4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

New York City Marathon Course Changes Confirmed (???)

with 2 comments

About a month ago, when reading the NYRR Runner magazine, I noticed a brief mention of  course changes in the New York City Marathon for 2009.  There have been slight course changes through the years, and I’m always interested in logistics such as these.  The original quote from the magazine was:

“This year, a few adjustments – including a new placement of the start on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and an expanded loop in the Bronx – will make the route faster and more exciting than ever.”

At the time, the map posted online was unchanged from last year’s map, but in this, the final run up to the marathon, I took another look and found the updated course map here.  I’ve noticed 2 subtle changes so far.  The quote suggests that the start will be higher up the bridge, which can’t be confirmed, of course, until race day.  The other changes seem to be:

  1. McCarren Park – In some past years, the marathon went through north Williamsburg on Berry Street and thus around the west side of McCarren Park.  In the last few years, the route went up Bedford Ave, but then made an unfortunate end around the park, with a left turn on N12th and then a right on Nassau, essentially going around the park, rather than continuing straight up Bedford.  Well, this year, looks like the course will go straight up Bedford, and through McCarren Park, eliminating the 2 turns required to go around the park!  This more direct route actually is shorter, so this length needs to be made up elsewhere, namely in the Bronx.
  2. Bronx – In past years,  after Willis Ave Bridge, there would be an immediate left on 135th St, a right on Alexander Ave, and finally a left on 138th St to the Madison Ave Bridge.  Will be different this year.  Wonder if it is related to the massive construction occurring on the Bronx side of the Willis Ave Bridge, but instead of the left off the bridge, we will continue straight to 138th St, make a left, and then take an odd detour around Morris and Rider Aves, up to 140th St.  I guess what is unfortunate about this is that it adds back the 2 turns that we lose in Williamsburg!  I seem to remember 135 being a downhill and Alexander being an uphill, so I wonder if the new route eliminates a hill – that would be a bonus!

Anyway, not sure why I’m so interested in the logistics, but in case it is not highlighted in the pre-race materials, thought you should all know!

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Written by SCL

October 25, 2009 at 8:18 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] Some details have emerged. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Taper time for New York City MarathonCongrats to […]

  2. Why of course you should be interested in the logistics Scott, your running it!! If I was running the NYCM this year with the changes, I would memorize them ~ take a photo of the new map in my mind and be all set. As you will!!!

    GOOD LUCK BROTHER!!!

    michjoy61

    October 25, 2009 at 8:32 pm


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