Run New York, Run
Get ready to cheer: Marathon Sunday is almost here. On November 6, some 50,000 runners will descend on the Big Apple for the New York City Marathon. Ike Tucker and Mary Arnold — with the New York Running Company by JackRabbit at The Shops at Columbus Circle — gave us their picks for the top spots to watch the world's largest marathon. Everyone, take your marks!
Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
The big watch word is “transportation.” Most of the best viewing spots are by transit hubs that offer multiple lines of transportation, including Atlantic Avenue — near Mile 8. The race takes a big right-hand turn by the Brooklyn Academy of Music. There are three color-coded starts in the marathon, and this is where everyone starts to merge and slow down a bit. There’s usually a marching band.
Queensboro Bridge, Queens
Right at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City is another spot that’s easily accessible. Everyone makes a sweeping turn here before they go onto the bridge. The photography options are cool, with the grittiness of the warehouses in the foreground.
First Avenue, Manhattan
If you want to be an all-star spectator, head to First Avenue between 96th and 106th Streets. It tends to be quiet. For a runner, when you get to 90th Street, the crowds start to peter out. By 96th Street, it’s like, “Where did everyone go?” Just before Mile 18, there’s a hill with a great view down First Avenue of all the runners.
New York Running Company by JackRabbit’s Cheer Zone
At Mile 22, we partner with Under Armour and Harlem Run for the Cheer Zone. We pass out thousands of giveaways: T-shirts, noisemakers, and more. It’s a terrific way to gather and cheer on the runners.
If you want to see a family member close to the finish line and don’t have finish-line passes, which need to be secured ahead of time, we strongly encourage people to stay on the west side of Columbus Circle. Also, it’s easy to shoot up Broadway to meet runners as they come out at 72nd and 86th Streets
The Shops at Columbus Circle
Our pick for the best public indoor space: the second floor of The Shops at Columbus Circle. You have beautiful sight lines of all the runners coming up Central Park South. You can go to Bouchon Bakery, grab a bite to eat, and still see the race and feel like you’re part of it. Plus, if the weather is poor, it’s a great place to escape the elements.
Queensboro Bridge, right: Jimmy Baikovicius/Flickr
First Avenue, both: Erik Van Ingen
NY Running Company Cheer Zone, both: Erik Van Ingen
The Shops at Columbus Circle, left: Alex Barth/Flickr
The Shops at Columbus Circle, right: massmatt/Flickr