Information for AWDs and Guides

Please note: Information on this page pertains to the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon and is for reference purposes only. Information will be updated for the 2017 race.

Please read the following information carefully if you are an Athlete With a Disability (AWD) being accompanied by a guide, or a guide accompanying an AWD. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Achilles International at [email protected].

Guides are not official entrants in the TCS New York City Marathon and are not timed, scored, or listed in the official results. Most guides participate free of charge, and all have the satisfaction of assisting another person in completing the TCS New York City Marathon.

Guide Responsibilities

On race day, a guide is expected to accompany his/her assigned AWD from the start to the finish, unless the guide has been specifically assigned to guide for only the first or second half of the race.

  • Communicating with assigned AWD and, if possible, meeting and training with him/her prior to race day. AWD contact information is available from Achilles International.
  • If possible, checking in at packet pickup at the TCS New York City Marathon Health and Wellness Expo with assigned AWD.
  • Assuring that baggage—the guide’s and the assigned AWD’s (which may include a spare wheelchair)—is placed in the correct UPS truck at the AWD start staging area and is retrieved at the AWD/Achilles Family Reunion area near the finish (72nd Street and Central Park West). All AWDs will be directed to this location upon completion of the race.
  • Assuring that AWDs stay to the side of the road during the race when being approached from behind by faster runners or official vehicles on the course in order to avoid collisions.

Packet Pickup

Packet pickup (guide shirts, official racing bibs, etc.) for both AWDs and guides takes place at the TCS New York City Marathon Expo Presented by New Balance at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Guides should check in at the Achilles guides booths inside the expo, where they will be issued a special guide race bib (reflecting the race bib number of their assigned AWD). AWDs receive a bib number and other items provided to all entrants. Either before or after checking in, guides should proceed to the Achilles booth located just inside the runners’ entrance to the expo, where they will receive their guide shirt and certain instructional materials. If their assigned entrants have purchased a ticket for the TCS New York City Marathon Eve Dinner; guides can also obtain a complimentary ticket at the Achilles booth in order to accompany their assigned entrants to the event.

To gain entry into the number pickup area, guides must bring a government-issued photo identification card and the Guide Confirmation Document that will have been sent via email from Achilles. AWDs must bring a government-issued photo identification card and their TCS New York arathon registration form, which will be available in My NYRR.


Race Day

Information is subject to change.

Guides are transported free of charge to the starting line. Details about transportation for both AWDs and guides will be provided at the expo. It is strongly recommended that AWDs and guides travel together on the buses. If this is not possible, they should arrange a spot to meet within the AWD start staging area on Staten Island. At packet pickup, guides will receive information about the location of the AWD start staging area. The specific UPS trucks for AWDs and their guides will be located in that AWD start staging area. DO NOT use UPS trucks outside of the AWD staging area.


The Start

Assignment of AWDs and their guides to particular starts is made by NYRR. Color-coded bibs will be distributed at the expo based upon these assignments.

There are three starts for AWD athletes:

1. Wheelchair/Handcycle Start: 8:30 a.m. for push-rim chairs (bib numbers W335 to W369) and 8:55 a.m. for handcycles (bib numbers H400 to H474), both on the Blue Start. All athletes within these bib ranges will be escorted to the start line at the appropriate times.

2. Special AWD Start #1: 8:55 a.m. on the Orange Start for Ambulatory AWDs (including certain wheelchair/handcycle entrants) who require additional time to complete the race. AAWDs with Orange Start bibs (bib numbers X500 to X539), wheelchairs (bib numbers W370 to W399), and handcycles (bib numbers H475 to H499) within these bib ranges will be escorted to your respective start area at the appropriate time. Guides will also have the appropriate bib numbers associated with their runner’s number and start time.

3. Special AWD Start #2: 9:40 a.m. on the Green Start. All ambulatory AWDs not assigned to AWD start #1 will be assigned to the last corral of Wave 1. AAWD athletes with Green Start bibs (bib numbers 18830 to 18999) will be escorted to the respective start at the appropriate time.

Buses carrying AWDs and their guides for these starts will load and leave between approximately 4:45 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. from Fifth Avenue at either 37th Street (wheelchairs and handcycles) or 38th Street (ambulatory AWDs) in Manhattan, and will unload inside Fort Wadsworth. AWDs and their guides will be directed to the special AWD staging area adjacent to the Green Village, from where they will be sent at the appropriate time either directly to their assigned starting lines, in the case of start #1 and #2 (above), or to their assigned corral, from which they will proceed to the Green Start, in the case of #3 (above).


Standby Guides

Standby guides will be stationed on race day at the standby guide station on the course at mile 13.6 and will enter the race at that point in order to provide substitute or additional assistance to AWDs requiring it. These guides should go directly to the standby guide station on race day. More precise information about this station and its exact location will be distributed to standby guides during packet pickup at the expo.


Instructions for AWDs and Guides

Instructions for AWDs, including wheelchair and handcycle participants, and all guides will be distributed during packet pickup at the TCS New York City Marathon Expo Presented by New Balance.

Please note: All wheelchair and handcycle entrants must wear helmets at all times while on the course. Athletes not wearing helmets will NOT be allowed to start the race and are subject to removal from the course.