This Sunday, Nov. 5, 50,000 runners will compete in the New York City Marathon. If you’re not one of them, you can still take part in the annual race day, which has become somewhat of a city-wide holiday, by cheering them on. Maybe you’ll even get inspired to train for next year’s. The New York Road Runners have suggested some of the best spots to watch along the route as the racers make the 26.2 mile-trek across all five boroughs. We’ve paired them with tips on where to fuel up with a coffee, beer, or a meal nearby your sidewalk perch. Millions are expected to turn out tomorrow to watch, so it’s a good idea to arrive early and stake out a spot.
Fourth Ave, Brooklyn, miles 2-4
Ride the R train down to Bay Ridge (exit between Bay Ridge Ave and 95th St) to catch runners as they exit the Verrazano-Narrows bridge and speed through miles 2-4 down Fourth Ave. The race has a staggered start, with the first group setting off from Staten Island at 8:30 a.m., so this watchpoint is for the early-risers. Grab coffee and pastries at Little Cupcake Bakeshop (9102 3rd Ave), and find post-race craft brews and bar bites (pierogis, wings) at Lock Yard beer garden (9221 5th Ave).
Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, miles 10-13
The last few miles in Brooklyn takes runners from South Williamsburg up to Greenpoint before they cross the Pulaski Bridge into Queens. Take the J to Marcy Ave. and watch along Bedford Ave., followed by brunch at Baby’s All Right (146 Broadway Ave). Or, ride the G to Greenpoint Ave. where you can get your caffeine fix at Upright Coffee (860 Manhattan Ave.) followed by beers and Polish comfort food at Karczma (136 Greenpoint Ave.) or pizzas at Paulie Gee’s (60 Greenpoint Ave).
Pulaski Bridge, Long Island City, Queens, mile 13.1
Welcome marathoners to Queens — and the midpoint of the race — at the foot of the Pulaski Bridge in Long Island City (7 to Vernon-Jackson, or G to 21 Street-Van Alst). Find coffee at Sweetleaf (10-93 Jackson Ave.) and libations and pub grub at Alewife (5-14 51st Ave.).
First Ave, Manhattan, miles 16-18
Stake out a spot on First Ave. between E. 60th St. and 96th St. on the Upper East Side to greet runners as they come off the Queensboro Bridge and into Manhattan. Perk up with Gregory’s Coffee (1273 First Ave.) grab tacos and margs at Maya (1191 First Ave.). N, R, W to Lexington Ave-59th St.
Mott Haven, Bronx, mile 20 block party
Just as runners begin to hit the notorious “wall” at mile 20, they’ll get a pick-me-up at this epic block party in the Bronx at 135th St. and Alexander Ave., with DJs, a drumline a big screen and more. Take the 6 train to Brook Ave. to join in the excitement, then dine on Oaxacan-based eats at La Morada (308 Willis Ave.) or kick back at neighborhood pub Mott Haven Bar & Grill (1 Bruckner Blvd).
Columbus Circle, Manhattan, miles 25-26
Take the A, C, B, D or 1 train to Columbus Circle to catch runners before they cross the finish line in Central Park at 67th St. and West Dr. You have no end to food and drink options here, but we think ramen and sake at Ippudo Westside (321 W. 5th St) will do the trick. (If you want to watch the finale, purchase advance tickets here).