The Anatomy of New York City Marathon Weekend

If you are a runner, especially a New York City based runner, the first Sunday in November is the Super Bowl of running.  It’s the one Sunday of the year that you get an extra hour of sleep courtesy of Daylight Savings.  Its the one Sunday of the year where you’ll probably be on your feet for 12-18 hours for the day.  Its the one Sunday of the year where either you are running or your are cheering...PERIODT!

Having participated in the New York City Marathon since 2013 in some form of capacity, be it volunteering at mile 16 as runners exit the 59th Street bridge, toeing the line in Staten Island, or cheering with blissful glee at the 15k mark in Brooklyn.  It never gets old, and it becomes more and more exciting as the years go on.  However, this glorious first weekend in November does not look how it use to look back in 2013.  With the emergence of so many run clubs and crews, this weekend has turned into a tremendous, sometimes exhausting celebration of events.

In 2023, practically every crew/club had some type of event happening.  Whether it be panels, shakeout runs, pop up shops, or after parties, there was something going on every day of the weekend.  Therefore, I had to be strategic in mapping out my weekend of events.  It is physically impossible to attend all the happenings, so I had to be quite picky in which events I would attend.

Photo by Richard Bah

First up, Friday night I checked out the Pynrs pop up shop in Brooklyn.  Pynrs is a black owned, streetwear performance brand out of Boston.  They have been hosting pop ups all over the world including most recently during the Chicago and Berlin Marathons.  I had the pleasure of being in Chicago for this year’s marathon, and was able to check out their Chicago pop up shop as well,

Friday’s panel was a continuation of their Chasing Majors Panel Talk and featured 5 runners, including one of my fav runners Malika.  We learned about the journey of each runner on their quest to run the majors.  It is so interesting how runners of so many backgrounds, from so many places, have this one common goal.  The panel was followed by a Runners Drip fashion show featuring Pynrs fashions.  Unfortunately, I had to miss the show because…I had another event to attend.

I hopped on the train and headed to the Puma store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan for the Marathon Mixer Event with Team Wrk.  Team We Run Kings is a Brooklyn based running club led by Coach Joe Shayne & Coach Jenn Blalock.  A friend sent me the link for this event, I registered, but in the back of my mind I knew that I was not going because I wanted to attend a shakeout run early Saturday morning.  Low and behold I did attend, and I am so glad that I did.  Team Wrk brings such positive vibe, and you can tell that they have built a wonderful family of runners.  There is genuine love amongst the crew and being an outsider, I felt more than welcome in the space.  This event was truly live.  There was pasta being made on the fly, open bar, a DJ playing good music, 360 photo booth, and just all-around great energy.  I was grateful for the pasta bowls because I was famished…I had two!

Saturday, the plan was to attend a shakeout run, but after partying late on Friday there was no way I was waking up early to shakeout for a marathon that I wasn’t even running. :-).

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