Queens is the second-largest borough of New York by population (over 2 and a half million) and the first by an extension (281 square kilometers). Yet here runners travel just 3 kilometers and pass through only one neighborhood, Long Island City (LIC).
For the entire length of the course, athletes can follow the “blue marathon” line, which is painted on the city streets the night before the race and has guided runners since the first edition in the five boroughs in 1976.
Runners run along 44th Drive just below line 7 of the Subway which, despite its name, is always elevated in Queens.
Volunteers welcome runners to the last refreshment point in Queens just before the passage on Queensboro Bridge.
At the entrance of Queensboro Bridge (also known as 59th Street Bridge) runners are cheered on by a crowd of screaming supporters. The lower level of the bridge will remain closed all day to allow participants of the NYC Marathon to cross it safely and in almost complete silence.
Runners “climb” Queensboro Bridge in the left (south) lane of the lower level . The bridge is 1,135 meters long and connects Queens to Manhattan. On its way, the Queensboro flies over the East River and also the quiet Roosevelt Island.
The view of Manhattan from Queensboro Bridge. The section of the race on the bridge is considered one of the most demanding by runners for the elevation and the point of the course in which it hits: about the twenty-five kilometer mark.
The descent to Manhattan from Queensboro Bridge is accompanied by a growing buzz. The cheering of the crowd on First Avenue below is increasingly perceptible to the runners as they approach Manhattan.
“When you first run up First Avenue [during the New York Marathon], if you don’t get goosebumps, there is something wrong with you” said Frank Shorter about the moment when runners arrive in Manhattan and, leaving the bridge, they make a 270 degree turn and move onto First Avenue which passes right under the Queensboro Bridge.