Thousands of runners endure 26.2 miles during NYC marathon

Runners push up Fourth Avenue in Boerum Hill.
Photo by Derrick Watterson

Over 50,000 fitness fanatics took to the streets on Sunday for the 49th annual New York City Marathon, where an international cadre of runners pushed the limits of human endurance during a grueling 26.2-mile run through the five boroughs.

“It’s tempting to just go home and give it up,” said marathoner Jennie Wang at the halfway mark by the Pulaski Bridge in Greenpoint. “But, we will keep going.”

The runners, who hailed from over 125 different countries, kicked off their journey on Staten Island, before crossing the Verrazzano Bridge for an 11-mile stretch through Kings County — where thousands of Brooklynites lined the running route to cheer on the marathoners as they pounded the pavement from southern Brooklyn to Queens.

“We want them to know this is the best borough in the city,” said Connie Pitsouis, who welcomed the racers as they first entered Brooklyn with a sign that read “Brooklyn: home to everyone from everywhere.”

A band serenades runners passing through Fort Greene.
Photo by Derrick Watterson

Mike Basile, who watched the runners with his kids near 92nd Street, said he’s made a yearly tradition of watching the athletes with his children.

“It’s exciting for them, they like the runners,” he said. “It’s a nice little day.”

Friends embrace as they spot eachother along the route.
Photo by Derrick Watterson

City transportation honchos had blocked off the marathon route during the day before the race, forcing parked cars to vacate the streets — while thousands of anti-terrorism cops manned the route, despite no credible threats.

Runners ended their journey in Central Park — where 26-year-old runner Joyciline Jepskogi was the first-place female finisher at 2:22:38, and 26-year-old Geoffrey Kamworor took home the gold medal in the men’s race at 2:08:13.

Support network: Runners were greeted by thousands of cheering spectators.
Photo by Derrick Watterson

Reach reporter Ben Verde at (718) 260–2525 or by e-mail at bverde@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @verde_nyc.

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