gut!
Maybe you just need an antidote to all those hours you spend on the sofa watching American Idol, drinking Coke and eating Doritos dipped in sweet salsa.
Whatever your motivation, training for a marathon can help you develop your physical self into a respectable state of fitness. Then all you need to do is let go of all that baggage.

4) Achieve something incredible
Perhaps you sit in a cubicle for forty hours a week, putting numbers into spreadsheets and then taking them out again. Perhaps you pay attention to the media when it tells you how worthless you are. Perhaps you imagined that by this age you’d be fighting Malaria in Botswana for Doctors Without Borders.
Maybe none of this is you, but maybe you’d still like to feel like you achieved something great with this wonderful gift of life. Here are a few words of advice: go for it.

5) Inspire others
More of a side effect, but still something to feel great about. Do you feel inspired when you watch the Paralympics? When you hear stories of heroism on the news? Competing in the New York Marathon will not only demonstrate the amazing potential you carry around within yourself, it can also inspire others to go out and achieve something they never thought possible.

6) Improve your own concentration/focus
A major part of physical performance is breathing. The focus you put onto breathing in order to achieve feats of endurance such as a marathon can greatly increase your capacity for concentration in your life beyond running. Many people find running a very meditative activity, for the opportunity to put their focus in a single place for an extended (i.e. more than 3 seconds) period of time.

The finish line

Keep it going

Running isn’t everyone’s favourite activity; it doesn’t offer the immediate adrenaline rush of Extreme Ironing, for instance, and it certainly isn’t as lucrative as Premiership football. If you need extra motivation to get around the course, how about putting yourself in some of the following scenarios:

  1. Imagine you’re broke and you’re running to catch the last bus home on a Friday night.
  2. Imagine you’re chasing a (small and unthreatening) robber that just stole an old lady’s purse.
  3. Imagine you’re dashing to beat somebody to the toilet.
  4. Imagine there’s a girl looking on that you desperately need to impress.
  5. Imagine you’re wearing your wet clothes and you need to get them dry.
  6. Imagine you’re running away from the NYPD – they’ve got guns!!

Rocky training

Alternative New York transport

If you still insist that you won’t be running through New York this year, there are other methods of transport available to you. Intracity locomotion has never been so diverse:

Hotel recommendations

Chatwal Hotel NYCIf you’re looking for a place to stay in New York during the New York City Marathon, here’s a few hotel tips that can save you a lot of hassle:

For those who want to be where it all kicks off, Best Western Gregory Hotel in Brooklyn puts you close to the start of the marathon.

Anybody chasing climax should head for the Empire Hotel, next to Central Park, which can put you near the finish line of the Marathon.

An excellent budget hotel in Manhattan is The Bowery House. This hotel has a great deal of character and offers great value for money.

Offering a higher degree of comfort, with an enticing atmosphere and attractive furnishing, Comfort Inn Manhattan Hotel New York occupies an excellent Midtown location just a block from the Empire State Building.

If you really want to push the boat out this November, The Chatwal Hotel is a wonderful choice. This opulent hotel has more facilities than you can think of, including an indoor swimming pool, rooftop terrace and magnificent restaurant.

Had enough? Well, that’s plenty for now…but let us know if you’re running in the NYC Marathon this year….and the best of luck to everybody who takes part.

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Michael

About Michael

Arrogance, hostility, parsimony, rapacity, impatience; the five humours of the Englishman abroad are my most positive features and also my guide and solace through tribulations. I delight in coffee, cheese, and the music of Ray Charles, and you can catch me trying to form a queue anywhere from Centraal Station to Hoofddorpplein.

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