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Who to cheer for at Sunday’s New York City Marathon

Nathan Martin is currently the fastest U.S.-born Black marathoner. He’ll be competing at the 2023 NYC Marathon alongside other elite runners and some celebrities

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A runner uses the median barrier to make it part of the way across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the New York City Marathon in 2017.

A runner uses the median barrier to make it part of the way across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in New York.

Craig Ruttle, Associated Press

Nathan Martin may not win the 2023 New York City Marathon, but he’ll be in the spotlight throughout the race because of his growing fame in the world of elite running.

Martin, 33, is “currently the fastest American-born Black marathoner,” according to NBC News. He claimed that title two years ago, when he finished the Marathon Project race in Chandler, Arizona, in 2:11:05.

“The energy in the Black community is beyond insane,” Martin told NBC News about the support he’s felt from fellow Black runners.

Who is Nathan Martin?

Martin finished eighth at last year’s New York City Marathon and will race in the elite open division again this year, NBC News reported.

He’s hoping to beat his personal best marathon time of 2:10:45, which he achieved earlier this year at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota.

“I don’t want to jinx myself and say I’ll come in with, like, a PR or something, but I’m feeling really good,” he told NBC News. “And you know, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to get a PR in New York. So if that opportunity presents itself, I’ll definitely try and take it.”

Martin lives in Jackson, Michigan, where he works as a high school running coach. He credits a college running coach with sparking his marathon career.

While in college at Spring Arbor University in 2013, a coach encouraged him to give marathoning a try. He ended up setting “the marathon record at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship by three minutes” in his very first marathon, NBC News reported.

Celebrities running the New York City Marathon

On Sunday, Martin will be racing alongside several other famous runners, including Cam Levins of Canada, who holds the marathon record for North America.

Farther back in the pack of runners will be some famous actors and athletes, according to CBS News.

The 2023 New York City Marathon’s celebrity runners include:

  • Nev Schulman from “Catfish” on MTV.
  • Luke Macfarlane, who’s been in several movies on the Hallmark Channel.
  • Matt James, a former lead for ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
  • Zdeno Chára, who won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins.
  • Patina Miller, an award-winning singer.

You can try to spot these celebrities by watching ESPN’s broadcast of the New York City Marathon. The race will be shown from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2, according to The Washington Post.

Live footage of the marathon will also be available to stream on the ESPN app and the NYC Marathon app.

NYC Marathon 2023 route

The 2023 New York City Marathon will start on the “Staten Island side of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge at Fort Wadsworth,” according to CBS News. It will end at 67th Street in Central Park.

The course goes through all five boroughs of New York City and offers dramatic views of the city’s famous skyline.

About a month ago, New York Road Runners posted a video preview of the NYC Marathon 2023 route on YouTube.

New York City Marathon 2024

The New York City Marathon is one of six World Marathon Majors, which means it’s one of the world’s most prestigious running events, according to Olympics.com.

It typically takes place on the first Sunday in November, and it’s considered the biggest marathon in the world, Olympics.com reported, noting that 50,000 people took part in 2022.

The same number of people are registered for the 2023 event, but interest in running still far exceeds the event’s size limitation, according to The New York Times. For example, just 5% of the 128,000 people who sought to gain entry by winning a drawing made it in.

For those who missed out, there’s always next year. The 2024 New York City Marathon will take place on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2024, according to Sports Travel International.