In New York City is the annual mass sports show par excellence. Let’s talk about the New York City marathon. With its 55 thousand participants and 2 million spectators along the five boroughs of the route (from Staten Island, Brooklyn to Queens, the Bronx to end in Manhattan in Central Park). It is the most crowded marathon in the world. The most coveted to participate by any runner. Not to mention the enormous commercial income that the marathon weekend brings to the houses of the city, invaded by runners, escorts and journalists from all over the world.
Started in 1970, almost for fun in Central Park, when on a hot Sunday in September 127 runners found themselves running a race that would have gone down in history. In 55 concluded the race, one dollar the registration fee. In 1976, to celebrate the bicentenary of the United States of America, it was decided to bring it out of Central Park by making it cross the city. It was supposed to be a one-year experiment but since then the formula for crossing the Five Boroughs has continued without interruption.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the marathon. Big preparations are underway with a big question mark. Will the 50th edition of the TCS NYC Marathon take place on Sunday 1st November? At NYRR (New York Road Runners – the not for profit that organizes the marathon and dozens of other races) they tell us that everything is going according to plan, but it is early to make predictions on the progress.
Meanwhile, what happened with the other world marathons? Tokyo (which runs in February) was only run by elite athletes, London scheduled for 26 April was moved to Sunday 4 October, Boston – now in its 125th edition, has been moved Monday 14 September – it was to be run Monday 19 April. Berlin scheduled for September 26 is still in the balance, although the organizers have long announced that the marathon will undergo significant changes. The Chicago Marathon, for now, remains set for October 11th.
Meanwhile, the NYRR has suspended all running races until August 15th (also canceled Italy Run now in its third edition which should have been run in Central Park on May 31). We will talk about it next year. We hope so.
In the meantime, waiting for some official NYRR statements, we have to wait for the outcome of the infections in NYC in the coming weeks. Mayor De Blasio spoke about it a few days ago. – See video –
Some legitimate questions remain about the organization of this great event. Will the thousands of runners who come to NYC from all corners of the world have free access to the marathon? Will there be restrictions on participants? Only elite athletes will run – as in Tokyo? It is early to make a prediction. Meanwhile, the Italian sports tourism agencies that bring the Italian runners to the New York marathon for months had been fully sold out for the bibs of New York, are registering cancellations. Some Italian and American marathon runners have declared that for 2020 one must put one’s soul in peace. Large assemblies of athletes prevent the competitions from taking place.
The wait continues. The city wants to leave. The celebration of the 50th edition of the most popular and crowded marathon in the world would be a great jubilee for the city. But the ferocity of a virus like Covid-19 still keeps everyone in suspense and perhaps for a long time.