We can’t think of any event in the city that brings together New Yorkers and millions of visitors like the ING New York City Marathon. Two million spectators along the course will root on around 42,000 runners as blimps buzz overhead and car traffic stops dead for the Marathon. (Best advice for getting around: Buy a Metrocard, and take the subway!) Since the first NYC Marathon in 1970 (when 127 people entered, and 55 finished), the event continues to grow. This year, there are actually three starts, with entrants divided into groups of 14,000 released every 20 minutes. Open Field including Professional Men starts at 9:40 a.m., but the marathon fun lasts all day. There are a lot of ways to be a part of the Marathon—find a vantage point from the course map and cheer the runners as they pass. (In addition to other entertainment, 100 bands will be stationed along the way.) Or stop for lunch or brunch at a restaurant (26 of them Zagat-rated). There also may still be time to volunteer to help.

Sun., Nov. 1, 2009