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The ING New York City Marathon: Spectators, Are You Ready?

Halloween is over.  The election is winding down.  It's time for the next big thing: the New York Marathon.  Are you ready?  If you're running, the answer is probably yes.  You just think you're not.  Spectators, now's the time to figure out your race day strategy.

Where to Watch:

I'll be watching from a couple of places along First Ave.  Historically, I've had good luck seeing people there.  If you're attempting something more ambitious, check out the MTA's marathon map to help you plan.

Tracking Your Friends:

This year, there are several ways to track your friends during the race.  I downloaded the ING New York City Marathon iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app last night.  The basic app is free.  That gives you coverage of the race in general and allows you to stalk the elite athletes.  If you want to track up to five friends, you need the premium version which is $3.99.  That will show you where your friends are on the map and, apparently, where they are in relation to where you are standing.  If it works, it will be awesome.  You can search for your runner friends by last name or bib number.  I was only able to find three out of five people by last name, so get your friends' bib numbers before the race starts if you plan to use this app!

Starting today, you should be able to sign up for text message alerts.  That costs $2.99 in the US and $5.99 internationally.  I've done this in the past, and it sorta kinda worked.  If you're going this route, be forewarned that the splits you'll get come in kilometers, whereas most of us measure the race in miles.  (If you don't speak kilometers, here's a cheat sheet: 5 km is approx. 3.1 mi, 10 km is approx 6.2 mi, 15 km is approx 9.3 mi, 20 km is approx 12.4 mi, 25 km is approx 15.5 mi, 30 km is approx 18.6, 35 kim is approx 21.8 mi, 40 km is approx  24.9 mi.)

The only free way to track your friends is on your web browser.  Starting at 7:00am on race day, you'll be able to track up to three people online at

Fan Gear:

There's still plenty of time to make t-shirts and posters to support your runners.  I've even got a hat this year.  Remember to layer.  It's cold when you're standing outside.


Swag isn't just for runners!  The Nissan LEAF, official pace car of the marathon, is running around town now with giveaways.  Follow @nissanLEAF for locations, or check out their Facebook page for the full schedule.  Certain Dunkin' Donuts locations (including 66th and 1st and and 85th just east of 1st) will be giving away goodies on race day.  Click here for a full listing of marathon freebies and deals.

What  are your race day plans?

-Gym Belle-

PS - Remember to charge your camera batteries and adjust your clocks for daylight savings!

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