This Sunday, November 3, is the New York City Marathon, when more than 50,000 runners will sweat their way from Staten Island and through Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx to the finish line in Central Park. Even if you’re far from the Big Apple, you can still bask vicariously in their glory. Here’s what you need to know about who—and how—to watch.
Mary Keitany, last year’s winner and former marathon world-record holder, will be back alongside fellow Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei (the half marathon record holder) and American Des Linden. (Former champion Shalane Flanagan, who won this race in 2017 and took third last year, retired earlier this month and won’t be competing.) On the men’s side, the entire 2018 podium—winner Lelisa Desisa, Shura Kitata, and Geoffrey Kamworor (2017’s champion)—will be back for another shot after a close finish. Jared Ward, who came in sixth here last year, is one of the top Americans to watch. There’s also a whole cast of celebrities running, including that hot guy from The Bachelor, and for once, they’ll be the bedraggled and relatable ones.
As of this writing, race day is forecasted to be in the fifties and sunny—although a lot could happen between now and Sunday. If you aren’t able to make it to the course yourself to enjoy the sunshine and live music, you’ll be able to watch the marathon on cable or stream it online. If you really want in on the action, you can even run a virtual New York City Marathon anywhere in the world using the official New York City Marathon app.
Prerace coverage begins at 7 A.M. EST, and live coverage starts two hours later. Wheelchair divisions leave the start line at 8:30 A.M., followed by hand cyclists and other para-athletes. Professional women start at 9:10 A.M., and professional men start at 9:40, along with the first wave of amateur runners. The remaining amateur waves leave at 10:10, 10:35, and 11 A.M.
If you’re in the New York City area, WABC-TV Channel 7 will be covering the race through the afternoon. Of course, you can also watch in person: the New York Road Runners, which sponsors the marathon, suggests that you post up around mile two, on the Brooklyn side of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge; at the halfway mark, on the Queens side of the Pulaski Bridge; or along the final stretch, in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue between East 90th and East 105th Streets.
For those further afield, ESPN2 and the ESPN and ABC apps will broadcast the race live. (ESPN3 and the ESPN app will also have Spanish-language streams.) A livestream will also be available on ABC7NY.com. ESPN3 will broadcast the finish line continuously from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M EST, and local ABC stations will broadcast post-race highlights from 4 P.M. to 6 P.M. EST.
International broadcasts vary by country. You can find a complete list of where to watch here.