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Powering the New York City Marathon

by chris@pkwydigital.com 4. November 2017 23:07

The New York City Marathon, the world’s largest marathon, is held annually every first Sunday of November. The 2016 New York City Marathon, which covered 42.195 km or 26.219 miles, had 51,394 finishers. Over 98,000 runners applied for the free, non-guaranteed drawing for this year’s marathon. The New York City Marathon is one of the top marathon events in the U.S., along with the Chicago and Boston races.

(Pixabay / maxmann)

The New York Road Runners (NYRR) organize the city’s marathon. The marathon has been an annual event in the city since 1970, except when it was canceled in 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy. Entry to the marathon is given to runners who have satisfied the 9+1 or 9 +$1K program (which includes competing in nine NYRR qualifying races and donating time or money to charitable causes), completed 15 or more previous New York City Marathons, or met a time qualification standard.

Medical Units and Equipment

A marathon as big as the New York City Marathon needs to be attended by sufficient medical staff with the right equipment to handle emergencies. As such, generators are an indispensable part of the race.  The run starts at Staten Island where three diesel-powered generators provide power to the medical tents. The three generators are capable of churning out 800 kW of electricity, enough to power 400 homes. Two of those generators will be in use to power the medical tents while the third one will serve as a backup generator if the others break down.

In addition to the three generators for the medical tents, there are other commercial generatorsalong the route of the marathon that will provide power to various support stations along the route. There are more medical tents that house equipment and supplies at the Central Park finish line. 

The medical tents at the New York City Marathon are set up to handle medical emergencies that arise during and after the marathon. The medical tents are equipped like mini-hospitals.  Due to the number of people on the roads, emergency vehicles will have trouble reaching individuals in peril. Thus, the medical tents are non-negotiable. 

While we often think of the leg and lung power behind the New York City Marathon, it’s important to remember that there is critical electrical power flowing from commercial generators that keeps the event running strong. 

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