Marathon Field to Feature 33,000 Runners

New York, May 17, 2021 – New York Road Runners (NYRR) today announced that it will host a field of 33,000 runners for the 50th running of the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon on November 7. With NYRR’s continued commitment to health and safety, a modified field size was determined in partnership with the State of New York and the Mayor’s Office of New York City.

“This will be an unprecedented and historic year for the TCS New York City Marathon as one of the most iconic New York sporting events makes its return,” said Ted Metellus, Race Director, TCS New York City Marathon. “As we stage a safe and memorable race for the 50th running, this year’s marathon will showcase our great city’s strength, inspiration, and determination.”

“In 2019, the New York City marathon broke records to become the world’s largest marathon ever,” Governor Cuomo said. “While canceling the race was the right choice in 2020, we are excited to welcome runners back to our beautiful city. New Yorkers worked hard to flatten the curve after the COVID-19 outbreak and it is that work that allows us to be able to take this step in bringing normalcy back to our state.”

“The New York City Marathon is a reminder of everything New Yorkers can accomplish with persistence, hard work, and community support. As we build a recovery for all of us, there’s no better time to safely reconnect with the iconic events that make our city great,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon was canceled. Runners registered for last year’s marathon were provided the option to receive a full refund of their entry fee or a guaranteed complimentary entry for the 2021, 2022, or 2023 New York City Marathon. This year’s race will accommodate all runners who chose to run in 2021. Among the more than 30,000 runners who were registered prior to the cancellation last year, 54 percent chose to run in this year’s marathon.

The expected field will include 2020 marathon runners who chose to run this year and those who enter through additional entry methods including charities and international tour operators, as well as 9+1 program participants, Virtual TCS New York City Marathon finishers, and runners who have completed 15 or more New York City Marathons. In order to prioritize the 2020 marathon runners who were already guaranteed entry, a drawing will not be held for this year’s marathon. Registration for runners with guaranteed entry will begin on June 8 and close on June 15.

Health and safety procedures will be put in place for this year’s marathon to ensure a safe race day. Runners traveling to New York are expected to adhere to federal, state, and local guidelines including pre-travel testing and quarantine requirements. NYRR’s guidelines will include social distancing, elimination of touchpoints, enhanced health and safety protocols, and testing and tracing. Runners should be prepared to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of a complete vaccination series prior to running in the marathon. Specific protocols continue to evolve and NYRR will revise its operational plans as necessary in collaboration with medical and public health experts and state and local government officials.

To establish social distancing at the marathon and reduce density at the start and finish, a controllable and scalable time-trial start format will be utilized instead of single mass gathering starts. To adapt to this new format, an extended period of time will be needed with the first wave starting an hour earlier, and later waves extending two hours later.

The fourth annual Virtual TCS New York City Marathon Powered by Strava will return, bringing together runners from all over the world to participate in a race from their location of choice. The virtual marathon will begin on October 23 and finish on November 7. Registration will open on June 10. Last year, 16,031 runners finished the virtual race.

The 2021 TCS New York City Marathon will commemorate the race’s 50th running with runners from all over the world participating in-person and virtually. The marathon began in 1970 and has become one of the most anticipated annual mass sporting events in New York City and the largest marathon in the world with 53,640 finishers in 2019. This year’s marathon will once again bring together people of all ages and abilities reflecting the resilience and strength of the running community.

About New York Road Runners (NYRR)

NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit