New York, September 22, 2021 – With health and well-being remaining a top priority, New York Road Runners (NYRR) today announced its health and safety guidelines for the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon on November 7. Since September 2020, NYRR has safely produced more than 25 road races by effectively implementing health and safety protocols.

To ensure all those involved have a best-in-class experience, the guidelines outline the entire runner experience – from runners picking up their bibs, to the start, running on course, and crossing the finish line. The following guidelines were established in collaboration with city, state, and federal guidelines and under the guidance of medical and public health experts.

·       Face Coverings: All individuals will be required to wear face coverings on public transportation to the start, in the start area in Staten Island, in the post-finish area in Central Park, and in designated indoor venues. It is strongly recommended that all individuals wear face coverings where social distancing isn’t possible. Runners are not required to wear face coverings on course.

·       Vaccinations and Testing: All registered participants will be required to show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or on the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use lists, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered no more than 48 hours before November 7. Accepted vaccinations and proof of negative COVID-19 test are at the following link.

·       Density Reduction: This year’s marathon will feature a modified race field of approximately 30,000 runners. To further reduce crowd density and increase spacing, an extended range of wave start times will be implemented with the first wave starting a half hour earlier and later waves extending a half hour later. An additional wave has been added, making a total of five waves.

·       Limiting Touchpoints: To reduce crowd gatherings, the following protocols will be implemented:

o   Prior to race day, runners have the option of pre-checking a bag. Their pre-checked bag will be available for pick up at the finish area on race day. There will be no bag check on race day.

o   To reduce crowding at hydration and fueling stations, runners are allowed self-hydration including hydration or fuel belts. No over-the-shoulder packs are permitted.

o   Recovery amenities including a face covering will be pre-bagged and distributed at the finish area to reduce gatherings.

o   After finishing, runners will be able to exit Central Park earlier than in the past, on West 72nd Street. There will not be a post-finish family reunion area.

·       Hand Sanitizing Stations: Stations will be located at the start, on course, and in post-finish areas.

·       Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection: Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, with increased frequency, will be instituted in public areas.

Furthermore, NYRR will reduce capacity at all indoor venues. Bib pickup will take place from November 4 to 6 at the TCS New York City Marathon Expo Presented by New Balance at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. In accordance with the Javits Center’s policies, face coverings and proof of vaccination will be required to enter the Expo. Runners who cannot provide proof of vaccination will be able to pick up their bibs at an outdoor location. Additionally, to reduce crowding at the Expo, runners will pre-select a date and time to pick up their bibs and may bring one guest. The TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion and NYRR RUNCENTER will transition all programming to virtual, including coaching sessions and panels.

All participants traveling to New York from within and outside the U.S. are expected to adhere to New York State and CDC travel guidelines. If an international runner is unable to travel to the U.S. due to a travel ban, the runner will be able to defer their entry to the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon and pay an administrative fee at the time of registration. Additionally, any runner who tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the race date will not be allowed to participate and will be able to defer their entry to the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon and pay an administrative fee at the time of registration. Runners who registered through an international tour operator or charity should check with these partners directly for their resolution.

Guidelines and protocols may 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. The most up-to-date health and safety guidelines for the TCS New York City Marathon are available at


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 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