By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
Days before an international crowd gathers to run the race, Dept. of Transportation night crews hit the road to mark the course that guides runners safely through city streets for the annual New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 6.
Crews of Local 1455 Traffic Device Maintainers work with the New York City Road Runners Club and the city Dept. of Parks and Recreation to paint the street line of the world-famous 26.2-mile foot race.
The thin blue line points runners to the finish.
“We have about a dozen TDMs assigned to paint the New York City Marathon line,” said President Mike DeMarco. “Streets are full of traffic the nights we’re working and the crews are moving along at about 20 miles an hour. We make sure impatient drivers don’t cut us off. This assignment coordinates TDMs in advance trucks and the night-liner spray truck to hit all five boroughs until the job is done.”
The work TDMs do is vital to the safety of all New Yorkers. And on Marathon Sunday that extends to some 50,000 professional and first-time racers–male and female, duos, wheelchair-bound and hand cyclists.
Over two nights, the DOT crews paint the route that begins on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge, snakes through south Brooklyn into Queens, onto East Harlem, touching the South Bronx. The course ends in leafy Central Park in Manhattan. The 26.2-mile journey traverses five boroughs and as many bridges and wends through dozens of busy city neighborhoods.
On the chilly autumn morning of the marathon Nov. 6, millions of spectators line the route to cheer on runners. They reflect the diversity of New York City.
Elite world runners, fleet-footed competitors from across the country, the Tri-State Area and other countries, race against the clock in the world’s largest marathon charted by dedicated public servants in DC 37 Local 1455.