Whether it’s your first marathon or your 100th, many agree that the NYC Marathon Sunday is the only time of year when the city comes together. The collective support of the runners through the five boroughs is something you don’t want to miss.
Keep reading to learn all the tips and tricks to watch the NYC Marathon from home or the streets of NYC! (Look for the red to get to the real insider tips)
Watch The 2022 NYC Marathon At Home.
How can I watch the 2022 NYC Marathon Virtually?
For local residents: You can watch the broadcast live on race day on WABC-TV, Channel 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST. Pre-race coverage from Fort Wadsworth begins at 7:00 a.m. EST.
For people in the U.S. outside of NYC: You can watch live Marathon on coverage from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST on ESPN2.
How can I watch on my device?
For local residents: Live streaming will be available on the ABC App and ABC7NY.com from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST.
For people in the U.S. outside of NYC: Use the ESPN App on smartphones, tablets, and connected streaming devices and ESPN.com on computers for those who have video subscriptions from affiliated pay-TV providers.
Check out the official marathon page for more details on other viewing options outside of the U.S.
Watch The 2022 NYC Marathon In Person
What is the NYC Marathon Route?
Starting in Staten Island, the marathon goes across the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn and up Fourth Avenue passing through Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Park Slope, and through Downtown Manhattan.
It then makes a right turn onto Lafayette ave and continues into Williamsburg along Bedford, around McCarren Park, onto Manhattan Ave, and into Greenpoint. After a right turn onto Greenpoint Ave and an ascent on McGuiness Blvd, the course hits the halfway point as the runners cross the Pulaski Bridge into Queens.
In Queens, the runners turn left onto Jackson Ave and then continue on Vernon Blvd. From there, it’s a right on 44th road, a right on 21st street, a left onto 44th drive (ahh, Queens streets), a left onto Crescent Street, and a left turn onto the Queensboro Bridge. Crossing the 59th street bridge into Manhattan, runners will continue up First Ave until they hit the Willis Ave Bridge, Willis Ave, Alexander Ave, East 138th St, and the Madison Ave Bridge that brings them out of the Bronx.
By Mile 21, runners begin their run down 5th Avenue, around the West Side of Marcus Garvey Park, and turn into Central Park at the Engineer’s Gate at 90th street and 5th ave. From there, they continue in Central Park until they exit the park at 59th, continue along Central Park South, re-enter at Columbus Circle and finish the race in front of Tavern on the Green.
How can I track my runner?
Besides the obvious sharing of locations on phones, the Marathon provides an official app that users can download that allows runner tracking on the course. Timing mats are located at the start, every 5K, halfway (13.1 miles), mile 20, and the finish that will give real-time updates as a runner crosses them. The app will provide estimated times so spectators have an idea when a runner will come through.
INSIDER TIP: Use both phone locations and the Marathon App to make sure you don’t miss your runner. The app is usually slightly behind what the runner is running. Make sure you know what your runner is wearing!
You can access the app here when it is available to download.
How Can I Find My Marathoner On the Course?
Make sure to use the tracking app mentioned above, and know both their wave start time (given when runners pick up their bibs) and what they’re wearing. Non-elite and non-wheelchair runners will start anywhere from 9:10am-11:30am. See below for current start times.
In a sea of people, finding your marathoner can be challenging. The most successful connections are when your runner knows you’ll be on the course and at what mile and side of the street you’ll be. Some runners will even have a preference for where you meet them so they can have that extra boost of energy.
INSIDER TIP: Bring a balloon your runner can look for to find you. They’ll be able to see a brightly colored balloon floating above the heads of people way before they will see you. Just make sure they know what the balloon is.
Current Start Times and Pace Groups for the 2022 NYC Marathon Are Below:
8:00 a.m. Professional Wheelchair Division
8:22 a.m. Handcycle Category and Select Athletes with Disabilities
8:40 a.m. Professional Women’s Open Division
9:05 a.m. Professional Men’s Open Division
9:10 a.m. Wave 1 (4:30-7:26 min/mile)
9:45 a.m. Wave 2 (7:26-8:13 min/mile)
10:20 a.m. Wave 3 (8:13-9:01 min/mile)
10:55 a.m. Wave 4 (9:01-10:07 min/mile)
11:30 a.m. Wave 5 (10:07-20:00 min/mile)
Where Are The Best Places To Watch The NYC Marathon?
