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The Margin: NYC Marathon by the numbers: $894,000 in prize money, 50,000+ runners and almost 2,000 portable toilets

The Big Apple’s biggest block party is back — and with plenty of cash on the line.

The 2023 TCS New York City Marathon is expected to draw more than 50,000 runners from around the world taking a 26.2-mile lap across NYC’s five boroughs on Sunday, Nov. 5.

The world’s largest marathon has come a long way from its humble 1970 beginnings, note the race organizers at the New York Road Runners, when just 127 registered runners each paid a $1 entry fee to run six loops around Central Park. Those winners took home wristwatches and recycled trophies.

Now more than 50 years later, the 2023 race features tens of thousands of runners (who shelled out between $255 and $358 in entry fees for the privilege of pounding the pavement) from more than 100 countries, with $894,000 in prize money and time bonuses up for grabs.

But to be sure, only the elite, mostly professional, runners like returning champion Sharon Lokedi, who won the 2022 open division women’s race, or 2022 men’s world champion Tamirat Tola, really have their eyes on those prizes. The male and female open division winners will each pocket a $100,000 grand prize, while each male and female wheelchair division champ earns $35,000, and $25,000 goes to each top male and female open division American runner.

There are also often time bonuses for runners who break course records; last year’s wheelchair champions Marcel Hug and Susannah Scaroni each snagged an extra $50,000 for breaking course records, for example.

Instead, most of the tens of thousands of people toeing the Verrazano Bridge starting line on Staten Island have other goals in mind. There are as many reasons to tackle the grueling 26.2-mile course as there are runners attempting the feat, such as beating a certain personal time, celebrating a wellness journey, overcoming adversity or fulfilling a charitable commitment, to name just a few. On that front, this year’s NYC Marathon counts a record 571 official charity partners who are giving more than 12,000 runners a chance to put more meaning behind their miles. Last year’s marathon raised $57.5 million for charity, the NYRR reports, and $460 million has been raised since the race’s official charity partner program began in 2006.

Certainly, it takes plenty of donations from corporate sponsors and volunteers to keep the whole event running smoothly.

Here’s a look at the 2023 New York City Marathon by the numbers, with facts and figures provided by the New York Road Runners:

  • More than 50,000 runners from more than 100 countries will attempt to complete a 26.2-mile course.
  • 1,393,376 people have started the NYC Marathon since 1970, and 1,355,861 have crossed the finish line.
  • 1,500+ portable toilets, including 35 wheelchair-accessible units, will be at the Staten Island starting line, with 450 portable toilets at more than 40 locations (including every mile) on the course.
  • There’s a $894,000 total guaranteed prize purse at stake, plus time bonuses.
  • $100,000 goes to each male and female open division winner.
  • $35,000 goes to each male and female wheelchair division winner.
  • $25,000 goes to each top male and female open division U.S. runner.
  • There are 571 official charity partners.
  • Charity runners raised $57.5 million at last year’s NYC Marathon.
  • 93,456 liters of Flow Alkaline Spring Water will be handed to runners along the course.
  • Last year 450,658 pounds of material were recycled from the 2022 marathon, and 11,220 pounds of material was composted.
  • Last year, 34,000 pounds of unused food was donated to City Harvest from the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon to help feed nearly 2 million New Yorkers facing hunger.

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