FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York Road Runners Offers New Elements for
ING New York City Marathon 2008
Added elements both at the start and along the course, in addition to
various pre-race promotions, to make this year's event memorable
New York, October 27, 2008—Wave starts, expanded split timing for all
runners, more green initiatives, and added on-course entertainment are some
of the featured new elements put in place by New York Road Runners for the
39th running of the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday November 2. More
than 39,000 participants and millions of spectators are expected for the
26.2-mile, five-borough spectacle.
Celebrating 50 Years: Great Moments in New York Road Runners History
New York Road Runners will honor its past with the announcement of the top
five Great Moments in New York Road Runners History. The moments were
chosen by fan vote as part of a yearlong celebration of the 50th
anniversary of NYRR. The fans selected their favorite from a list of 15
NYRR Great Moments that had been compiled by a panel of journalists and
A countdown of the top five Great Moments is taking place during ING New
York City Marathon race week, with one Moment announced daily. Each
announcement will feature guest appearances from running legends associated
with the top Moment. New York Road Runners will also feature in each of the
news releases the perspective of journalists who covered the races. All
news releases will be available at http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/media.
Everyone can join in the 50th anniversary celebration at the annual Poland
Spring Marathon Eve Fireworks on Saturday, November 1, beginning at 7:30
p.m. Spectators can enjoy a spectacular fireworks display choreographed to
music, immediately followed by the number "50" in the sky ushered in by the
singing of "Happy Anniversary to New York Road Runners."
At the Start: NYRR Institutes Wave Starts; Opera Singer Neal E. Boyd to
Sing National Anthem
In one of the most significant changes since 1976 when the race was
expanded to all five boroughs, this year's marathon will feature wave
starts on the famed Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island. The new plan
calls for three waves, each utilizing all three existing starting lines.
The first wave of the open field will begin at 9:40 a.m. and two additional
waves will follow at 10:00 and 10:20. The professional women will still
begin the race before the rest of the field; this year they will start 30
minutes earlier, at 9:10 a.m. Runners in each wave are expected to clear
the start in no more than six minutes. Complete information on the wave
starts is available at
Opera singer Neal Boyd is sure to inspire all of Staten Island—and parts of
Brooklyn as well—with his beautiful, yet powerful voice, when he sings the
televised performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" prior to the start of
the professional men's race and the first wave of runners at 9:40 a.m. Boyd
is a tenor who received 14 million first-place votes in the finals of this
summer's "America's Got Talent" to win the $1 million prize. Complete
information on all the ways to watch the broadcast of the race is available
Along the Course: On-Course Enhancements and Entertainment
For the first time ever, race organizers will track splits of all
participants 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. Complete results will
be available at http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/results.
The spectator experience has always been the centerpiece of the ING New
York City Marathon. Now, the experience has just gotten better for a
stretch in Harlem when runners are pushing through miles 22 and 23. New
York Road Runners and the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce have joined
forces to expand on "The Harlem Mile," incorporating entertainment zones
and stages at three key locations along Fifth Avenue. The stage at 135th
Street will feature live Gospel; the stage at 125th Street will incorporate
the sounds of both the Motown and Stax eras as well as today's R&B; and
117th Street will include Latin and Caribbean music.
The highlight of The Harlem Mile will be the first-ever grand celebration
at Mt. Morris Park West between 124th and 120th streets. The area will have
VIP seating for guests and live performances from a variety of artists.
More information on The Harlem Mile initiative will be available online at
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org. Additionally, for the complete picture on
the entire spectator experience, a comprehensive viewing guide is available
New York Road Runners is dedicated to promoting the health and
sustainability of the environment by reducing waste, reusing resources, and
recycling materials in its offices and at its races, and raising
environmental awareness among its participants. This year, NYRR is working
hard toward "greening" the ING New York City Marathon with the following
eco-friendly practices; some have been in place prior to 2008 and others
are new this year:
Expanded recycling program will include the Barilla Marathon Eve Dinner
and the start and finish locations.
Clothing discarded at the Fort Wadsworth staging area and start is donated
Portable toilet units provided for the marathon are made from recycled
material, and they utilize recycled paper products and environmentally
Biodiesel generators provided by GreeNow Inc., will power most of this
year's finish line.
