After the pandemic scuppered last year’s New York City Marathon, one of the world’s most prestigious and hotly anticipated running events is set to return on Sunday.
Last year’s race was meant to mark an extra special milestone – it would have been the 50th running of the iconic competition.
But like so many aspects of regular life, the world’s largest marathon fell victim to the pandemic in 2020 and was canceled due to health and safety concerns.
What about Covid-19?
This year, runners will face some restrictions to mitigate the risk of Covid-19, including social distancing, elimination of touchpoints, enhanced health and safety protocols and testing and tracing.
Participants will need to provide proof of at least one round of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from within 48 hours of race day, and face coverings will be required on public transportation during race day, at the start, at the post-finish area and at the Expo.
Where will runners go?
Some 33,000 people will attempt the grueling 26.2 miles through the city’s five boroughs.
The race starts in Staten Island, where runners will advance north to Brooklyn, Queens, before taking the Queensboro Bridge to Manhattan. Athletes will run down Fifth Avenue before finishing in Central Park.
What time do things kick off?
8:00 a.m. ET - Professional Wheelchair Division
8:22 a.m. ET - Handcycle Category and Select Athletes with Disabilities
8:40 a.m. ET - Professional Women’s Open Division
9:05 a.m. ET - Professional Men’s Open Division
9:10 a.m. ET - Wave 1
9:55 a.m. ET - Wave 2
10:40 a.m. ET - Wave 3
11:20 a.m. ET - Wave 4
12:00 p.m. ET - Wave 5
How can I watch the race?
ESPN2 will show live coverage from 8:30 a.m. ET to 11:30 a.m. ET, and via 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.
The broadcast will also be available live in Spanish on ESPN3 from 8:30 a.m. ET to 11:30 a.m. ET.
International viewers can watch the broadcast from 8:30 a.m. ET to 11:30 a.m. ET through a variety of global broadcast partners.
And what about celebrity runners?
Former US Women’s National Soccer Team teammates and Olympic gold medalists Abby Wambach, Lauren Holiday, Kate Markgraf and Leslie Osborne will be running and supporting the JLH Fund. New York Giants former running back Tiki Barber will return for his seventh New York City Marathon.
Meanwhile, Mumford & Sons band member Marcus Mumford will run for Children in Conflict and his bandmate Ben Lovett will support the Robin Hood Foundation.
Tony-award winning and Grammy-nominated actress Kelli O’Hara is running for Cancer Support Community. TODAY Show and Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist is running in support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Good Morning America’s Will Reeve is running in support of the Reeve Foundation.
Model Christy Turlington will represent her charity, Every Mother Counts, returning 10 years after running in her first New York City Marathon.