NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 8:20 AM
The 45th running of the New York City Marathon is underway, with clear skies and mild temperatures greeting more than 50,000 participants, including some of the world’s greatest distance runners.
With ragged Halloween revelers still staggering through Midtown at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, hundreds of marathon participants began converging on a fleet of buses that will take them to the Staten Island start village for the 26.2-mile race.
Among them were reigning champions Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany, both of Kenya, as well as their top challengers at next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Among the elite runners from the United States are the race’s 2009 winner Meb Keflezighi and 18-year-old UNC-Charlotte freshman Alana Hadley.
Wheelchair athletes will kick the race off at 8:30 a.m., with professional women starting at 9:20, professional men at 9:50, and then four waves of racers whose number tops 50,000, making their way through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and then toward the finish near Central Park’s Tavern on the Green.
More than a million spectators will watch the race. Those near the finish can expect wheelchair athletes to begin crossing the finish line around 10:00, followed by pro women at 11:45 and pro men at 11:45. The rest of the masses will be finishing between noon and 7:00 p.m.
The race’s Grand Marshal, director Spike Lee, will lead the race in a Chrysler convertible, and then will be part of broadcast coverage by ABC7 and ESPN, with an international broadcast going out to more than 120 countries.
A tradition dating to 1970, the marathon since 1976 has started at Fort Wadsworth on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. After the departure of its long-time organizer Mary Wittenburg, the race’s director is Bronx native Peter Ciaccia.