Depending on what you’re looking for, there are many great places to watch the marathon. Note that spectators will not be allowed on any bridges and that transit in the city that day will be awfully messed up. Plan ahead and expect a lot of walking due to street closures and delays.
INSIDER TIP: If you’re looking to hit up two places, cheer for your runner at the East 90s on 1st Ave near Yorkville Housing, and then head over to 5th Ave by 1136 5th Ave to watch them come down 5th Ave from the Bronx. Many runners state this is when the course starts getting tough because they start to fatigue. Seeing a familiar face and hearing a cheer can kick a runner back into high gear.
Other recommended places to cheer
- Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn (Miles 2-4)
- Fourth Avenue and Flatbush Avenue (Mile 8)
- Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn (Miles 10-13)
- Best place if you want access to restaurants and shops!
- Pulaski Bridge- Queens Side (Mile 13.1)
- First Avenue (from 59th-125th) Manhattan (Miles 16-18)
- East Harlem (Miles 18-20)
- Charity Cheer Zone, First Avenue and 120th Street (Miles 19-20)
- Fifth Avenue, East 90th Street-East 105th Street (Miles 23-24)
- United Airlines Zone in Columbus Circle.
- Central Park near the finish line
- You will be able to get as close as 500 feet away from the finish, but it will be CROWDED. Enter the park via Broadway at West 61st Street or West 62nd Street, or from the east side via the Central Park path by Heckscher Fields – Kickball Field #3. You may be subject to screening
How Can I Interact With Marathoners at the NYC Marathon?
YES! At many points during the race, the only thing separating you from the runners is a thin line of tape. That doesn’t mean you should be jumping out at the runners. In fact, going on the course is not only against the rules but it is highly frowned upon. You never know how you might impact a runner, and two seconds of saying hi is not worth injuring someone who has trained so hard for this race.
Can I pass things to a marathoner?
Yes! Many runners will ask friends and family to hold water, gels, bananas, snacks, and more at various points during the race so they don’t have to carry it the whole way. There are water and gel stations, but those may not be at the right places for runners. Be prepared for any item your runner may want, but don’t get offended if they don’t take anything. Some runners don’t know what they’ll need until in that moment and at that mile.
You’ll be able to high-five runners or provide them with fuel and water should they need it.
INSIDER TIP: Use the balloon trick above so your runner can find you
Should I cheer for runners at the NYC Marathon? Make signs for runners?
Yes, yes, and yes! Number one rule of the NYC Marathon: If you’re not running, you’re cheering!!
Whether a runner’s face shows it in the moment or not, having a support team watch them take on what may be the most challenging physical thing they will ever do in their life means the world. To be thought of is probably one of the best compliments you can give to someone.
Witty signs for your runner, or just in general, are ALWAYS welcome (examples may include “This Marathon Looks Good On You,” “Smile If You Peed A Little,” or “Great Job Random Stranger!”). Just keep them respectful.
Cheer for everyone and everyone! Many runners put their names on their outfits so scream at all the random strangers you want. Perfectly acceptable in both NYC and Marathon Sunday.
INSIDER TIP: Bring cowbells, drums, music, megaphones, whatever you can to make lots of noise. Leave the confetti at home, it’s a pain to clean up and startles everyone when it goes off. (Sad world we’re living in, but it’s true).
Can I Watch the Finish of the NYC Marathon?
The actual finish of the marathon is heavily secured, and you can only get in if you are an official, you know someone, or have a ticket. Runners are able to get tickets for their spectators via Eventbrite, but seating is not reserved, so if you show up too late or leave, you might miss your runner finishing.
INSIDER TIP: In previous years, the few hundred meters before the marathon were not reserved, and spectators could stand along the fence to watch runners finish. This is the closest you’ll get to the finish and still capture all the raw moments as people realize they’re about to finish an actual marathon!
Are There Bathrooms For Spectators?
Unfortunately, there are no designated spectator bathrooms, but there are many local businesses you can support on the route that may have a bathroom you can use if you make a purchase. (See below).
