A Runner’s Guide to NYC Marathon Weekend

Before I lived in NYC I did two runcations for the Marathon, once in 2013 to run, and again in 2014 to watch Darren run. When you don’t live here it’s hard to know where the good places to eat are, where to buy last minute supplies or where to do your shake-out run. So along with my favorite New York running bloggers; Evann, Ashley, Nicole, Katie, Anna, Kayla and Theodora, we have put together a Runner’s guide to NYC Marathon Weekend.

Favorite Quick, Healthy Restaurant:

  • Sweet Green for a great selection of salads and warms bowls with lots of nutritious ingredients! Katie’s favorite is the Harvest Bowl.
  • Hu Kitchen, perfect for delicious allergy-friendly paleo eats and treats
  • By Chloe, healthy burgers (yes really), salads and delicious treats.
  • Terri for smoothies; my favorites are the Green Power or Almond Delight.
  • Mulberry + Vine or Dig Inn, they both offer plates with one protein, one grain, and two veggie sides. Healthy and delicious!

Where to buy last minute race day essentials (other than the Expo)

Paragon Sports Marathon Party

  • Super Runners Shop
  • Paragon Sports, they have everything a runner could ever want, including Gu and official NYC Marathon gear! They are also hosting a marathon party!
  • Jack Rabbit
  • NYC Running Company, Columbus Circle. They usually do a post-marathon celebration that includes free medal engraving the day after the marathon. They are fully stocked with gear, fuel and anything else you might need for the race.
  • REI in Soho – If you’re looking for your favorite fuel flavor, they’ll have it.
  • Lululemon

Shake-out Run Ideas


  • Run along Hudson River Park or Battery Park for views of One World Trade and the Statue of Liberty
  • Central Park Reservoir or Lower Loop; I love Central Park. It really is as picturesque as in the movies. The reservoir loop is 1.66 miles and the lower loop is 1.7 miles – perfect to shake out your legs ahead of race day
  • The energy of Central Park is the perfect place to shake your legs out once you arrive in NYC. But, if you want to save that for race day, then head downtown and run along the West Side Highway and East River to catch glimpses of Brooklyn and Lady Liberty.

Last Minute Pampering

  • Finish Line PT for a compression sleeve session! The team here are sports specialists, so they understand our runner mentalities. Their sports massages are amazing, but be sure to book in advance as they are popular.Last minute pampering
  • Massage at Red Door Salon
  • Paintbox – Get a hand-painted marathon design on your nails
  • HeyDay for Facials

Celebration sweets or treats


  • By Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit is a great healthy dessert option.
  • Sockerbit candy shop in the West Village is a must-visit for any gummy candy fans.
  • Brooklyn Farmacy – They have the BEST ice cream sundae’s and it’s decorated like an old-school soda shop, so fun! Make sure you get an egg cream!
  • Schmackary’s Cookies. The Red Velvet, Birthday Party and Funfetti cookies are my favorite! There is one in Hell’s Kitchen and one in Williamsburg.
  • Vegan peanut butter cheesecake from Peacefood Cafe 
  • Big Gay Ice Cream, Ample Hills, Van Leeuwen – It’s not too cold for the best ice cream in the city!
  • Any time Ashley’s friends and family come to NYC they always request a trek to the Upper West Side for NYC’s most delicious chocolate chip cookies at Levain Bakery! You can’t miss this sweet stop when you’re in town!

Where to celebrate post-marathon!


  • Paulie Gee’s or Champ’s Diner
  • The Smith (multiple locations) – Their menu and cocktails never disappoint.
  • Elizabeth’s Neighborhood Table on Columbus Ave between 93rd and 94th. They have a great veggie burger here! (And it’s such a cute restaurant!)
  • Shake Shack; You can’t go wrong with the Shack Burger and crinkle fries with cheese on top.
  • Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote for steak frites.
  • Veselka – gimme ALL the comfort food after 26.2 miles!
  • Meatball Shop, Jacob’s Pickles, Playa Betty’s – All Upper West Side favorites to visit after crossing the finish line.
  • Gramercy Tavern. They make each dining experience special, even including 26.2 on your dessert plate!
  • Tallulah!

Must see or do (some are for after the marathon)

  • Go across Brooklyn Bridge and walk around Brooklyn Bridge Park. Sunrise is best! You get amazing views and experience a whole other borough!
  • Top of the Rock. The views are just spectacular. It’s definitely worth trying to watch the sunset if you can time it right.
  • See a Broadway Show! It’s a great way to rest your legs and enjoy a NYC tradition. If you want to snag inexpensive tickets, try the apps for TKTS or Tickets Today!
  • The Highline – It’s a park that was created on old, elevated railroad tracks. The park isn’t far from the expo.

Race advise (I’ve linked each person’s instagram – go follow!)

  • Anna: Stay positive as much as you can, and remind yourself that any pain you feel is temporary. Prepare a couple mantras to repeat to yourself when the going gets tough (e.g. ‘I think I can’; ‘I am strong, I can do this’). Trust your training, have fun, and make friends!
  • Nicole: Don’t go out too fast, high five all the kids, enjoy it!
  • Katie: Start out slow. The bridges are tough, but don’t let them psyche you out. Soak in ALL of the energy and cheers from the amazing spectators!
  • ZoeWhen it gets tough, and you feel like giving up, remember, it’s not meant to be easy. It’s called a marathon because it’s a challenge. Just focus on the huge sense of accomplishment that you will feel when you cross the finish line.
  • KaylaOh my goodness, the energy of the NYC Marathon is unlike anything I’ve EVER experienced, be sure to wear your name on your shirt. Only listen to music when you really need the boost so you can listen to the crowds chant your name. And most of all enjoy it, it’s 26.2 miles around the greatest city in the world.
  • Evann: It’s my first NYC Marathon but my second full marathon. I plan to run without headphones, so I can soak up the sights, sounds, and spectator support!
  • Ashley: The energy of your fellow runners, spectators and the course will be unlike anything you’ve experienced. It’s easy to go out too fast but trust your training and pace yourself. Make it your goal to be able to enjoy that final mile through Central Park and finish strong!
  • Theodora: This will be one of the best days of your life. Wear more layers than you think you need in the morning and don’t drink too much water. Fifth Ave is a bigger hill than you will realize.

Zoe x


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