Following a night of fireworks in Central Park to honor the NYC Marathon (photos below), we set out on a stunning Sunday morning to photograph some of the fall colors in Central Park and unexpectedly found ourselves standing at one of the few empty spots along the fence less than .2 miles from the finish line of the New York City Marathon. So, why not? We could hear the loudspeakers from the finish line keeping everyone abreast of the runners’ standings. We saw a few of the wheelchair and hand-cyclists come around the curve and head to the finish, everyone pumping hard to get the best time possible. We decided to stay to watch the winning runners come in. The sun was warm, a perfect New York morning for a race.
At first it seemed both the men’s and women’s races would be close battles to the finish, but in the event one woman ran away from the others and finished alone. Her name is Mary Keitany from Kenya and you can see her in the photos below. She was in no apparent distress after more than 27 miles of running and finished with a strong kick. Amazing to see.
The men’s race came down to two runners in the final stretch and they were pouring it on as they approached the finish. Shots of them are below also.
The marathon was a remarkable feat of human endurance for the participants, one that captured the attention of tens of thousands of spectators who waited hours to see them. Overall there were more than 50,000 entrants.
From a spectator point of view, the only thing marring the experience was our attempt to exit Central Park to the Upper West Side. We were told we had to return to Columbus Circle to leave because the exits north were all blocked. We reached the entry point to Columbus Circle to find a narrow fenced in channel with a huge crowd leaving and a huge crowd coming in, facing off in a standstill in a space too small to accommodate two-way traffic. People leaving ahead of us could not exit into the Circle because of the large number of people still trying to enter the Park there. Pictured below. Not a good experience and a really bad example of poor planning and indifference on the part of the police, both city and park.