Obviously, we’re kind of biased here at the Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star Newspaper Group, but we can’t help feeling that the best places from which to view the 26.2 miles of NYC Marathon this Sunday are definitely in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. While admittedly our coverage area mathematically includes only 40% of the city’s five boroughs, take a look at the actual course – more than HALF of the marathon’s route actually traipses through Brooklyn and Queens, and that’s good enough for us. Here are some tips for taking it all in this Sunday.
Marathoners leave Staten Island by exiting off the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge – the single longest suspension bridge in North America – into Brooklyn, with thousands of residents of our most populous NYC borough gathering en masse to greet them and cheer them on. And cheer, they certainly do – as this is one of the loudest points on the route!
The men’s and women’s fields merge here at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. (And you should know there’s actually been some merging of personal lives occurring here, as well – as more than a few mid-race weddings have taken place over the years!) It’s at this point also that runners finally get to pass a landmark they’ve had their sights set on for miles, the tallest building in Brooklyn, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank.
While so much of Williamsburg has changed – rest assured, “The Turkey’s Nest” still enjoys its lofty and familiar perch right on the corner of Bedford and North 12th. As marathoners get a boost of energy from the prodigious crowds that usually line Bedford Avenue, they now get one last look at McCarren Park and then it’s up Manhattan Avenue and into Greenpoint, where even more enthusiastic crowds greet them. (And, as always, count on the shopkeepers in this happening nabe to fete the runners (and spectators!) with all manner of liquids, sweets, and just about anything else that might provide some comfort on this particular Sunday – definitely a testament to what a tremendous day this is for our community. All of which is certainly welcome, as it is here that our runners have just about arrived at the half-way point!)
At 44th Avenue in Long Island City, you can actually look to your West and see the Manhattan skyline. It’s definitely pretty breath-taking. But especially if you’ve just run half a marathon, right? At this point in the route, it’s most likely some outstanding visuals which help keep our runners motivated, as they pass the CitiCorp Tower (the tallest building outside of Manhattan), as well as the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center. But it’s also here that they need the heartiest of your cheers, for the long, arduous trek up and over the Queensborough Bridge is just around the bend, and is perhaps one of the toughest legs of the entire race. Call it “Heartbreak Hill” if you’re so inclined – but know this, any runner who’s able to tough it out, there’s a world of wonder waiting for you on the other side, the self-proclaimed “Wall of Noise” along First Avenue in Manhattan, where the largest crowds other than at the finish gather to root on our runners and help kick up their energy levels for the remaining nine miles or so to Central Park.