Sunday 4 November is the date for this year’s ING New York City Marathon, one of the most exciting and hotly anticipated events in the sporting calendar.
The event has grown over the last 40 years and is now the largest of all the World Marathon Majors, attracting more than 100,000 applicants annually and with prize money of more than $600,000.
The course itself takes in many of the city’s most popular attractions, as it travels across all five boroughs on its way to the iconic Central Park finish line. However, if you’re travelling from the UK to compete in this year’s New York Marathon, you will no doubt want to make the most of the experience by extending your visit and seeing more of this amazing city.
If this will be your first visit to New York, there are some must-see attractions and must-do activities that you can’t overlook. While it’s impossible to cover everything, here’s a list of 10 things not to be missed:
1. Empire State Building
Visiting the observation deck on the 86th floor of one of the world’s most familiar landmarks is not to be missed. With unrivalled views of Manhattan, you’re sure to get some amazing photographs of the island.
2. Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World, to provide its full title, was a gift from the people of France in 1886. It has since become a national monument and is renowned for being a symbol for freedom and democracy.
3. Times Square
Famous for its bright lights and the New Year’s Eve ball, this world famous intersection in central Manhattan is another of the city’s most iconic locations. Times Square was originally known as Longacre Square, but acquired its current moniker after the New York Times moved its headquarters there in 1904.
4. Central Park
Although the New York Marathon finishes in the 843 acre park, it is well worth spending some extra time exploring this urban oasis. A designated National Historic Landmark, Central Park has plenty to offer including picturesque walkways, the famous Central Park Zoo, ice skating, sports and horse drawn carriages.
5. Fifth Avenue
If high (and admittedly expensive) fashion is what you’re after, Fifth Avenue has it all. Running from Washington Square Park through Midtown, along the eastern side of Central Park, Fifth Avenue is home to the Plaza Hotel, toy emporium FAO Schwarz, Saks and Bloomingdales.
This is the home of some of the world’s best theatre productions and has played host to some of the biggest names in show business. If you want to add a little culture to your visit, Broadway is a must.
7. Washington Square Park
One of New York’s most recognised landmarks is the Washington Square Arch, which sits on the park’s northern edge, and has appeared in movies such as I Am Legend and When Harry Met Sally. Located at the bottom of Fifth Avenue, the picturesque park is surrounded by buildings owned by New York University.
8. Grand Central Terminal
Often referred to as Grand Central Station, or even Grand Central, this commuter train terminal is arguably the most famous in the world. It is also one of the most visited, with approximately 21.6 million people taking in the iconic station every year.
9. Greenwich Village
To New Yorkers, it is simply ‘The Village’ but to tourists it represents a cultural hotspot that’s well worth a look. This charming and bohemian residential area features tree-lined streets, cafes, townhouses, restaurants and boutique shops.
New York is home to some of the world’s most famous and well-visited museums, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim. These cultural attractions contain amazing experiences for people of all ages.
These are just some of the many attractions you should take in if you’re competing in or cheering on this year’s New York Marathon. Deadline for booking entry into the race is Friday 31 August.