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Best spots to watch the ING NYC Marathon

We suspect Katie Holmes will be too busy on Broadway to run in the ING New York City Marathon again, but for those of us who prefer the role of spectator, there will be plenty of other colorful characters to cheer on (what's up with those runners who always insist on racing in bear costumes and kilts?). The 26.2-mile marathon route, which hits all five boroughs, begins at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island and ends in Central Park with about 120 bands pumping up the crowd along the way. A few of the best spots to watch the race of 39,000 athletes include Mile 2 (92nd Street and Gowanus Expressway, the first chance to see the runners in Brooklyn), Mile 8 (in front of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a hub of entertainment), Mile 14 (Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Avenue in Queens, to avoid the big crowds), Mile 20 (138th Street in the Bronx, where tired runners need the most cheering), and Mile 25 (Central Park South, the homestretch). Phew! We're exhausted just thinking about it.
Sun., Nov. 2, 9 a.m., 2008
 
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