How Many People Are At The New York Marathon? It Figures To Be Another Big Year

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02: Runners run up First Avenue as seen from the 59th Street Bridge during the TCS New York City Marathon on November 2, 2014 inof New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Source: Andrew Burton/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

On Sunday morning, a whole lot of people will get ready, collect their thoughts, and take off running. What's up, you ask? Why, it's the New York City Marathon! That noblest of autumn distance-running rituals, as popular in recent years as its ever been. It's widely credited as the biggest marathon event in the world, which might leave you with an understandable question: how many people are at the New York marathon?

Luckily, if you're talking about how many competitors there'll be, this is an empirical question with a reasonably simple answer: there will be more than 50,000 runners taking part in the marathon tomorrow, snaking their way from the start of the course (at the Verrazano Bridge) all the way through each of New York City's five boroughs. 

Like any marathon, the course is 26 miles and 385 yards, and as The New York Times detailed on Friday, they'll be departing from the starting line at staggered times to keep congestion under control. It's a far cry from the state of affairs back in 1970, the year the marathon debuted — back then, the course was confined to Central Park, and only 127 people participated, with just 55 actually crossing the finish line.

As the International Business Times details, organizers expect that the 2015 marathon to outpace even last year's, which was a all-time record-setting number of runners at 50,530. More people than ever tried to get into the field this year as well, by way of the marathon's entrance lottery.

If you're asking how many people will be there simply to watch the marathon, however, the best estimates aren't quite as precise. This much can be said, however: millions are expected to line the streets along the marathon route — that's the benefit of a race that's more than 26 miles, right? Almost unlimited space to line up, and cheer the runners on. 

The huge number of visitors expected carries an economic boon for the city, as well. According to CNBC, the 2014 marathon generated a staggering economic impact of about $415 million, in addition to $22.2 million in sales and taxes, and this year's iteration is expected to be even slightly bigger and better, so it should have a similar or even more positive. As the New York Daily News detailed on Thursday, the city of New York is expected to generate $21.5 million in Airbnb rates alone, which gives a pretty good idea of just how massive an occasion this all is.

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