While it is unlikely to witness a new world record, Sunday’s TCS New York City Marathon always provides a spectacle in itself with up to 50,000 participants set to start the race. The event, part of the World Marathon Majors, is frequently seen as the focal point of a runner’s season, with a host of UK entrants set to compete.
Beginning with 55 runners who completed four laps around Central Park in 1970, today the TCS New York City Marathon has blossomed into the largest of all the World Marathon Majors. The race begins on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and moves through four more boroughs.
The first stop over the bridge is Brooklyn, New York's most populous borough, where the race continues past the buildings and buzz of Queens and the Bronx, before reaching the exhilarating crowds in Manhattan. Central Park provides the setting for the last 1.6 miles of the course where spectators gather to watch participants take their last few strides to the finish.
Weather forecasts provide conflicting reports. The met office predicts cool temperatures of around 8°C, while AccuWeather.com suggests runners are set for some cold and blustery conditions, making a fairly difficult course that bit more challenging.
Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, winner in 2011, is likely to face tough competition from Wilson Kipsang. Other contenders include Stephen Kiprotich, Lelisa Desisa and Gebre Gebremariam, with American hopes resting on Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi.
With defending champion Priscah Jeptoo unable to compete, the women’s competition is looking far from decided. Kenyan Mary Keitany makes her marathon comeback after the birth of her second child. This will be the third time Keitany has competed in New York. Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba, who finished second last year, is another likely front-runner.
Aside from those vying for top spot, there is set to be a race within a race as the event prepares to witness its millionth finisher. It is anticipated the millionth runner will finish around the four-hour mark. The competitor will receive guaranteed marathon entry for life, a photo with the marathon winners and a $500 shopping spree.
Sports Tours International provides comprehensive packages for the event. For more information and to enter the 2015 race, visit the Sports Tours website.