More than 50,000 runners will circle the five boroughs Sunday morning, racing 26.2 miles — some for glory, others for charity — as part of the 49th annual New York City Marathon.
The nation's largest marathon kicks off at 8 a.m. at the starting point in Staten Island. Participants from 125 countries will trek over the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, through Brooklyn, into Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx before returning to Manhattan and the finish line in Central Park.
Each year, more than 3 million spectators line the streets to cheer on the weary runners, who will compete this year in sunny temperatures in the low 50s with a light northwest breeze.
The estimated 52,000 runners include some of the world's best athletes. Among them are returning champions, Olympians, actors, celebrity chefs and former NFL stars, including ex-New York Giants Tiki Barber and Jason Sehorn. More than 9,000 charity runners will also be in the field.
And the race will have a distinctly local flavor.
Among the Long Islanders competing will be Lisa Tuozzolo, widow of slain NYPD Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, 41, of Huntington, who was fatally shot in 2016 by a suspect in the Bronx; and Molly Waitz of Cutchogue, who will run her first New York City Marathon while pumping breast milk for her 8-month-old son, Bode.
Security will be tight for the marathon, as the NYPD plans to deploy thousands of uniformed officers and more than 600 vehicles to safeguard runners and onlookers, officials said Thursday.
An additional 300 cops from housing and transit commands who have been trained by the counterterrorism command will be part of the security detail, along with nuclear and explosive detection teams and specially trained canines.
The NYPD also will deploy counter-drone technology to intercept and neutralize any errant drones that try to penetrate the race route, according to Police Commissioner James O’Neill.
Streets intersecting the route will be closed with no cross traffic allowed during the race, O’Neill said.
The upper level of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge will also be closed hours before the start time. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the span’s upper level will be closed starting 11 p.m. Saturday, and traffic in both directions will be prohibited from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Officials added that the Bay Street and Lily Pond Avenue exits on Staten Island will close at 3 a.m. on Sunday and reopen around 3 p.m.
Buses and subway trains may be rerouted or detoured, and customers should anticipate delays, officials said, adding that the Central Park Transverses at 65th, 79th and 96th streets will be closed for most of the day and buses will not be permitted to cross Fifth Avenue during the race.
For all the weekend service changes to subways and buses, officials advise visiting new.mta.info/planned-service-changes.
With Zachary R. Dowdy