FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wave Starts and Automated Recording of Mile Splits
Added to ING New York City Marathon 2008
Most significant logistical changes to five-borough race since 2001
New York, August 12, 2008 — In the most significant logistical changes to
the race since 2001, the ING New York City Marathon 2008 will feature wave
starts and automated recording of all runners' split times for the final 10
miles, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO
and race director Mary Wittenberg. The 39th running of the ING New York
City Marathon will take place on Sunday, November 2.
The new start plan, with revised start times, has runners crossing the
famed Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn in three
waves, each utilizing all three existing start lines. The professional
men's field will start with the first wave of the open field at 9:40 a.m.,
30 minutes earlier than in previous years. The two additional waves will
follow at 10:00 and 10:20. (As in the past, the professional women's race
will start separately, before the mass starts; this start will take place
at 9:10 a.m.) Race organizers expect that runners in each wave will clear
the start in no more than six minutes, a dramatic improvement from previous
In addition to improving the flow of runners across and off of the
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the new system will alleviate choke points along
the course and at the finish. Key areas that should see an ease in
congestion are mile 8—where the three starts converge at the Brooklyn
Academy of Music—and the post-finish area in Central Park.
The last major change to the logistics of the five-borough race came in
2001, when the course was altered to enter Central Park at 90th Street.
This year's changes are being made to improve runner satisfaction and
enhance the runner experience, and with an eye to the future, according to
"On race day, it's all about the runners," Wittenberg said. "This move will
improve the overall quality of the race experience and further add to the
magic of running New York."
Revisions to the runner baggage collection at the start will now see
baggage assigned to transport vehicles by bib number to coordinate with new
wave starts. In past years, baggage collection was organized according to
In a second new enhancement for 2008, race organizers will track splits of
all runners for the race's final 10 miles, beginning at mile 16 when
runners exit the Queensboro Bridge onto First Avenue in Manhattan, until
mile 26, within sight of the famed finish line at Tavern on the Green in
Central Park. Split times will be captured via the ChampionChip® system
and will be logged on NYRR's athlete tracker application.
"Our intention in the future is to provide a complete scorecard of 26.2
miles for every runner, and this is a big step toward reaching that goal,"
The marathon received a record number of nearly 105,000 applications in
2008. A starting field of approximately 39,000 is expected for this year's
race. In 2007, the ING New York City Marathon put up record numbers from
start to finish: More than 100,000 people applied, and 39,265 started the
race, the largest marathon field in history; 38,607 finished the marathon,
also the most ever.
This year's race will continue to feature more than six hours of television
coverage, including five hours of local coverage on WNBC in the tri-state
area and a one-hour national highlight show on NBC on Sunday afternoon.
ING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON 2008 START TIMELINE
|7:30 a.m.||Early Start, Athletes with Disabilities
|8:35 a.m.||Wheelchair Division
|8:50 a.m.|| Handcycle Category
|9:10 a.m.||Professional Women
|9:15 a.m.||Foot Locker Five-Borough Challenge
|9:40 a.m.||Wave 1
including professional men
Including sub-elite runners
Including local competitive runners
|10:00 a.m.||Wave 2
|10:20 a.m.||Wave 3