Are you running the New York City Marathon 20223 and are wondering about the NYC Marathon route and the perfect New York City Marathon course strategy?
The NYC Marathon 2023
The TCS New York City Marathon is one of the greatest in the world. Not only because of the crowds but also because it’s a scenic course you will probably never forget. Especially after last year’s cancelation runners are more eager to run this race than ever.
The New York City Marathon course is challenging because of its hills and bridges. So as a general NYC Marathon tip, make sure to tackle them wisely by conserving energy.
It’s okay to run the hills slower. Run the hills with effort rather than keeping your regular pace. But now: let’s talk about course strategy!
Where does the NYC Marathon start and finish?
The marathon course NYC starts in Staten Island while the NYC Marathon course takes runners across the Verrazano Bridge to finish in Central Park in Manhattan.
How hard is the NYC Marathon course?
The NYC Marathon route is challenging and has an elevation that you should not underestimate. The NYC Marathon 2023 course difficulty is definitely moderate.
If you’re not used to running hills or bridges the NYC Marathon route will be even more challenging for you.
Here is an overview from the NYC Marathon start in Staten Island to the NYC Marathon finish line in Central Park.
What is the route for NYC Marathon?
To the left, you’ll find a full NYC marathon course map with streets for you to understand the exact route of the marathon.
The marathon starts on Staten Island, before crossing the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge over into Brooklyn. The next 11 miles or so weave north through the western side of the borough up Fourth Avenue before heading up to Queens, over the Queensboro Bridge and onto Manhattan.
New York City Marathon 2023 Course Strategy
No matter how much time is left until the TCS NYC Marathon it’s never too early to learn about the New York City Marathon 2023 course: After running the race in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. I thought it makes sense to divide the TCS New York City Marathon into 4 parts. Let’s go over every single one of them in detail during these 50,000 steps toward the finish line.
The key here is to break the series of 26.2 miles into more digestible chunks, which is how most runners experience it.
New York City Marathon 2023 Course: Part one
Welcome to Staten Island. After hours of waiting at the start and the race finally starts the Verrazano Bridge will be the first bite you have to chew. I will never forget this feeling, standing at the start waiting for the gunshot of this major marathon.
The first two miles will take you up a giant hill and it’s actually also the highest incline you’ll have to run during the marathon. Good thing is that you won’t really feel it.
The excitement is too big and the crowds will make you fly over the bridge. The New York City Marathon is famous first for its people (the crowds of support), its hills and the bridges. Now it is time to focus, relax and inhale the energy you are surrounded by.
Relax, focus on your breath, and be patient as it will take some time to get moving in the crowds. People stop to take pictures, film or cry. I saw it all.
You’ll hit the highest point on the course about .8 miles in and will be able to enjoy the most spectacular view of the New York Harbor, the city skyline (Statue of Liberty) and the other runners who have the same goal: Crossing that finish line in Central Park.
Part two of the NYC Marathon route
Part two of the New York City Marathon 2023 course will take you to Brooklyn and Queens [Miles 3-15]. My advice is to pace yourself from within rather than follow your predetermined pace.
Don’t let the crazy crowds in Brooklyn get to you (yet). Run your best effort but don’t go out too fast. You will need the energy later in the race once you crossed mile 20.
The key to running a great race in New York is to finish strong in Central Park and wait for it. Make your way through Brooklyn with a moderate effort and don’t let the crowds push you too much.
Brooklyn especially is a huge block party, which feels amazing to see, make sure to soak it all in and save that for times when you’ll need it.
A very common error while running the New York City Marathon course is to waste your energy too early in Brooklyn and Queens. Tell yourself: “Save it. Save it.”
Focus on your body and not too much on the crowds. Run at conversational effort until you reach the Queensboro Bridge. Don’t panic – if you paced yourself correctly this bridge won’t break you.
New York City Marathon 2023 Course: Part 3
First Avenue. Right after the Queensboro Bridge. Welcome to the third part [Miles 16-20]. Take your headphones off if you are listening to music during the race and enjoy the crowds.
Dial things up a little more, but still, run just right moderate. You will feel amazing and the support will come right on time because your legs might feel a little tight already. The TCS New York City Marathon is almost done.
Mile 16 to 19.5 is a straight stretch on First Avenue and it’s the perfect time to speed up a bit, still keeping in mind that this still isn’t the time to push hard. The New York City Marathon course is tough. Still, try to save energy for the final stretch.
Bronx – Central Park: Almost there
The last part will be the final 10K with one last bridge (Madison Ave) and now it is the time to activate the mental game, keep telling yourself your mantras and remind yourself why you are running the TCS NYC Marathon.
There is one gradual hill down Fifth Avenue where you will need your last energy and where the “save it” mantra comes in.
If you pace yourself correctly in the marathon this will be the time when it really pays off. Due to the incline, you might slow down a bit. Focus on your breath and effort level. I remember feeling great here.
I received text messages from my family and friends that I was able to read on my apple watch that said: “Almost in the park, you got this”.
When things are feeling not so well: How about dedicating the last miles to everyone that has supported you on your way to the New York City Marathon 2023.
Run a mile for your parents, one for your best friend, one for your siblings, and your spouse – Keep them in mind and stay positive. It helps so much.
With these positive thoughts, you will reach the final 3 miles and some rolling hills in Central Park. If you’re a local, I hope you have embraced the inclines during your training and are now ready for it.
Keep your mind engaged and stay motivated by tackling the hills, running with good posture, head up, smiling, and last but not least catching the runners ahead of you.
Remember that you saved your energy for that? Now it’s time to let the lion out of the cage. It will feel amazing when you pass them.
When you see the mile 25 sign get ready for the final two right turns and run to the finish. I remember feeling like Wonder Woman at that time. You made it! You’re almost there.
Take it all in because it’s yours. Let the crowds cheer for you. Here is the full map of the New York City Marathon Course 2023
NYC Marathon course frequently asked questions
What is the hardest part of the NYC Marathon?
For me, 5th Avenue has always been the hardest part of the race. The incline until you are cutting into the park feels long and is hurting after all these miles you already have on your feet.
Some of my friends say that the finish line of the TCS New York City Marathon is the hardest part. Some call it ‘mile 27. ‘ The final push, even though the clock has stopped and you’ve technically completed the race. You are warned that exiting Central Park will take much longer than you imagine.
What Bridge does the NYC Marathon start?
The first bridge of the NYC Marathon is the Verazzano Bridge in Staten Island. There’s nothing like the feeling of running this bridge into Brooklyn. All you hear is your fellow runners putting one step in front of each other one step at a time climbing the toughest hill of the race.
The closer you are getting to Brooklyn, the more you hear the noise of the crowds which is where the actual party of the marathon begins.
Where do runners exit NYC Marathon?
Runners will exit Central Park at West 77th Street; MarathonFoto will take pictures and video of all finishers after they exit on Central Park West. Once on Central Park West, you may exit the runners-only area at West 76th Street, West 74th Street, or West 69th Street, or continue south to Family Reunion.
Why is the NYC Marathon so hard?
The NYC Marathon is especially challenging due to the hills and bridges that you are facing throughout the course.
Last Updated on 16. January 2023 by Sabrina Wieser
Sabrina Wieser is a running expert based in New York City and the founder of Runningbrina - She is a USATF Level 3 and IAAF Level 5 Endurance Certified Coach and experienced marathon runner. She completed over 35 long-distance races and helped over 200 clients to cross their personal finish line. Her expertise in enhancing running performance through training and nutrition has been recognized by many within the running community and different media outlets such as Huffington Post, the Dr Oz Show and adidas running.
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