Highlights of the 52nd NYC Marathon

On Sunday November 5, runners trekked 26.2 miles across all five boroughs for the 52nd annual 2023 NYC Marathon. Beginning in Staten Island and ending in Central Park, tourists and New York residents gathered to watch more than 51,400 people complete the race. Exemplifying New York City’s cultural diversity, a total of 148 countries were represented. Crossing the finish line first was Tamirat Tola from Ethiopia for the men’s race, and Hellen Obiri from Kenya taking the win for the women’s race. Every borough brought an electrifying energy to the event. The people of Harlem however, celebrated in their own unique way. -- By Aminata Gueye

Runners wore costumes from popular media, bringing a sense of levity to the grueling race. Many fictional universes collapsed into one, where we see some of our favorite characters across franchises jogging side by side.

From Goku’s of DragonBall Z, Barbies, to Spidermen, onlookers got to enjoy some unique fashion over typical athletic wear.

Founder & CEO of fashion brand Sigi’Nommo, Pascal Marinier spent the day selling his colorful designs, with the fast blur of runners as a backdrop. Many small business owners came out to take advantage of the large crowds, promoting their artwork. “This is truly Harlem. I’m showing the beauty of our culture and our people,” he said.

Marathoner gives a heart symbol with their hands with a smile right before they reach the 35-kilometer checkpoint.

Despite the difficulty, at around the 35-kilometer mark, some marathoners still managed to maintain high spirits and bright smiles.

Others weren't quite as energetic. The runner took a pause, leaning on a lamppost momentarily. Eventually, he kept jogging with others towards the 40-kilometer mark.

“Rise above limits” reads the marathoner’s sleeve, showing no one is left out of joining the race. A great diversity of ages, races, ethnicities, and circumstances persist through the miles. Both onlookers and marathoners sport messages of encouragement on clothing and with signs.

Along Madison Avenue, onlookers held up messages on posters. Bright neon signs encourage the participants to persevere despite the pain and exhaustion.

“You’re almost there!...Kinda…” and “I love your stamina! (Call me!)” The young girl’s sign reads “Tap for a power up” with a drawing of a power boosting mushroom from the Super Mario Bros video games.

With thousands of eyes to potentially get a message in front of, some shared support for either side of the escalating conflict in Israel and Gaza. Some protestors hide their faces with scarves. “It's because of all the doxxing going on,” one woman said. “I mean, I have nothing to lose anyways,” said another without a face covering.

On the man’s right arm, the paper reads, “Kidnapped by Hamas. Noa Argamani 26-years-old, Israeli” with an image of the young woman. On his left arm is an Israel flag.

Onlooker holding a sign saying “Hurry Up! This parade is boring!”

The friends of a marathon participant hold signs. “You are a superhero” “Pain is temporary. Race photos are forever.” This year’s marathon saw new records broken, from Tamirat Tola setting the NYC Marathon record for men with a time of 2:04:58. Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner won the marathon wheelchair races setting personal records as well. The day was full of tumultuous highs and lows, swinging from fatigue to vigor. From depletion to determination.

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