Pedicabs provided by ING will offer complimentary rides to spectators
from First Avenue to Fifth Avenue at multiple locations.
Runners can help to offset their participation in the ING New York City
Marathon by contributing to Million Trees NYC, a PLANYC initiative with NYC
Parks and New York Restoration Project. Log on to
http://MillionTreesNYC.org for more details
Going Green: By the Numbers
At least 95 percent of the 105,000 applications for the ING New York
City Marathon are submitted online.
More than 8,000 participants will arrive in Staten Island via ferries
that use an ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
City Harvest expects to collect 3,500 pounds of unused food from the
In partnership with the Department of Sanitation of New York and Poland
Spring Natural Brand Spring Water, over 11 tons of cardboard and plastic
were recycled along the course of the ING New York City Marathon 2007.
This year, more than 90,000 Poland Spring water bottles from the start
alone are expected to be recycled. The new eco-friendly Poland Spring water
bottles are made with 30 percent less plastic than previous bottles.
In 2007, five tons of waste was removed from the finish line alone. New
to this year, almost all of the trash from the finish line will be sorted.
Officials estimate that 80 percent of that waste will be recyclable.
Biodiesel generators at this year's finish line will reduce carbon
monoxide emissions by 50 percent.
This year's race features numerous promotions and examples of exceptional
sponsor partner activation. Fans can win a 2008 Toyota Prius by voting in
the "Pick and Drive" sweepstakes at http://www.pickandrive.com for the
men's and women's professional athletes they think will make the podium.
Food Emporium is offering special marathon savings at their 16 Manhattan
locations, in addition to providing special offers on Marathon sponsor
products plus a Marathon Sweepstakes to be drawn on November 7 with prizes
from our sponsors.
In order to help runners fuel their bodies adequately before the big day,
Barilla Pasta, the Italian Consulate and New York Road Runners have
partnered to give people the opportunity to dine at participating
restaurants on Barilla pasta "marathon" specials to help charity.
Emerald Nuts will be handing out healthy snacks along the last five miles
of the course to provide fuel for spectators as they cheer runners on in
their final push to the finish line.
New for 2008, NYRR has partnered with RunningPins.com to create the
inaugural line of ING New York City Marathon trading pins. The pins will be
sold at the ING New York City Marathon Health and Fitness Expo, the
Marathon Monday Store, and the online Marathon Store at
More about these special opportunities is at
Behind the Scenes at NYRR
Building on this year's "What Does It Take?" advertising campaign theme,
NYRR staff has provided an insider's "behind the scenes" look at the
organization's preparations on its own blog, "Marathon Moments." Staff
members have blogged on a variety of topics, including a post from
"Handbook Maven" on the massive effort it takes to put together the
Official Handbook, to the parallels "Web Guy Ed" draws between the '80s hit
movie St. Elmo's Fire and NYRR, to daily Better Know a Pro posts from
"Samo." Mary Wittenberg also frequently shares her thoughts. Read the blog
New York Road Runners
New York Road Runners is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2008. NYRR is
dedicated to promoting the sport of distance running, enhancing health and
fitness for all, and responding to community needs. Our road races and
other fitness programs draw upwards of 300,000 runners annually, and
together with our magazine and website support and promote professional and
recreational running. A staff of more than 100, assisted by thousands of
volunteers, stages the ING New York City Marathon, as well as a road race
nearly every weekend plus many track and cross country events. NYRR's home
base in New York, and its lifelong identification with Central Park, have
given many of its events iconic status, attracting the world's top
professional runners. Our youth programs provide running to 50,000
schoolchildren in New York City and around the country who would otherwise
have few or no fitness opportunities. For more information, visit
The ING New York City Marathon
The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon
is one of the world's great road races, drawing more than 105,000
applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not
only for the more than $600,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to
excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering
spectators and more than 300 million worldwide television viewers. As any
one of some 750,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line
in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more
information, visit www.ingnycmarathon.org.
World Marathon Majors
The ING New York City Marathon is one of five events in the World Marathon
Majors series, which showcases the sport's top athletes and awards an
unprecedented $1 million champions' prize. The WMM series also includes the
Boston Marathon, the Flora London Marathon, the real,- Berlin Marathon, and
the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. For more information, visit