Although there will be fewer runners and a whole host of safety protocols, the 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon will be held with a field of 33,000 runners on November 7.
Among the expected participants will be 2020 marathon runners who chose to run this year and those who enter through additional entry methods including charities and international tour operators, as well as 9+1 program participants, Virtual TCS New York City Marathon finishers, and runners who have completed 15 or more New York City Marathons. In order to prioritize the 2020 marathon runners who were already guaranteed entry, a drawing will not be held for this year’s marathon. Registration for runners with guaranteed entry will begin on June 8 and close on June 15.
Health and safety procedures will be put in place for this year’s marathon to ensure a safe race day. NYRR’s guidelines will include social distancing, elimination of touchpoints, enhanced health and safety protocols, and testing and tracing. Runners will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of a complete vaccination series prior to running in the marathon.
Specific protocols continue to evolve and NYRR will revise its operational plans as necessary in collaboration with medical and public health experts and state and local government officials.
To establish social distancing at the marathon and reduce density at the start and finish, a controllable and scalable time-trial start format will be utilized instead of single mass gathering starts. To adapt to this new format, an extended period of time will be needed with the first wave starting an hour earlier, and later waves extending two hours later.
“This will be an unprecedented and historic year for the TCS New York City Marathon as one of the most iconic New York sporting events makes its return,” says race director Ted Metellus. “As we stage a safe and memorable race for the 50th running, this year’s marathon will showcase our great city’s strength, inspiration, and determination.”
“In 2019, the New York City marathon broke records to become the world’s largest marathon ever,” Governor Andrew Cuomo adds. “While canceling the race was the right choice in 2020, we are excited to welcome runners back to our beautiful city. New Yorkers worked hard to flatten the curve after the COVID-19 outbreak and it is that work that allows us to be able to take this step in bringing normalcy back to our state.”
“The New York City Marathon is a reminder of everything New Yorkers can accomplish with persistence, hard work, and community support. As we build a recovery for all of us, there’s no better time to safely reconnect with the iconic events that make our city great,” says Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon was canceled. Runners registered for last year’s marathon were provided the option to receive a full refund of their entry fee or a guaranteed complimentary entry for the 2021, 2022, or 2023 New York City Marathon. This year’s race will accommodate all runners who chose to run in 2021. Among the more than 30,000 runners who were registered prior to the cancellation last year, 54 percent chose to run in this year’s marathon.
The fourth annual Virtual TCS New York City Marathon Powered by Strava will return, bringing together runners from all over the world to participate in a race from their location of choice. The virtual marathon will begin on October 23 and finish on November 7. Registration will open on June 10. Last year, 16,031 runners finished the virtual race.