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Five people to look for at the NYC Marathon

By Dana Varinsky

The TCS New York City Marathon this Sunday promises many things that make watching the runners worth your while (come on, when do you ever see random New Yorkers cheering for complete strangers on the streets?). Still not convinced? These wonderful photos from last year should do the trick. Glad you’ve come around. While you’re on the sidelines on Sunday, there are a few key runners to look out for. Keep your eyes peeled for:

1. The joggler. Joggling, of course, refers to the act of running while juggling. What, you didn't know that was a thing? This year, Jack Hirschowitz, a 69-year-old doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital, will be juggling through all 26.2 miles. And it won't be his first time—Hirschowitz has joggled in five NYC marathons before this one. He tells us the training is the hardest part—you try running and jogging for ten miles on our crowded sidewalks! Hirschowitz says he'll be in the second wave of runners, which starts at 10:05.

2. The millionth runner. You’ll have to be at the finish line to catch this moment, of course, but this year, New York City’s millionth marathoner will complete the race. Based on the math, this will probably be someone who completes the course in just over four hours (the average time is about four hours and nineteen minutes). The lucky runner will win guaranteed entry into the race for the rest of their life.

3. The race's most frequent runner. 71-year-old Dave Obelkevich, a violinist and retired music teacher from Manhattan, will be running his 38th consecutive NYC marathon this year— the only person to ever run this many in a row.

4. Celebs. Bill Murray is running the marathon this year, as is actress Terri Hatcher and former New York Giant Tiki Barber. Caroline Wozniaki, the runner-up at this year’s U.S. Open, is also running and has raised more than $30,000 for New York Road Runner’s free youth running programs.

5. Last year’s winners. The professional runners are a sight to behold (women start at 9:10am, men at 9:40). Two-time champ Geoffrey Mutai will defend his title—In 2011, he set the course record at 2:05:06. That’s an average mile of just over 4 minutes and 46 seconds. “I am confident, I have trained well and I am ready to go, it will depend on the day, the weather and the tactics. I will do my best to defend my title,” he tells us. His advice for new marathoners: “Run at your own pace, do not follow others or you may not finish.” See his message for his competitors below:


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