2015 marks another big year for running enthusiasts with the 45th annual New York Marathon held on Sunday in New York City. The race has seen over 50,000 entrants sporting a bib number and making their way through all five boroughs over the course of 26.2 miles. These photos from the New York Marathon illustrate just how massive and celebrated the race has become. It's an important event in the long-distance running world that has brought some of the most elite athletes to the Big Apple.
This year's event saw total domination from US wheelchair athlete Tatyana McFadden, who won her third straight race and set a course record with her time of one hour, 43 minutes, and four seconds — a full seven seconds better than the previous record. South African wheelchair athlete Ernst Van Dyk picked up his second victory in the men's wheelchair division. He won his first New York Marathon in in 2005. On the women's side, Mary Keitany has won her second New York Marathon in a row. The Kenyan runner is consistently ranked as one of the best long-distance runners in the world. Fellow Kenyan runner Stanley Biwott bested 2014 winner Wilson Kipsang and others to win his first New York Marathon in the men's division.
As many as 1 million people spread out along the course to cheer on the thousands of athletes passing through New York City. While many things have stayed consistent in the New York Marathon, one thing has changed. Organizers have banned juggling while running and placed millet seed beanbags as well as what they deem other props on a list of prohibited items that includes sleeping bags, strollers, and alcohol. The joggling — that's juggling while jogging — community voiced their complaints, though presumably many of its members still ran, given the race's significance.
Runners from all over the world raced Sunday morning. The oldest athlete to compete in the New York Marathon also happens to be running his second in a row. Jonathan Mendes turns 95 on Nov. 3. Mendes says that he's grateful to still be so able-bodied and healthy enough to run a marathon yet again. He's expected to take around eight hours to complete the race. He tells USA Today that he's unsure why he can still compete:
I can't understand why I am so fortunate at (almost) 95 because most of my contemporaries are gone. I thank God for good health and a good quality of life.
That, in itself, should be inspiring to the thousands also running and the thousands more cheering them on.