Only 55 arrived at the end, where no more than a hundred spectators stopped to watch the victory of Gary Muhrcke in 2 hours 31 minutes and 38 seconds. Today it is estimated that two million people crowd along the route during the race, not to mention the hundreds of thousands who watch it live on television. The prizes, whose total amount today is around eight hundred thousand dollars, were at the time, watches of little value and recycled trophies of baseball and bowling competitions.
The New York City Marathon yesterday and today
The 1976 edition, with the new track, marks the consecration of the race. Winner, Bill Rodgers, repeats his victory in the next three editions. The race will then see Alberto Salazar, an athlete of Cuban origin and future coach of the great Mo Farah triumph for the following three years. The first victory of a foreign athlete, the New Zealander Rod Dixon, was in 1983, and then the following year by the Italian, Orlando Pizzolato. Italy shows its star quality with a historic hat-trick, triumphing again in the next two years, before the African hegemony of recent decades with Kenya to dominate the scene. Its 24 successes and two best times: the 2 hours 22 minutes and 31 seconds of Kenyan Margareth Okayo (2003) and the 2 hours 5 minutes and six seconds of his compatriot Geoffrey Mutai (2011).