Inspiring Vintage Photos Of The New York Marathon To Mark Its 50th Year

We look back at some amazing historical photos of the best of the marathon from the very first race in 1970.

The 50th New York City Marathon is Sunday. Starting in Staten Island and finishing in Central Park, the marathon didn't occur last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The very first New York City marathon was in September 1970 and consisted of multiple loops of Central Park. We collected vintage images from the event from 1970 through the 1980s that show off the cityscape, fall in New York, and the runners themselves.

Many people running across the bridge seen from above
Black-and-white photo showing a man running toward the camera with crowds on either side
"NY City Marathon Start" banner and many runners
Close-up of runner
Two people sit together, smiling
Two smiling runners hug and hold hands of children and other family members
Wide black-and-white shot of runners
Hundreds of cups on a table in a black-and-white photo
Man with his eyes closed pours water over his head
Man watches runners on a small TV
A crowd of spectators beside the road watch Rodgers run
Two people support Muhrcke after finishing the race as spectators look on
Fleming crosses the finish line as spectators look on

Correction: Only one woman ran the marathon in 1970. A previous version of this story misidentified a runner's friend as a participant.