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New York City Marathon in the United States

Considered to be one of the six World Marathon Majors, the New York City Marathon is annually held on the first Sunday of November. It is also the world's largest Marathon in terms of applicants and participants.

©iStockphoto.com/rarrarorro

The other five World Marathon Majors are held in Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, and Tokyo.

Is New York City Marathon Day a Public Holiday?

The New York City Marathon is usually held on a Sunday in November. Since Sunday is a nonworking day in the United States, most government offices and schools are closed. Businesses may be closed or may have reduced opening hours. Many city streets and roads may be closed or partly cordoned off to make space for marathoners and spectators. If you plan to use the public transit system, check beforehand to find out if schedules will be affected.

Holidays in the United States

How Is the New York Marathon Celebrated?

A major annual New York City event, the marathon attracts thousands of runners and spectators from all parts of the world. The running course goes through all five boroughs of New York City, beginning in Staten Island. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is opened up for runners and closed for vehicles. Marathoners then go through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and then back to Central Park in Manhattan. The finishing line is near Tavern on the Green, a historical restaurant in Central Park.

Religious Services for Runners

Several religious denominations traditionally hold services for runners before or on the day of the Marathon. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, for example, has held a Runners Mass on the Saturday before race day since 2006. The International Minyan for New York City Marathoners, a project of JRunners, a Brooklyn-based Jewish running organization, holds services for runners of the Jewish faith on the morning of the Marathon.

Discarding Clothes

As a long-standing NYC Marathon tradition, runners wear old sweatshirts or their ex's clothing and discard them in one of the many donation bins that dot the start of the race course. Several thousand pieces of clothing are donated to Goodwill, a charity organization, every year.

Free Pinball Machines

Sunshine Laundromat in Greenpoint hosts a unique event during the Marathon—all pinball machines in the store are free to use for patrons during the race.

DST Change

The NYC Marathon takes place on the same day as the Daylight Saving Time (DST) change. Clocks are turned back one hour in the early hours of marathon day to make more light in the morning.

DST Changes in New York

What Is the New York City Marathon?

The New York City Marathon is one of the world's top competitive marathons. Since 2014, it has been sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), an information technology services company headquartered in India. Because of this, it is also often called the TCS New York City Marathon. Between 2003 and 2014, the race was called the ING New York City Marathon, after its primary sponsor, ING, a global financial services company.

Guaranteed Entry or by Lottery

Anyone above the age of 18 can apply to participate in the race, though most runners have to go through a lottery to enter. Guaranteed entry is available to those who are part of the New York Road Runners' (NYRR) 9+1 or 9+$1K Program. Those qualifying through the 9+1 program must have completed nine scored and qualifying races in the previous year and a volunteering opportunity at an NYRR event, while those who want to join through the 9+$1K Program must complete nine races and donate $1,000 to NYRR's youth and community services programs.

Runners can also get an entry by joining a team that is raising funds for a charity, by meeting time qualification standards, by previously completing 15 or more New York City Marathons, or through international travel partners.

History of the New York City Marathon

The NYC Marathon had humble beginnings. First organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vincent Chiappetta, the founders and presidents of NYRR, a New York City running club, the marathon was run entirely within Central Park. 127 entrants began the race, and only 55 finished it.

By 1976, the race was popular enough for the NYRR to expand the course to the five boroughs of the city. Today, about 2 million spectators cheer on the runners. Over 50,000 marathoners finish the race.

In 2012, the marathon was canceled for the first time in history in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

New York City Marathon Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunNov 1New York City MarathonSporting event
2016SunNov 6New York City MarathonSporting event
2017SunNov 5New York City MarathonSporting event
2018SunNov 4New York City MarathonSporting event
2019SunNov 3New York City MarathonSporting event
2020SunNov 1New York City MarathonSporting event
2021SunNov 7New York City MarathonSporting event
2022SunNov 6New York City MarathonSporting event
2023SunNov 5New York City MarathonSporting event
2024SunNov 3New York City MarathonSporting event
2025SunNov 2New York City MarathonSporting event

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