When Was The New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon is one of the most iconic and prestigious marathons in the world. As a passionate runner myself, I have always been fascinated by the history and significance of this incredible event. In this article, I will dive deep into the details of when the New York City Marathon first took place and how it has evolved over the years.

The Inception of the New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon had its humble beginnings on September 13, 1970. It was organized by a group of visionary runners who wanted to create a race that would showcase the beauty and diversity of New York City. With a field of just 127 participants, the inaugural marathon started in Central Park and finished at City Hall. The winner, Gary Muhrcke, crossed the finish line in a time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 38 seconds.

This first edition of the New York City Marathon had a unique charm to it. The race was free for all participants, and there were no official timing chips or fancy medals. It was a true celebration of running and the spirit of New York City.

Growth and Milestones

Over the years, the New York City Marathon continued to grow in popularity and stature. In 1976, the race expanded beyond the boundaries of Manhattan and included all five boroughs of New York City for the first time. This change allowed runners to experience the diverse neighborhoods and vibrant energy of the entire city.

One of the most memorable moments in the history of the New York City Marathon came in 2001. Just weeks after the tragic events of September 11, the marathon was held as a symbol of resilience and unity. The streets were filled with both runners and spectators, coming together to support one another and show the world that New York City would not be defeated.

The Current Format

Today, the New York City Marathon attracts over 50,000 participants from all around the globe. Runners of all abilities come together to take on the challenging 26.2-mile course, which takes them through the streets of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan.

The race typically takes place on the first Sunday in November, and it has become a staple event for both professional runners and amateurs alike. The course is known for its hills and bridges, providing a true test of endurance for all participants.

With the introduction of advanced technology, the New York City Marathon now utilizes timing chips to accurately record the participants’ times. The finishers are rewarded with the iconic medal, a symbol of their tremendous accomplishment.


The New York City Marathon has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1970. From a small group of runners in Central Park to a massive international event, it has become a true celebration of human determination and the spirit of New York City. Whether you are a seasoned runner or just starting your running journey, the New York City Marathon is an event that should be on every runner’s bucket list.