After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TCS New York City Marathon is back in action and ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The 26.2-mile race will take place in person on Sunday, November 7, with a total of 33,000 runners participating, New York Road Runners announced on Monday. In order to prioritize the health and safety of those running this year, the marathon will limit touch points and enforce social distancing by spreading out start times to reduce crowding at the beginning and end. Plus, runners should be ready to provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination prior to lacing up their sneakers.
As for face masks, that'll depend on city and state COVID-19 guidelines come fall. "Starting in June, NYRR races will require face coverings at the start and finish areas; runners will be strongly encouraged to wear a face covering on course," the organization noted in its FAQs about the forthcoming marathon.
The NYC Marathon became the largest marathon in the world in 2019 with 53,640 finishers, but it was canceled last year amid the pandemic. Those who were registered for the 2020 event were encouraged to participate in the virtual marathon instead and given the option to either receive a full refund for their entry fee or guaranteed complimentary marathon entry in 2021, 2022, or 2023. Among this year's 33,000 runners will be those who chose to receive complimentary 2021 entry, as well as 2020 virtual NYC Marathon finishers and runners who've completed 15 or more NYC Marathons. If you are not part of one of these groups and still wish to run, you can register from June 8 through June 15 to fundraise with one of NYRR's charity partners or an international tour operator to receive guaranteed entry. A drawing will not be held this time around.
"As we stage a safe and memorable race for the 50th running, this year's marathon will showcase our great city's strength, inspiration, and determination," race director Ted Metellus said in a press release. Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed similar sentiments, adding, "The New York City Marathon is a reminder of everything New Yorkers can accomplish with persistence, hard work, and community support. As we build a recovery for all of us, there's no better time to safely reconnect with the iconic events that make our city great."