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A Perfect Day for ‘New York City’s Biggest Block Party’

On a stunning autumn morning, more than 51,000 runners set out from Staten Island in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon. The cool, sunny conditions brought a million fans to the streets for the race’s 40th running through the five boroughs.

The race crowned champions Mary Keitany of Kenya (for the third straight year) and Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea (the youngest-ever winner, at age 20), and wheelchair champions Tatyana McFadden of the United States and Marcel Hug of Switzerland. Americans Molly Huddle and Abdi Abdirahman both made the podium with third-place finishes.

The race capped a week’s worth of events and happenings to fulfill New York Road Runners’ mission to help and inspire people through running. In the words of race director and NYRR president of events Peter Ciaccia, the race is “New York City’s biggest block party.”

The top finishers—along with Ciaccia and the 2016 Rio Olympic U.S. marathon team, who served as Grand Marshals and rode in the lead vehicle—led the field through 26.2 miles of NYC streets. The fans and 10,000 race-day volunteers appreciated the mild weather—just a bit on the warm side for the runners.

“Another five degrees cooler would’ve been perfect,” said Kevin Leface of Vancouver, Canada, who ran his first TCS New York City Marathon.

“But the crowds made up for it,” he added. “They were fantastic, pulling us along the whole way. I couldn’t slow down and disappoint them!”

Lowell Koppel of Dallas, TX, also running his first TCS New York City Marathon, concurred. “The cheering crowds were a blast,” he said. “I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

Also buoyed by the support was NYRR president and CEO Michael Capiraso, who completed his 25th New York City Marathon in 3:54:31.

Before the race, more than 600 schoolchildren—a record number—ran the last 1.8 miles of the course in the second-annual NYRR Youth Invitational. Just like the 50,000+ marathoners, they crossed the TCS New York City Marathon finish line and received medals to commemorate their achievement.

By Gordon Bakoulis