Blue line ceremony kicks off marathon celebration ahead of race day

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Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Blue Line Painting kicks off TCS NYC Marathon celebration
Kemberly Richardson reports on the ceremonial painting of the blue line that helps set the tone for the biggest marathon in the world.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The New York Road Runners kicked off the festivities for the TCS New York City Marathon on Wednesday ahead of the big race Sunday.

The ceremonial painting of the blue line helps set the tone for the biggest and boldest marathon in the world.

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Normally, the ceremony helps to kickstart the painting the 26.2-mile stripe -- but this year the ceremony was moved inside due to the wet weather.

State and city officials were all there to do a mock roll inside instead.

It's all a nod to what is happening later Wednesday as crews from the sanitation department actually paint a blue line across the city to guide runners through the course.

The ceremonial blue line painting took place at the finish line located in Central Park where crowds will gather to give the runners the extra push they need to cross the line.

More than 50,000 runners will take part in the race and they come from more than 150 countries.

Security is also top of mind leading up to the race. Authorities stressed that right now there are no credible or specific threats, but there is still a very intricate security plan in place with a counterterrorism overlay.

"When we talk about a heightened threat environment overseas, that's what we mean, and that's why we are focusing so many resources," said Rebecca Ulam Weiner, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counterterrorism.

NYRR CEO Rob Simmelkjaer has run the race before and has a unique take on the marathon.

"I've run this marathon twice, it was an incredible experience running it," he said. "I have to say 'running it' in the way I am now as the CEO is a little more nerve-racking in a lot of ways, so many things that I'm focused on, but it's really a dream come true for me to have a chance to lead this organization and be in this position for what I really believe is the greatest day of the year in New York City."


Coverage begins at 7 a.m. and abc7NY will stream Find Your Finish on our 24/7 channel on your connected devices starting at 10:00 a.m.

The broadcast will also include increased coverage of the professional wheelchair races with an extended broadcast window, starting at 8:00 a.m. This year's TCS New York City Marathon will serve as the U.S. Paralympics Track & Field Marathon Selection Event for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The broadcast, produced in coordination with 45 Live and distributed by IMG, will air on ABC7/WABC-TV from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with pre-race coverage from Fort Wadsworth beginning at 7:00 a.m. EST.

Nationally the broadcast will air on ESPN2 and on the ESPN App from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST. Pre-race and continuing coverage will also be streamed live nationally on ESPN3 (accessible on the ESPN App and from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., and from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ESPN3 and will present a view of the finish line from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST.

A two-hour encore presentation of the race broadcast will air on ABC affiliates around the country from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

Discover more coverage of the 2023 TCS NYC Marathon here.


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