The New York YANKEES Marathon
by Paul Semendinger
November 2, 2023
In just a few days, I'll be running my 10th New York City Marathon and my 25th overall lifetime marathon.
I have run marathons in many cities other than New York including Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh, in addition to a host of smaller marathons. I also ran two Walt Disney World Marathons.
I ran my first marathon, the NYC, in 2002 and was instantly hooked. I love the race, especially because it is in New York. I love the city. In short, there's nothing like the New York City Marathon. I have noted many times that over the years, that race has become part of who I am.
I sometimes like to dream up other races and I thought of a race that would be great fun.
The race I have "invented" would be called the New York YANKEES Marathon to be run primarily, in the Bronx and Manhattan.
Since this would be a marathon, the race would cover 26.2 miles, which, with the race I envision, is the perfect distance for a Yankees themed race.
The planners of the race would have to work with the city of New York, of course, but my vision would to have the race start at (or around) Yankee Stadium. Some highlights of the course would be running around Macombs Dam Park and Elston Howard Field (the site of the original Yankee Stadium), over the Macombs Dam Bridge into Manhattan, past Coogan's Bluff (the site of the Polo Grounds where the Yankees once played), further uptown to 168th street (the location of Hilltop Park), and then down into Manhattan running on West End Avenue where Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth (among many others) once lived. Since the Yankees are, in many ways, New York, the race would take in Times Square and the Empire State Building before heading back uptown on Second Avenue. At 94th Street, the runners would turn right to pass Lou Gehrig's birthplace before heading back into the Bronx (over the Willis Avenue Bridge) with the race ending on the field at Yankee Stadium. The final distance could encompass a lap around the inside of the stadium itself.
(Note - It could be possible to cut across Manhattan before getting to Times Square by heading across Central Park and head to Queens to pass CitiField and the grounds where Shea Stadium (the Yankees' home for two seasons) used to be. This, of course, would involve closing the Tri Boro (RFK) Bridge and/or the Queensboro Bridge for the day making the logistics that much more difficult. But, on the day of the NYC Marathon, they do close the Queensboro Bridge already and they also close the Verrazano Bridge (two major bridges, along with other major roads and bridges) so... it can be done. Adding the other two city baseball stadiums would make the experience for the runners that much more majestic!)
For fun, the mile markers along the course would highlight each of the Yankees' World Championships. Mile 1 would recognize the 1923 Yankees. Mile 2, the 1927 Yankees, and so on. The 26th mile would highlight the 2000 Yankees, while the finish line would note the 2009 team. 27 World Championships, 27 different markers with photos of players and trophies and such would add to the majesty of the course. In addition, halfway through each mile, or thereabouts, could be signs with motivational and fun quotes from Yankees players to add to the atmosphere of what would be a tremendous race.
The water stops would have Gatorade and water in pinstriped cups. What would be even more amazing would be having a Yankees player (present or past) at each mile marker cheering on the participants.
Finishers would receive an interlocking NY medal with a Yankees themed lanyard.
Proceeds from the race could be donated to Yankees themed charities such as the ones in the names of Joe Torre, Roy White, Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge, Derek Jeter, and Reggie Jackson.
The New York Yankees Marathon could be held on a Saturday or Sunday in early May. After the race, finishers would receive a ticket to the home game played that night at Yankee Stadium.
While this is nothing more than a big idea in my head right now, I think the possibilities are endless. It would be a great way for the Yankees to create something extremely special for their fans and the community.
I believe the New York Yankees Marathon is an idea worth pursuing!
A note to other baseball writers, podcasters, talkers, and the like - if you borrow or use any of these ideas, do the right thing and give credit where credit is due - to the author and to this site.