“THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON: THE GREAT RACE” AT THE MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
Now on view at The Museum of the City of New York is “The New York City Marathon: The Great Race”, the first ever exhibition to chart and celebrate the history of this epic race. From its humble beginnings in 1970, when a mere 127 participants ran 4 laps around Central Park, to its current 50,000 plus participants on a 26.2 mile course that winds through the five boroughs of New York City, the marathon is one of the city’s annual highlights for both runners and spectators alike. More than one million people line the streets to cheer these runners on, and are an integral part of the tapestry that makes this event so special.
“The Great Race” brings the marathon to life, telling its fascinating history as both a test of athletic endurance and inspiring example of civic pride and community spirit. An illustrated timeline documents its history along one wall, while at the heart of the exhibition are works by both amateur and professional photographers who responded to the Museum’s open call for images. From several thousand entries, a jury selected 120 photographs of the many sights seen along the 26.2 mile course, captured on devices ranging from cell phones to state of the art digital cameras. The show also features historic video footage of famous finishes, along with lifesize cutouts and profiles of key figures like Grete Waitz, Fred Lebow, and Bill Rogers, perfect for posing with for selfies!
CALL FOR ENTRIES: A SELECTION OF IMAGES FROM THE EXHIBITION
On a personal note, I am proud to say the exhibition is dedicated to my father, James A. Lebenthal, a long time trustee of The Museum of the City of New York and lifelong New Yorker, who was as passionate about the marathon as the city it celebrates. Though he never ran it himself, all three of his kids have mutiple times. For this runner’s view of last year’s race check out the 26.2 Miles of the New York City Marathon. My father passed away about a year ago, and initial funding of the exhibition was made possible by the many donations given to the Museum in his memory.
“The New York City Marathon: The Great Race” opened on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, just prior to the running of the 45th marathon on Sunday, November 1, and will be on view through March 8, 2016. The exhibition is being co-presented with New York Road Runners, the organizers of the TCS New York City Marathon, and the world’s premier community running organization.
VIEW FROM ABOVE START OF THE FIRST NEW YORK CITY MARATHON IN 1970 ©1983 RUTH ORKIN