Monday, November 7, 2011

NYC Marathon Created the Modern Marathon

As we witnessed a new record at this year's NYC Marathon, we are reminded that the NYC Marathon is the model for all modern marathons.

New York Road Runners

The New York Road Runners, a non-profit founded in 1958, organized the first ever NYC Marathon in 1970. That pioneering effort created the modern marathon. The New York Road Runners organization has more than 60,000 members and continues to produce the NYC Marathon each year along with many other races.

In the first NYC Marathon, only one woman started the race, and she did not finish.Fifty-five men finished that race. By 1978, the race had 9,000 participants. Last year, 47,000 people finished the NYC Marathon. The growth and development has been impressive and influential.

NYC Marathon

This year's marathon was yet another tremendous success. The men's champion set a new course record, and the women's race was the second closest in history. The second place finisher on the women's side was a competitor from the Bronx. A record number of runners, 47,107, participated in this year's New York City Marathon.

The NYC Marathon is the model for all modern marathons. Here is an except from the NYC Marathon web site.
Around the world, the word "marathon" evokes images of New York City. Before the New York race began, marathons were modest events run by a few athletes and followed by a few fans interested in the limits of human endurance. Today many marathons are huge media events that take over entire cities around the globe. None is as prominent as the ING New York City Marathon, but all city marathons are modeled on it. Modern marathoning owes its start -- and its world-class status -- to New York.

While the marathon has always been a focus of community spirit, with more than two million New Yorkers lining the streets to support the runners, that aspect of the race was most apparent in November 2001. Less than two months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the New York City Marathon became a race of hope and renewal for participants, spectators, and all New Yorkers, and patriotism ran high as the marathon hosted the men's and women's USA Marathon Championships.

New York has continued to lead in race management. In 2002, New York Road Runners ("NYRR") created a separate start for the professional women as a way to highlight the most competitive women's field in race history. In 2003, ING became the title sponsor of the race and joined with NYRR to fund grassroots running and fitness programs among the city's youth through the ING Run for Something Better program. NYRR hosted the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials -- Men's Marathon in Central Park on the same weekend as the ING New York City Marathon 2007. In 2008, the marathon was successfully staged with three wave starts. The 2009 race was the marathon's 40th running and hosted the USA Men's Marathon Championship. In 2010, the marathon expanded its reach to friends, family, and fans with the I'M IN theme.

Forty years after its start, the ING New York City Marathon continues to grow in size and to be the leader among marathons around the world.

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