Brooklyn lays out welcome mat for New York City Marathon runners

Brooklyn Daily
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Welcome to Brooklyn! A runner from Denmark gets a high-five along Fourth Avenue.
Athletes from all over the world pound the pavement in Bay Ridge.
A patriot extends a red, white and blue greeting in Greenpoint.
Run, Forest, run! A faux beard adds attitude to a runner’s civvies along McGuinness Boulevard.
Runners wet their whistles along McGuinness Boulevard.
A runner makes a colorful statement as he heads for the Pulaski Bridge in Greenpoint.

We gave them the boost they needed — with clanging pots and pans, and the theme music from “Rocky” — before sending them on their way.

The throb of pounding feet was deafened by the mighty roar of Brooklyn’s sidewalk spectators, who cheered runners streaming off the Verrazano Bridge to cruise our neck of the woods in the 42nd Annual New York City Marathon — the world’s largest epic race.

Our love oozed at rah-rah zones — from Bay Ridge to Greenpoint — for the spunky human ribbon, which included Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott in his first marathon.

Students from the Community Roots Charter School in Fort Greene mixed business with pleasure by selling homemade baked goods on Fourth Avenue, a popular cheering spot near the eighth mile of the race. Another welcome mat was waiting on 74th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, where homeowners rang cowbells and hoisted signs to hail the neon-clad masses flooding their sleepy, tree-lined enclave due to a minor course change.

The crackling excitement was enough to start a sub-culture of marathon fever all its own, as fans celebrated the moment with stoop parties and park gatherings.

“It was truly awesome to see them all stream by, especially the ones in wheelchairs and on recumbent bicycles!” marveled Williamsburg resident Mary Havers, whose vocal chords were numb from hootin’ and hollerin’ at jam-packed McCarren Park — mile-12 of the course.

Brooklyn showed its appreciation right up to the borough’s final leg in Greenpoint as crowds assembled on both sides of the Pulaski Bridge to bid runners a fond farewell with more pot-n-pan din before they tore off to Queens.

Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai won the men’s race in 2:05:06, while Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia aced the challenge for women in 2:23:15.

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at or by calling (718) 260-2529.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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