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Powering the NYC Marathon

by christopher@reilleygroup.com 4. November 2016 02:03

The New York City Marathon is a yearly event that runs through the boroughs of the city. The NYC Marathon is the world’s largest marathon, hosting around 50,304 runners in recent years.  It joins the Chicago and Boston Marathons in being among the country’s most popular running events. The marathon is organized by the New York Road Runners Club and is held the first Sunday of November.

 Powering the NYC Marathon

The New York City Marathon begins on Staten Island, near the approach to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.   After passing through the different boroughs, the race ends outside Tavern on the Green in Central Park.

Medical Tents

Coordinating medical services for the marathon is a herculean effort.  The medical staff is housed in huge tents and has access to medical equipment to align with established medical protocols. The staff has to be prepared to see thousands of people.  For example, in 2014, 4,800 runners needed care during the course of the marathon.

The NYC Marathon medical tents are stocked with basic supplies for the event, from adhesive bandages to ice to salt tabs. The staff is prepared with more than 60,000 heat sheets in case the weather gets chilly. Emergency medical equipment is also on hand. As in a regular hospital, the equipment needs to be powered and kept in a temperature-controlled environment. Just for the medical logistics alone, the marathon needs a vast power supply.

Power Sources

While the race’s runners need leg and lung power, the marathon planners need electricity in rich supply. At Staten Island where the race starts, there are three diesel-powered generators to power the medical tents. Each generator can crank out 800 kilowatts, enough to power 400 homes. Two generators are for continuous use and the third one is back up. Other generators are in the area to power tents, water coolers, refrigerators, and more. 

Still more generators line the marathon route to fulfill additional power needs.   They are strategically distributed among the five boroughs. Central Park, where the marathon finishes, also houses more medical tents and, thus, more generators.

Power is our silent ally.  It’s almost always there, but we often take it for granted.  The modern technology behind generators allows us to have the power we need, when we need it. 

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