Runners will be out in full force on Sunday for the NYC Marathon, and there are a lot of ways to take part in the action without pulling a muscle.
From drink specials to poster-making parties, the city’s breweries and bars, including Threes Brewing and Treadwell Park, have it covered. If drinking’s not your thing, the Parade of Nations is slated for Friday, and on Sunday there will be free music at each mile marker.
There are a number of marathon-themed murals you can view for free all weekend as well, and a running expo is on through Saturday.
We’ve gathered how to watch and track a runner as well as a list of some ways to make the best of the day.
Official Marathon events
NYC Marathon Expo
If you like running, don’t miss this free convention. Learn how to run better through analysis in the running lab, a race predictor, a course strategie session, and a virtual trainer. (10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Javits Center, 11th Avenue at West 35th Street, tcsnycmarathon.org)
Parade of Nations
Kick off the NYC Marathon with live music and fireworks down at the Central Park finish line. Get there early (before doors open at 4 p.m.) to grab a seat. The parade, which will showcase runners from around the world, will begin at 5:30. Fireworks start once the parade is over. (Free, Central Park at West 67th Street)
Miles of Music
Once the race starts at 8:30 a.m., more than 130 bands will come out to support the runners and provide live entertainment for spectators. Among those set to play include brass bands, bagpipers and more, including Jerry and the Newcomers, the Harlem Central Jazz Ensemble, the Manhattan School of Music, DJ Kool Herc, Extravagant Animals, The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band and Steel Wolf. Find out which bands are where by using the NYC Marathon app.
Meet your runner at Central Park West, between W. 60th and 66th streets, between noon and 5:30 p.m.
Deals, parties and where to cheer them on
This brewery will set up its private dining room for poster-making and provide beer and food specials all day, including free beer to medal-wearing marathoners. Cheer on the runners and then, from 2 to 5 p.m., Joanna Sternberg and Toth will perform. (10 to 11:30 a.m., 333 Douglass St., Brooklyn, threesbrewing.com)
Fifth Hammer Brewing Company
The brewery is hosting a sign-making party with pints on hand. Cheer on the runners -- the space is half a block from the route on Vernon Boulevard. (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 10-28 46th Ave., Long Island City, fifthhammerbrewing.com)
The eatery and bar will open early for brunch and warm cocktails in time to see runners descend form the Queensboro Bridge toward the 16th mile mark. A special beer will be on tap, too, called “New York Runs on Coffee,” a java-infused beer. (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1125 First Ave., eventbrite.com)
Strong Rope Brewery
Drink mimosas as you watch runners pass by the brewery. Runners will get a free pint. (9 a.m. to 8 p.m., 574 President St., strongropebrewery.com)
Five marathon murals
Local artists -- David Park, Doves, Wayne, Ron English and AvOne -- were commissioned by New Balance to create NYC Marathon-themed murals in each of the five boroughs. Find them at:
- Staten Island, 827 Castleton Ave.
- Queens, 30th Avenue and Wellington Court
- Bronx, Brucker Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue
- Manhattan, First Avenue and St. Marks
- Brooklyn, 307 McKibbin Street
- Runstreet NYC Marathon Shakeout Art Run
Want to run but not in the Marathon? Check out this event, which will span 3 miles and pass by a few of the Marathon murals and myriad street art starting on the Lower East Side. The pace will be set out at a “relaxed” 10 minutes a mile and photos will be taken by a professional photographer. Afterward, the group will stop at Whole Foods for Clif Bar treats and more. ($30, 10 a.m. to noon, 95 E. Houston St., runstreet.com)