On The Run 2013 ING New York City Marathon Recap

What an amazing day to be in New York City. The 2013 ING New York City Marathon came back with the biggest field of runners in the history of the sport. At the 43rd running of the race 50,304 finishers made it the world’s largest marathon ever.

On The Run, 2013 ING New York City Marathon

Bryan Steinhauer ran the ING New York City Marathon after recovering from a life-threatening attack and coma. (Photo: On The Run/NYRR)

In this episode of “On The Run” Tim Hutchings, Carrie Tollefson and I look at the highlights from the race, talk to some runners including pros and charity runners, and follow-up with a few of the athletes we profiled in previous episodes including Bryan Steinhauer, Team One Spirit, Bill Rancic and more. We also take a look back at the excitement of race week.

But I’d also like to share my thoughts about the marathon and what it means to me.

It was an honor to be a part of race week and the marathon, and to be in the middle of all the action. I’ve run the ING New York City Marathon three times and watched as a spectator even more. Each time, New York didn’t disappoint. It was my first marathon and it still stands as my favorite.

2013 ING New York City Marathon

Reporting from the 2013 ING New York City Marathon Opening Ceremonies. (Photo: Graham Goetz)

A few people have asked me: what’s more fun—running the race or reporting from it? Honestly, it’s a tie. Covering the race from the sidelines was as exciting as running it myself. With each—running, spectating, and reporting—you get a unique perspective on the race. While running, you get to experience the magic yourself. While spectating, you get to see the pros race by and contribute to what makes this race so magical for thousands of people. And while reporting, I got a backstage pass to so much of the action from the media center, to the start and the finish.

Then there are the volunteers who each experience the race in a unique way too. My husband, who has run the ING New York City Marathon twice, volunteered at the water station on First Avenue at 62nd Street. He had a front-row seat, so to speak, as the pros raced by, and got to be on the giving end of that refreshing cup of water instead of being the runner who receives it. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as different as it was from racing himself.

2013 ING New York City Marathon

From the water station at First Avenue and 62nd St. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

The motto of this year’s race was “You make it the marathon.” It goes to show just how many different types of “you” there are: runners, spectators, volunteers, staff, police, medics, shop owners, the list goes on and on. It’s a huge community effort to put on a race like the ING New York City Marathon. And the result is nothing short of magnificent.

But of all the moments I saw and experienced on marathon Sunday, my favorite was standing just behind the finish line watching runners complete their 26.2-mile journey.

I was there with the “On The Run” crew looking for some of the runners we profiled throughout the week. As I watched runner after runner come over the line, I got a bit emotional. It was all so inspiring. Runners high fiving, fist pumping, hugging, kissing, crying, and, sometimes, wincing in pain. As a marathoner myself, I’ve experienced all those different emotions at one finish or another. And every finish is a triumph in its own way, whether it’s your first or your fiftieth.

2013 ING New York City Marathon

The professional women ready for the start. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

One of the most moving was watching 2009 ING New York City Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi crossing the finish hand-in-hand with local New York runner Michael Cassidy. Meb had a rocky training season, culminating in a bad fall just two weeks before the race. Mike is a Staten Island native and elite runner in New York City, who qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon with a 2:18:52 time. He won the Staten Island Half earlier this year, and he was a vocal supporter of the ING New York City Marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. He penned a now-famous defense of the race on LetsRun.com.

The pair ran the last 5K together, and each credits the other with getting him over the finish line—in 2:23:46 for Mike and 2:23:47 for Meb. It was a touching moment.

2013 ING New York City Marathon

Jason Hartmann is one of the runners “On The Run” profiled before the 2013 ING New York City Marathon. (Photo: On The Run/NYRR)

But runners are standouts in that respect. Case in point: moments before the professional men started on Sunday, American Jason Hartmann saw me and said with a big smile, “Have a great show today!” To which I replied, “You have a great race! Good luck!” Wishing me good luck before he’s about to race a marathon? This is a guy who’s finished fourth in Boston two years in a row. Class act. Mike Cassidy is much the same. When I interviewed him right after the finish on Sunday, he asked me how my last marathon went in Toronto. Amazing.

After the tragedy and chaos of last year, seeing a former ING New York City Marathon champion cross the line hand-in-hand with a Staten Islander exemplified what makes this race one of the greatest events in all of sports. It’s what sportsmanship is all about. It’s also what the spirit of the marathon is all about. Watching this episode of “On The Run” at the top of this post is worth it for seeing that moment alone.

2013 ING New York City Marathon

Amanda Carlow and Alex Wilson from Team One Spirit came to the race for the second year in a row. (Photo: On The Run/NYRR)

I have to thank New York Road Runners for once again welcoming me into their team for race week. “On The Run” is probably my favorite project I’ve ever worked on.

If you missed any of our previous episodes leading up to the race, with profiles on so many great runners from pros like Jason Hartmann to charity runners like Team One Spirit and Bryan Steinhauer, check out these links:

On The Run at the ING New York City Marathon Ep. 1
On The Run at the ING New York City Marathon Ep. 2
On The Run at the ING New York City Marathon Ep. 3
On The Run at NYC Marathon Dash to the Finish Line 5K

I’ll leave you with a look at some of the stats on the 2013 ING New York City Marathon to underscore just how great this race really is.

If you ran, congratulations! I hope you had a great race. Til next time!

2013 ING New York City Marathon By The Numbers

50,740 starters

50,304 finishers

109 countries represented

50 states and the District of Columbia represented

2 million spectators

8,000-12,000 volunteers

330 million global broadcast reach

$340 million economic impact

2013 ING New York City Marathon Winners

Female winner: Priscah Jeptoo (Kenya), 2:25:07

Male winner: Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya), 2:08:24

Male wheelchair winner: Marcel Hug (Switzerland), 1:40:14

Female wheelchair winner: Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, MD), 1:59:13

First American male finisher: Ryan Vail (Portland, OR), 13th, 2:13:23

First American female finisher: Adriana Nelson (Boulder, CO), 13th, 2:35:05

2012−2013 World Marathon Majors male winner: Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia (second, 2:09:16) with 75 points, earning the $500,000 winner-take-all prize

2012−2013 World Marathon Major female winner: Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya (first, 2:25:07) with 75 points, earning the $500,000 winner-take-all prize

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


11 2013

5 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    So glad the NYC marathon made such a great comeback this year!

    BTW, the Toronto Waterfront Facebook page has given links to both of our race reports :)
    Kristi Raz recently posted..Two More Halloween Fun Run PicsMy Profile

  2. 2

    Enjoyed the race coverage! So inspiring to see so many people racing!
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted..Blogger & Twitter TipsMy Profile

  3. 3

    Great recap. Loved watching “On The Run.”

  4. 4

    SO incredible seeing it from this view, as well as being there– it was an unforgettable experience!
    Laura @losingrace recently posted..Photo proof of NYC weekend ShenanaginsMy Profile

  5. 5

    That was fantastic Karla. Enjoyed the recaps of both races. After hearing Jon Mendez’s tips for a long and healthy life I have a supply of whiskey and a good woman on my shopping list. It didn’t look to cold at the finish. The friend who had to walk said she was freezing (and that she was never running another marathon again!). The other two thoroughly enjoyed the experience. They all loved New York.


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