The atmosphere of the New York Marathon between sport and tradition

26 miles and 385 yards. From Verrazzano Bridge to Central Park, the most famous marathon in the world crosses all five districts of New York, in a path of ups and downs accompanied by the cheers of more than two million spectators. From 1970 to 1975 the entire route was included within Central Park, but in 1976 the decision to extend it to the whole city made the event an international spectacle and widened the popularity of a niche sport.
The New York Marathon had no difficulty in creating an imaginary and a narrative universe to attract runners from all over the world, it was enough to New York and its most evocative names - Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx - but over the years this imaginary has become even richer.
The day of the marathon - which this year will take place on November 3 - is a festival that every district declines in its own way, animated not only by the inhabitants and runners, but by the increasing number of spectators arriving from all over the world. Part of the festival are also the thousands of volunteers located along the way who accompany and answer questions from runners. Questions from participants often fall into the category of the so-called "maranoia" (marathon paranoia), which pushes adults, otherwise reasonable and self-confident, to ask obvious questions in the throes of nervousness and the need for reassurance. This is also the beauty of the day.
Over 50,000 people on a suspension bridge eating protein bars, drinking, stretching and looking for the perfect social shot. It may seem like the antechamber of hell, but the tension is so high that shyness melts and socialises with ease. It's already easy between runners, but at that starting line everyone brings a story to tell. It can be redemption, challenge, vote or promise, but the preparation of the 26 miles (and 345 yards) is an incisive experience, which you often want to share.

The place then increases the suggestion. The Verrazzano bridge - the long bridge that connects Staten Island and Brooklyn - is not open to pedestrians (and runners) and bicycles throughout the year, so with the marathon, a space dedicated exclusively to cars returns to the city. The first ones starting from just past eight in the morning, divided into groups, are athletes with wheelchairs, handbikes or other types of disabilities, then - divided into four large groups - the charge of fifty thousand starts.

Ready, set, go: the route of the Marathon

At the start, the mass of runners is so great that you can't appreciate the variety of bodies, attitudes and clothing. After a few miles, however, when the variations of the route and the different running rhythms have reduced the density, you can enjoy the creativity, the creativity and the various ways of dealing with the fatigue of the participants.

Those who are lucky enough to live on the track organise real "marathon parties", inviting friends and family for a long breakfast around the windows, to watch the mass in motion as if it were a parade.

Let's take a walk through Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn, mile 6. The runners are tight but among the many in canonical outfit - leggings, fleeces, more or less professional shoes - I noticed the various superman dresses, George Washington or in smoking/bridal dress. At this point in the race, however, it's not just the eccentrics who get wild. In fact, a dozen groups of street musicians accompany the runners in this stretch, which perhaps already in the grip of cramps a few dance steps hint at it.
The crowd of spectators dances, sings and cheers the runners with a joy that makes them forget that we are just a few steps from the cemetery of Green-Wood, which with its hills and tree-lined avenues is an attraction for those who have already begun to get bored of the marathon. Leaving Brooklyn, you cross the Chassidic district of Williamsburg and the atmosphere changes here. The area, inhabited mainly by the Jewish Orthodox community, is one of the rare oases of silence of the marathon, with relatively few crowds, but the contrast between the dark beards and long black coats of the locals and the runners in shorts and tank tops fully represents the multifaceted identity of New York and its cultural richness.

In general, throughout the course, participants have the privilege of crossing the famous New York autumn and being supported by millions of spectators, ready to incite and give strength during moments of weakness. The road is long, but the route is worth it.

Tips for beginners

If you are a beginner in this sport and your goal is to run a half marathon starts very gradually without getting caught up in the desire to run from the start great distances. Start by adding 2 km to your workouts. Start by adding 2km to your midweek workouts, if you're used to running 8-10km at every training session, extend it to 12km. In addition, another tip is to insert an additional training session during the week while maintaining a distance less than that of the other days 6-8 km.

Core stability, proprioception and strength exercises for the lower limbs should be part of your routine. it only takes 30 minutes for each training session.

The mind as an element interconnected with the body is now accepted by all professionals in the running sphere and beyond. For a runner of long distances, the mind is a very important element and, like the body, it must also be trained.

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