What Should I Bring While Watching The Marathon?
Be prepared for a long day, lots of running around, and varying weather conditions. Estimate the temperature to be in the 50s. Think about bringing the following:
- Extra layers, including hats and gloves!
- Handwarmers and foot warmers
- Umbrellas and ponchos.
- A chair if you plan on posting up at a certain area and not moving for a while. (Make sure your location doesn’t have any restrictions as to bringing seating, most don’t)
- Gels, painkillers, snacks, and beverages for runners
- Anything needed to distract yourself or your kids during the long day
Will I Cry Watching the NYC Marathon?
Most likely. This is the most emotional day for thousands of runners as their months of training culminate. It’s also a sad day for some as they miss their goals by a little or a lot. Many people report feeling an overwhelming sense of emotion during the whole Marathon Sunday and tear up watching friends, loved ones, and strangers on the course.
Best Local Businesses To Stop In Near The 2022 NYC Marathon Route
- Pariscien Bakery (7-9pm) 4823 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220
- Cafe Nube (9-3pm) at 940 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232-2315
- Casita of Brooklyn (7-6pm) 318 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
- Root Hill Cafe (8-5pm) 262 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Fort Greene/ Clinton Hill/ Bed Stuy
- Guevara’s (8-5pm) 39 Clifton Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238
- Fan Fan Donuts (9-6pm) 448 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
- Nostrand Coffee Roaster (8-5pm) 261 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11216
- BKLYN Blend (9-5) 194 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206
- Greenberg’s Bagels Bed Stuy (8-3pm) 1065 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
- Bushwick Grind Cafe (9-5pm) 63 Whipple St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
- Brooklyn Bagel (8:30-5:30pm) 7 Heyward St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
- Butler (8-6pm) 95 S 5th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
- Pueblo Querido Cofee Roasters Cafe de Colombia (8-6pm) 34 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
- Cafe Riviera Greenpoint (9-6:30pm) 830 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
- Cuffie Ridge Vegan Café (8-8pm) 154 Huron St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
- Odd Fox Coffee (8-5pm) 984 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
- Pueblo Querido Cofee Roasters Cafe de Colombia (8-3pm) 195 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Long Island City
- Paris Baguette (7:00am-10pm) 27-35 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101
- Café Henri (8:30am-4pm) 1010 50th Ave, Queens, NY 11101
- LIC Corner Cafe (9am-5pm) 21-03 45th Rd, Long Island City, NY 11101
- Fifth Hammer Brewery (12-11pm) 10-28 46th Ave, Long Island City, New York, 11101
- Jora (12:30-10pm) 47-46 11th St, Queens, NY 11101
Upper East Side and Harlem
- Quality Eats (10am-10:45pm) 1496 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10075
- Jackson Hole (11am-10pm) 232 E 64th St A, New York, NY 10021
- Levain Bakery – Upper East Side (7am-10pm) 1484 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
- Ralph’s Coffee (12-6pm) 888 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021
- Eat Here Now (7-5pm) 839 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10065
- Gracie’s Corner Diner (24 hours!) 300 East 86th St, New York, NY 10028
- Barking Dog (8-10pm) 1678 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10128
- Wimpy’s (7am-8:30pm) 1634 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10029
- Amy Ruth’s (11-9:30pm) 113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026
- El Patio De Fela (10-10pm) 2253 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10035
- Madison Cafe (6am-11pm) 463 Willis Ave, The Bronx, NY 10455
- Pio Pio (11am – 11pm) 264 Cypress Ave, The Bronx, NY 10454
- Beatstro (11:30am-11pm) 135 Alexander Ave, The Bronx, NY 10454
- The Bronx Brewery & Empanology (12-11pm) 856 E 136th St, The Bronx, NY 10454
Remember, If you’re not running, you’re cheering!!
Alda is a mom, Brooklynite, and real estate lover. In her free time, she cruises real estate listings to dream of a perfectly attainable several million-dollar brownstone, much to her husband's annoyance. Alda is also convinced she knows everything there is to know about New York City, based solely on consistent people-watching and eavesdropping. Mrs. Burrows would be an amazing trivia partner but instead chooses to write about all the random stuff she knows.