NYC Marathon Weekend: A List Of Pit Stops

by BILLY GRAY · October 30, 2009

We know that marathons take their name and sole-crushing length from the dubious tale of a Greek messenger who promptly croaked after running 26.2 miles from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. If runners in this Sunday's New York City Marathon have nothing more than a finish line collapse to look forward to, they might as well ditch the noble "fitness" thing in honor of some Big City sinning with the following pit stops along the grueling route:

Blackout: 916 Manhattan Avenue (Mile 12)

The name of this spanking new hangout in Polish/hipster mecca Greenpoint ostensibly plays on its dark-as-night interior. But well-lubricated patrons surely make it even more appropriate as their consciousness does battle with the bar's extensive beer and cocktail menus. Blackout is the place for marathoners dismayed by their standing at the race's halfway point to forget their charlie-horsed troubles.

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P.S. 1: 22-25 Jackson Avenue (Mile 14)

Warm Up, P.S. 1's rollicking summer dance party series, might be on leave until Memorial Day. But runners whose legs haven't entirely given out already can still bust a spontaneous move in the museum's post-industrial, sculpture-studded courtyard. Failing that, they can take inspiration from the contemporary art (and panoramic Manhattan skyline views) inside.

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American Trash: 1471 1st Avenue (Mile 17)

Let's be honest: us Yanks haven't really dominated distance running since Steve Prefontaine first donned his primitive, fresh-out-the-waffle iron Nikes. At American Trash, patriotic Americans can hope for future dominance and practice what we do best today: chug cheap beer and scream at TV's broadcasting yet another Kenyan victory.

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Heidelberg: 1648 2nd Avenue (Mile 18)

You'd be hard-pressed to find a national cuisine less conducive to endurance sports than Germany's. Marathoners looking to rebel against their training diets can hop into this holdout from the days when you couldn't throw a bratwurst in Yorkville without hitting an off-the-boat Kraut. When done with your schnitzel, exchange your running shoes for a more cumbersome boot of rich Bavarian brew.

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Sin City: 2520 Park Avenue (Mile 21)

Famously lean marathon runners should make a point of veering off-course to hit up this South Bronx mammary mecca. Not only will they stare in wonder at dancers whose body fat exceeds 5%, they'll be able to get some cushion for the pushin' of their own with the "sophisticated" lounge's "5-star dining" (staring with mozzarella sticks and ending with mini-pizzas).

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The Ramble: Mid-Central Park around 72nd Street (Mile 25)

When Alan Sillitoe wrote of "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" in 1959, he probably didn't realize that New York's most notorious bastion of public sex would offer marathoners relief (release?) just before the finish line. Of course, The Ramble appeals mostly to runners who are doubly light in the loafers. But the bucolic spot doesn't discriminate, so straight participants can also cruise for something other than a marathon win.