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NYC Marathon: What you need to know

Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start

Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the New York City Marathon. (Nov. 6, 2011) Credit: AP

Thousands of runners and spectators are expected to turn out for the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday. If you are heading into the city for the 43rd running of the marathon, here are a few things you need to know:

RACE START: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island

ROUTE: Through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and back in Manhattan

RACE END: Central Park

SPECTATORS NOT PERMITTED: Spectators are not allowed on the Verrazano-Narrows or Queensboro bridges

OFFICIAL START TIMES: 8:45 a.m.: Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge;

8:55 a.m.: Achilles Handcycle category and select athletes with disabilities;

9:10 a.m.: Professional women;

9:40 a.m.: Wave 1 including professional men;

10:05 a.m.: Wave 2;

10:30 a.m.: Wave 3;

10:55 a.m.: Wave 4

GETTING THERE FROM LONG ISLAND: The Long Island Rail Road will operate on a normal Sunday schedule with no additional trains. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority advises customers to check its website,, for real-time service conditions, including on the LIRR. If driving, plan ahead. Many streets and bridges will be closed and traffic will be heavy.

GETTING AROUND THE CITY: Many streets will be closed to traffic. Use the subway to travel.

BAGGAGE INSPECTION: More baggage inspection areas will be in place. All bags and items entering marathon venues and events are subject to inspection. To speed access and avoid longer lines, officials strongly recommend not bringing a bag.

Spectators at the opening ceremony — standing and in bleachers — and spectators in any Central Park grandstand who are carrying bags will be subject to bag inspection. Race officials suggest one bag per guest, no larger than the size of a woman's purse. Please note that no strollers will be allowed.

WATCHING FROM HOME: In the New York City metro area, watch the race day broadcast live on ABC7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Live streaming also will be available on WatchABC and from 7 a.m. to 2 pm.

Nationally, live coverage will be broadcast on ESPN2 and from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The broadcast also will be aired live in Spanish on ESPN Deportes+ from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The ABC and ESPN broadcasts will be available on tablets or smartphones with the apps downloaded.

Friends and family can watch their runners cross the finish line with the Find Your Finish Cam from 10 a.m. to 3p.m.

SUGGESTIONS FOR CHEERING RUNNERS: Dress in layers and bring additional warm, wind-resistant clothing.

Stay off the course, stick to the sidewalks and follow all instructions from course marshals and the NYPD.

Keep cheering. The slower runners appreciate support just as much as the speedier ones — maybe even more.

Be specific about where you’ll be for the best chance of spotting runners “Outside the coffee shop at the southwest corner of 85th and First Avenue” is much more helpful than “somewhere in the 80s on First.”

Don’t say “You’re almost finished.” For marathoners, the last two miles often feel longer than the first 24.

SOURCE: The ING New York City Marathon website, MTA

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