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2021 New York City Marathon to feature field of 33,000 runners

New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon will welcome 33,000 runners in 2021.
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Road Runners (NYRR) announced on Monday that it will host a field of 33,000 runners for the 50th running of the famed New York City Marathon on Nov. 7. 

The number — which was come to with COVID-19 health and safety protocols in mind — was decided by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“This will be an unprecedented and historic year for the TCS New York City Marathon as one of the most iconic New York sporting events makes its return,” NYC Marathon race director Ted Metellus said. “As we stage a safe and memorable race for the 50th running, this year’s marathon will showcase our great city’s strength, inspiration, and determination.”

It’s a triumphant return for the marathon, which was canceled last year because of the pandemic, as the 33,000 expected runners is more than half of the usual 55,000 participants who take part under normal circumstances.

“In 2019, the New York City Marathon broke records to become the world’s largest marathon ever,” Governor Cuomo said. “While canceling the race was the right choice in 2020, we are excited to welcome runners back to our beautiful city. New Yorkers worked hard to flatten the curve after the COVID-19 outbreak and it is that work that allows us to be able to take this step in bringing normalcy back to our state.”

“The New York City Marathon is a reminder of everything New Yorkers can accomplish with persistence, hard work, and community support,” Mayor de Blasio added. “As we build a recovery for all of us, there’s no better time to safely reconnect with the iconic events that make our city great.”

To keep up with social distancing and safety protocols, a staggered, time-trial start format will be used instead of the famous, mass gathering start that has become the tradition in such races. 

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