How To Watch New York City Marathon

Watching the New York City Marathon is an exhilarating experience that I look forward to every year. As a passionate runner and avid spectator, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of this incredible event. In this article, I will share my personal insights on how to watch the New York City Marathon like a pro.

Choosing the Best Viewing Spot

The first step to a successful marathon watching experience is finding the perfect viewing spot. With over 26 miles of racecourse, there are plenty of options to choose from. One of my favorite spots is along First Avenue in Manhattan. The energy of the crowd and the electric atmosphere make it an unforgettable location.

Another great spot is at the finish line in Central Park. Here, you can witness the climax of the race and cheer on the runners as they complete their incredible journey. Be sure to arrive early as this area tends to get crowded.

Arriving Early and Planning Ahead

To secure a prime viewing spot, it’s crucial to arrive early. The race starts early in the morning, so set your alarm clock and grab a coffee to kick-start your day. I recommend getting to your chosen spot at least an hour before the elite runners pass by. This will give you enough time to find a good vantage point and soak in the atmosphere.

Before heading out, take some time to plan your route. With millions of people lining the streets, it’s easy to get caught in the crowd. Use the official marathon website or app to identify the best subway stations and exits to reach your preferred location.

Bringing Essentials and Staying Comfortable

Watching a marathon can be a long and tiring experience, so it’s essential to come prepared. Dress comfortably and layer your clothing, as the weather can change throughout the day. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be doing a fair amount of walking.

Bring a backpack with some essentials, such as snacks, water, sunscreen, and a blanket or cushion to sit on. These items will ensure your comfort throughout the day. Don’t forget to bring a camera or a smartphone to capture those memorable moments.

Getting Into the Spirit

The New York City Marathon is not just about watching the race; it’s also about immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Cheer for the runners, make some noise, and show your support. The energy of the crowd is contagious, and your enthusiasm could give a much-needed boost to a struggling runner.

Bring along some motivational signs to uplift the participants and bring a smile to their faces. Trust me; they appreciate all the support they can get during those grueling miles.

Tracking Runners and Following the Race

If you have friends or family participating in the marathon, make use of the tracking feature provided by the marathon organizers. You can follow their progress online or through the official app, allowing you to know exactly when they will be passing by your chosen viewing spot.

Additionally, keep an eye on the official marathon website and social media channels for updates and live coverage of the race. This will help you stay informed about any schedule changes or exciting moments happening throughout the day.

The Aftermath: Celebrating and Reflecting

After the last runner crosses the finish line, join in the celebrations! Head to a nearby bar or restaurant to enjoy a well-deserved meal or raise a glass to the incredible accomplishments of the participants.

Take a moment to reflect on the race and the inspiring stories of the runners. The New York City Marathon is not just a physical challenge; it’s a testament to human resilience, determination, and the power of community.


Watching the New York City Marathon is an incredible experience that can be enjoyed by anyone, whether you’re a seasoned runner or a first-time spectator. By choosing the best viewing spot, arriving early, bringing essential supplies, getting into the spirit, and tracking runners, you can make the most of this amazing event. So get out there, immerse yourself in the energy of the crowd, and witness the triumph of the human spirit in one of the world’s greatest marathons.