The History of the New York Marathon

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By Diana Siegel


Founded by Fred Lebow in 1970, the New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world. What began as a quadruple loop around Central Park with less than 150 runners has, over the course of forty-one years, grown into a 5-borough journey that draws nearly 50,000 competitors from a lottery of over 100,000 applicants.


The race takes place annually on the first Sunday in November. While thousands compete, millions line the streets to support and celebrate, making the marathon a vibrant event for both runners and spectators.


A reminder of the great feats we are capable of achieving, each marathon includes incredible stories of spirit and perseverance. Here are some of the most remarkable (and some of the most fun!):



Best of Times

Kenyan runner Geoffrey Muttai set the new men’s course record in 2011 with his time of 2:05:05.

Another Kenyan, Margaret Okayo set the women’s course record in 2003 with her time of 2:22:31


The NYC Marathon introduced a wheelchair division in 2000.

Australian Kurt Fearnley, a four-time winner, set the course record in 2006 with his time of 1:29:22, while American Amanda McCrory broke the course record in 2011, with her time of 1:50:25


Child’s Play

In 1977, eight year-old Wesley Paul became the youngest runner to complete the race with the incredible time of 3:00:27! Looks like he’ll hold that record forever; officials now ban anyone under 18 years old from entering the race.


Here Comes the Stride

In 2011, NYC marathoners Mary Martin and Raymond Donaldson got married while running the 22nd mile in a mobile wedding ceremony! Now that’s commitment!


The Magic Bullet has joined in the merriment and partnered with lead sponsor ING to bring you the ING MARATHON BULLET®. Designed with the long distance runner in mind, this Orange and Blue Limited Edition MARATHON BULLET® leads the pack of athlete-friendly appliances, and makes a great addition to the homes of both runners and supporters alike!  Visit the facebook page: