New York City Marathon to Be Full Capacity for First Time Since 2019 Race

The New York Road Runners announced Thursday that the TCS New York City Marathon will return to full capacity this November.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the marathon went virtual in 2020 and was reduced to just over 25,000 runners in 2021, according to a release from the NYRR. This year, the capacity will be returned to its usual 50,000 runners for the first time since before the pandemic began, showing a shift back to normalcy as cases continue to fall below January peaks caused by the Omicron variant.

In the NYRR release, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, "There's no better race than the New York City Marathon."

"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," Adams said. "With 50,000 runners competing in November, the city that never sleeps will be where champions are made."

The release said those who want to participate in the November 6 race are required to be fully vaccinated against the virus. New York City's COVID-19 data shows 76.7 percent of the city's residents have received both doses of a vaccine, with another 9.1 percent having received the first dose.

Other elements of the event, such as on-course entertainment, will also be reimplemented for this year's race, the NYRR added.

According to statistics from the Mayo Clinic, New York COVID-19 cases have fallen dramatically since January, with the average positive test rate going from nearly 30 percent on January 10 to 3.1 percent as of Tuesday.

New York Daily News reporter Chris Sommerfeldt posted on Twitter on Wednesday that, when Adams was asked about the city phasing out vaccine mandates in indoor spaces, the mayor said he "can't wait to get it done" and that he thinks an announcement on the topic will be coming "in the next few weeks."

The first New York City Marathon was in September 1970, with only 127 runners and 55 finishers, according to the NYRR. Since then, it has expanded more and more, with the 1 millionth person to finish the race crossing the line in 2014. Over the years, the race went from being run entirely in Central Park to spanning all five of the city's boroughs and becoming the world's largest marathon, the NYRR's website says.

Ted Metellus, the marathon's race director, said in the NYRR release he is excited to fully bring the event 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," he said. "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."

Update 02/24/22 3:45 p.m. ET: This story was updated to add more information.

New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon will be returning to full capacity in November 2022. Above, runners cross the finish line during the 2021 marathon in Central Park on November 7, 2021, in New York City. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images