Marathon, man

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It’s been called the “biggest block party on Earth,” and on Sunday, Brooklynites will once again cheer on the runners in the cold November morning air. Pick a neighborhood along the 13-mile Brooklyn portion of the New York City Marathon, watch the runners go by, then hang out nearby. But first, set your watches: Women runners start out from the Staten Island starting line at 9:10 am. The elite men start a half-hour later. Use the handy map below to plan your day.


In the first Brooklyn stretch, lead women will get to Fourth Avenue and 81st Street at around 9:26 am, followed by the lead men at 9:55. As you wait for the runners, stop by the Little Cupcake Bakeshop on Third Avenue and 91st Street and warm up with a cup of their famous Nutella cappuccino. For some hearty brunch after the runners have passed, walk up Third Avenue to the Greenhouse Cafe on 77th Street.


Continuing on Fourth Avenue, women runners will cross the six-mile mark — around 10th Street — at around 9:43 am with their male counterparts passing at 10:10. Take in an Italian-style brunch at the hip new hangout Bar Tano on the corner of Third Avenue and Ninth Street. Watch a few more stragglers then round out the afternoon at the Cherry Tree Bar on Fourth Avenue at Bergen Street and choose from more than 125 varieties of beer. Or cross the street to the Fourth Avenue Pub, where happy hour starts at 3 pm. If you’re looking for a warm place to relax with a cold one, head down the block to Pacific Standard, on the corner of St. Marks Place, and set down in their cozy back library room. For an exotic dinner, try Ghenet on Fourth Avenue at Douglass Street for some Ethiopian food, but make sure your friends have clean hands, because it’s finger food and everybody shares!


The lead women will turn from Fourth Avenue onto Lafayette Avenue at 9:54 am, followed by the men at 10:20. After cheering the runners on as they pass the eight-mile mark, go for lunch at the Smoke Joint, a barbecue place Lafayette Avenue at South Elliott Place. If meat is not for you, try some vegetarian fare at Red Bamboo on the corner of Dekalb Avenue and Adelphi Street. For dessert, head to Cake Man Raven for the best red velvet cake. It’s on Fulton Street near South Oxford Street. Round out the day with the “I AM A MAN” exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art on South Portland Avenue near Hanson Place.


The race stays on Bedford Avenue pretty much all through Billyburg, with elite women hitting the 11th mile around Metropolitan Avenue at 10:10 am and the men hot on their heels at 10:35. Try the brand new Five Leaves restaurant, which was the pet project of late actor Heath Ledger, on Bedford Avenue at Lorimer Street, for brunch, or go for some vegetarian variety at Bliss, on the corner of Bedford and North Sixth Street. If you’re really feeling the running spirit, hit the track in McCarren Park after lunch to work off those calories, bask in the shadows of all those new glass-and-steel condos and think, “Man, this neighborhood has changed.”


The last mile of the Brooklyn leg takes runners up Manhattan Avenue, with the lead women passing Meserole Avenue around 10:16 am, followed by the lead men at 10:40. Join the friendly staff of Cafe Grumpy, on Meserole at Diamond Street, as it cheers the runners on, and then head over to the corner of Lorimer Street and Driggs Avenue for brunch at the Park Luncheonette, a 77-year-old institution. For some afternoon shopping, check out Old Hollywood on Manhattan and Meserole and stock up on some 1950s-style vintage glam accessories (see story on page 9).

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