The New York City Marathon Will Return to Full Capacity in 2022 — What to Know

The race, which draws more than 50,000 runners, returns to its pre-pandemic scale on Nov. 6.

Runners cross the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge during the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon in New York on November 7, 2021
Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

The streets of New York City will once again fill with 50,000 runners racing through the five boroughs in the fall of 2022.

After the 2020 race went virtual and the 2021 version was toned down to only 25,010 finishers, New York Road Runners (NYRR) announced that its 51st TCS New York City Marathon will return to full capacity on Nov. 6, 2022, marking a true return to normalcy both for New York City and races around the globe.

"Every year, runners from all over the world come to New York City because there's no better race than the New York City Marathon," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. "This race is the strongest proof of New York's unrelenting spirit and determination, and we are proud to announce that, this year, we'll be back at full capacity. With 50,000 runners competing in November, the city that never sleeps will be where champions are made."

All participating runners in the 2022 race are required to be fully vaccinated — a change from last year's guidelines, which only required one dose or proof of a negative test 48 hours before race day. With the additional layer in place, many of the on-course amenities — including live entertainment and activations — that were paused last year, will also be back.

"Last year's marathon served as an uplifting and unifying moment for New York City's recovery as well as a symbol of renewed hope, inspiration, and perseverance," race director Ted Metellus said in a statement. "This November, we are excited to have runners from all over the world fully return as we come together to deliver one of the best days in New York."

The fall event marks one of the most celebrated days in New York City, as the race starts in Staten Island and runs through Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, before ending in Manhattan in Central Park. The 26.2-mile course usually draws more than a million spectators, cheering on the runners with bells, whistles, and colorful signs along the route.

Earning a spot in the marathon is no easy task. Runners who are guaranteed entry — including time qualifiers, specific tiers of virtual racers, those who have run 15 or more NYC Marathons, runners with certain deferred entries from the previous marathons, as well as those who have earned a spot through the NYRR's 9+1 program, which requires finishing nine qualifying races and volunteering at one — claimed their spots in March.

For the general public, one of the more popular ways to get in is through the famous lottery system, which takes place in March each year.

Even once those methods have closed, there are still opportunities to run as an official charity partner or through NYRR's own Team for Kids, which usually require fundraising minimums. International runners can also earn a spot through qualifying International Tour Operators.

And for those who would like to be a part of the action without actually running 26.2 miles, the NYC Marathon also depends on a team of more than 10,000 volunteers on race day, with roles ranging from distributing water along the route to handing out medals to the finishers, with qualifying volunteers for certain roles earning an official volunteer jacket and pin.

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