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.
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.