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Ali on the Run Show

Oct 26, 2023

"At a marathon finish line — especially this marathon finish line — you see the best of humanity."

Every year on the first Sunday of November, more than 50,000 runners, 10,000 volunteers, and two million spectators will descend on the five boroughs for one reason: the TCS New York City Marathon.

This episode is your unofficial guide to the iconic 26.2-mile race. Two and a half jam-packed hours of New York City Marathon-related information, just in time for the taper.

And this episode isn’t just for the marathoners: We have tips for spectators, a breakdown of how to get into the race in the future, and general advice for marathon-day fueling and hydrating.

As for my New York City Marathon love affair: This race is my Super Bowl, my Christmas, my birthday, Valentine's Day, my favorite day of the year. It was the first marathon I ever watched, back in 2008, when I went out to cheer for a coworker who was running the race. (Thanks for the inspiration, Therese!) I’ve run it three times — in 2013, 2014, and 2016 — and volunteered once, in 2015, at a fluid station in Brooklyn. In 2017, I cheered on “First and Fifth,” and in 2018, at three weeks postpartum, going to the New York City Marathon was my first outing since having a baby. I sat in the grandstands as Shalane Flanagan finished third, and pumped in a "fancy" (you know, the nice kind!) finish line porta potty. Then, in 2019, I got the best seat in the house for the first time: New York City Marathon finish line announcer.

After announcing at the finish and at the Finish Line After Dark in 2019, 2021, and 2022, this year I'm trying something a little different. I'm joining the broadcast talent team as a reporter on the international feed. I'll be interviewing runners at the start and finish lines, and then I'll join the ABC/ESPN2 broadcast team for more finish line coverage on the local broadcast (alongside Becs Gentry!).

Let's have some fun!


  • UCAN: Click here to get a FREE UCAN energy bar sample pack (you’ll just pay the cost of shipping), and use code ALIUCAN for 20% off your next UCAN order.
  • Tracksmith: New customers, use code ALINEW for $15 off your first Tracksmith order over $75. Returning customers, use code ALIGIVE for free shipping, plus a portion of the proceeds from your order will be donated to Moms Demand Action.

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • New York Road Runners CEO Rob Simmelkjaer talks about why he’s excited for this year’s TCS New York City Marathon — his first one at the helm of the organization (5:00)
  • Pre-race questions: how to get in, how to handle feeling overwhelmed by logistics, and how to watch this year’s race (34:40)
  • What you need to know about getting to the start line in Staten Island, and what to do once you’re there (43:50)
  • What to know about the New York City Marathon course (1:04:00)
  • New York City Marathon course strategy (and a pep talk!) with Peloton instructor and 2:32 marathoner Becs Gentry (1:18:00)
  • Welcome to the New York City Marathon finish line — and what happens once you cross it (2:02:20)
  • What to know about spectating at the New York City Marathon (2:07:40)
  • You did it! Now what? (2:13:30)

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