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Here's Your NYC Marathon Guide, Whether You're Running or Watching

By Veronika Bondarenko | October 5, 2016 10:59am | Updated on November 3, 2016 1:43pm
 Local runners offer their advice on where to watch the marathon.
Local runners offer their advice on where to watch the marathon.
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Facebook/TCS NYC Marathon

MANHATTAN — It's taken months of training and hundreds of miles, but the preparations for the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday are nearing the finish line.

Here's a handy guide for what you need to know about the New York City spectacle that winds through all five boroughs next month.

Race Day

The marathon, which tests competitors on a 26.2 mile course, will start on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 6, according to the race's website.

Here is the list of starts:

• 8:30 a.m. — Professional Wheelchair Division
• 8:52 a.m. — Achilles Handcycle Category and Select Athletes with Disabilities
• 8:55 a.m. — Foot Locker Five-Borough Challenge
• 9:20 a.m. — Professional Women 
• 9:50 a.m. — Wave 1 (including Professional Men)
• 10:15 a.m. — Wave 2
• 10:40 a.m. — Wave 3
• 11 a.m. — Wave 4

The runners will go through Brooklyn and Queens before crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. Then the race goes up First Avenue, crosses into the South Bronx then down Fifth Avenue and into Central Park.

The race ends in the west side of the park just over the 65th Street Transverse.

Organizers recommend planning a post-race reunion spot with runner outside of the park and the runners-only area.

Getting Into the Race

To earn a race bib, runners had to sign up between Jan. 21 and Feb. 21 for the general-entry lottery. Some gained a spot by participating through a charity. Organizers said that the 2015 marathon attracted about 50,000 participants.

Watching the Race

If you plan to join the more than one million spectators organizers say will line the race route, there are ways to keep tabs on the progress of your friends and family who are running. The TCS NYC Marathon app allows you to track up to 10 runners.

Spotting your runner along the route requires some planning. There is no spectator viewing at the start of the race or on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, but some marathon veterans pointed out prime spots for cheering at other stages of the race.

In the past, volunteers have also set up "cheering stations" at particularly challenging stretches of the race.

If lining the race route in person isn't for you, you can catch the broadcast on WABC

There's also a calendar of marathon-related events all weekend long. One of the highlights is the Opening Ceremony in Central Park, south of the finish line, at 4 p.m. on Nov. 4, which includes the Parade of Nations at 5:30 p.m. Fireworks will follow.