NYC Marathon's first-ever winner runs lap to mark race's 50th anniversary

To mark the occasion, the marathon's first-ever winner Gary Muhrcke, ran one lap of the original course
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The New York City Marathon celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first-ever race on Sunday.

The first-ever marathon took place 50 years ago on September 13, 1970, and featured 127 runners participating in a four-lap course around Central Park.

Former New York City fireman and Long Island resident, Gary Muhrcke, was the first champion of the inaugural race with a finish time of 2:31:39.

To recognize that special moment, Muhrcke, now 80 years old, ran one lap of the original course in Central Park on Sunday.

Muhrcke ran with his grandson, Colin Kern, and had an impressive finish time of 58:21, roughly over 9 minutes per mile.

"If I can inspire anyone to get off the couch, that's my goal in life," Muhrcke said.

Over the years, the annual marathon has grown to become one of the most anticipated and iconic sporting events in New York City, drawing fans and runners from all over the world.

The 2020 TCS New York City Marathon scheduled for November 1 was cancelled due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19.

RELATED | 2020 TCS New York City Marathon canceled due to coronavirus pandemic
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The New York Road Runners (NYRR), the event organizer, in partnership with the Mayor's Office of the City of New York, have made the decision to cancel the TCS NYC Marathon, the world's largest marathon, due to coronavirus-related health concerns.

However, thousands plan to run the virtual marathon from locations around the world between October 17 and November 1.

The 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon will take place on November 7, 2021.

ALSO WATCH | Top athletes teaming up to participate in virtual TCS New York City Marathon
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With the TCS New York City Marathon going virtual, top professional athletes are teaming up - participating in the race from their location of choice.

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