"The New York City Marathon is one of the world's great road races, drawing more than 100,000 applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the more than $600,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and 315 million worldwide television viewers. As any one of the more than 700,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. The first New York City Marathon, in 1970, was four-plus laps of Central Park. In 1976, in celebration of the U.S. bicentennial, the marathon was moved to the streets of all of New York's five boroughs: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. The 26-mile course unites dozens of culturally and ethnically diverse neighborhoods, passing over five bridges, and finishing up at Tavern on the Green in world-famous Central Park."