Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil leads the men's pack during the 2008 New York City Marathon.
The clock is ticking down to the 2009 ING New York City Marathon – and whether you're running in the race, cheering from the sidelines or watching it all go down on TV, this year's event is one you don't want to miss.
Famed British runner Paula Radcliffe will vie for her fourth straight title this year. The Olympian and world-record holder comes back to the streets of the Big Apple on November 1 for another opportunity to make history. The 35-year-old is only the second woman to win the New York City Marathon three times, earning her most recent triumph in 2:23:56.
Want to be there to see if she does it again? Here are the details.
What: ING NYC Marathon
When: Nov. 1, 9 a.m.
Where: Starts in Staten Island and ends at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. If you're planning to cheer runners up during the event, here's a map to plot out meeting points. You can also watch live on WNBC Channel 4.
Why: Crossing the finish line in Central Park is no doubt one of the greatest thrills in participants' lifetimes. That's why more than 100,000 runners apply to participate in the marathon each year – racing before 2 million spectators for more than $600,000 in prizes. The marathon is also in its 40th year, so expect special celebrations in honor of the important milestone during race week.
The first New York City Marathon, held in 1970, included just a little more than four laps around Central Park. In 1976, officials moved the marathon to the streets of the Big Apple – and now the course runs through each of the five boroughs, crosses five bridges and concludes at the iconic Tavern on the Green in the world renowned Central Park.
Get complete information on the course, transportation, race week schedules, rules, applications and participating charities on the ING NYC Marathon website.
Check back with NBCNewYork.com for details on times and who won. Also learn about common injuries and how to avoid them and get tips on shaping up for the main event.