Where to watch the Long Island Marathon

Crowds at the finish line at the 2011

Crowds at the finish line at the 2011 Long Island Marathon. (May 1, 2011) (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

The Long Island Marathon has been a Nassau County staple since the early '70s. Known as the "people's race," the event draws both highly competitive runners and those who just want to challenge themselves.

One of the key elements to keeping the runners motivated is the energy coming from the crowd. "The spectators do more for the runners than the runners do for the spectators. They really appreciate having people out there clapping, cheering and smiling. It keeps them going," says marathon director Jason Lipset. A half-marathon and 10k race will run at the same time.

Added security measures for this year's race mean runners and spectators will encounter some changes--namely, only registered runners are permitted in the starting area on Charles Lindberg Boulevard and spectators may not bring bags to the finish line area in Eisenhower Park, the site of a post-race festival.

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Best viewing locations

Post and Maple avenues, Westbury


Viewers can get in through the side streets, park along the side and watch the race. This location puts onlookers right in the heart of Westbury, where there are places to eat and shop.

Brush Hollow Road, Westbury


Jericho Turnpike doesn't close down on the north side, therefore you can get over to see the runners early on in this wide open area and still have time to catch them at the finish line in Eisenhower Park.

Parking can be found on Cantiague Rock Road and along the side streets.

Old Country Road and Wantagh Parkway


This is where full marathoners and half marathoners split off on their own courses. Each runner will pass through this viewing area at least once (full marathoners twice).

Parking can be found on Old Country Road and its side streets. There is easy access, allowing spectators to come and go. The race can been seen from the on ramp as well as from the sidewalk of the overpass.

Eisenhower Park, East Meadow


The finish line is halfway through the park directly across from parking field 5. As the runners arrive, they will enter a festive atmosphere with live music and an awards ceremony, along with food/drink giveaways.

Spectators should come in through the Hempstead Turnpike entrance to the park. Merrick Avenue up to School Street will be closed starting at 7 a.m. and won't reopen until about 9:30 a.m.

Long Island Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k Run

WHEN | WHERE 8 a.m. Sunday, start at Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Uniondale, with finish at Eisenhower Park, East Meadow

INFO 516-986-5537, thelimarathon.com

Other race events


3-8 p.m.: Sports & Fitness Expo, Mitchel Athletic Complex

6:30 p.m.: Pasta Party, Cradle of Aviation Museum (no charge for registered runners; up to three guests at $10 each)


8 a.m.: One-Mile Run

8:30 a.m.: 5k Race

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Sports & Fitness Expo

10:30 a.m.: Kids' Fun Run

All Saturday events will be held at Mitchel Athletic Complex.

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