The World’s Largest Marathon: New York City

Fitness & Workouts, Sports & Games, United States — By on November 8, 2008 at 8:24 pm

My favorite way to explore any city is to run or bike through it. And I was lucky enough to be able to join 39,000 people running through all five boroughs for the ING New York City marathon last Sunday. More than 100,000 people applied from all over the world.

New York City Marathon

I took the Staten Island ferry to the starting line and ran the 26.2 miles across the Verranzano-Narrows Bridge, through the Hasidic Jewish and hipster neighborhoods in Brooklyn, past the melting pot of Queens, over bustling Manhattan, into cheering crowds in the Bronx, and finally crossed the finish line in Central Park. It was like running through dozens of countries in a single day. The best part was by far the two-million spectators: Kids supplied candy and squealed in delight when runners gave them high-fives, bands rocked out with live music, and people yelled your name in encouragement if you displayed it on your shirt.

The biggest difference I noticed this year from when I ran it back in 2002 was the plethora of politically-charged signs: Spectators waved messages such as “Yes, YOU can!” and “I can see the marathon from my backyard.”

Holly Corbett MarathonMy goal was to break four hours, and I did it by one minute (3:59!). Scarlett Johanssan’s husband, Ryan Reynolds, finished the race in 3:50. British Paula Radcliffe took first place for women (again!) when she crossed the line in just 2:23, and the men’s prize went to Brazilian Marilson Gomes Dos Santos, who sprinted the course in just 2:08.

I hobbled my way post-race to meet my friends at The Parlour, an Irish pub on the Upper West Side, where I refueled with French fries, ice cream, and a celebratory Guiness.

Photo Credit: ING New York City Marathon

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  • The Laminator says:

    Congrats on your finish, and reaching your time goal. It really was a beautiful day for a five borough run.

  • Holly says:

    Thanks! I checked your blog. I could really relate to one of the quotes you posted about the race, because that’s exactly how I felt at the time: “Everyone dies a little at mile 21…there is an emotional and sometimes spiritual fight that occurs in this mile that forces the marathoner to confront his or her own faults or weakness.” Congrats on your own marathon finish!