The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon in Photos: Editors' Picks
A 26.2-mile race that traverses five boroughs produces an infinite number of moments, from runners beginning their epic journey on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to exhaustion and elation at the finish line.
It’s up to photographers to isolate and capture moments that best tell the story of the biggest marathon in the world.
In the two weeks since 50,766 runners completed the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon, the New York Road Runners staff has been sifting through thousands of photos and crafting social media posts, blog entries, and emails that reflect the spirit and emotion of the day.
The images below had the biggest impact on us. We hope they keep the TCS New York City Marathon excitement alive and inspire you to take in all that surrounds you during your next big race.
Documenting history is one of my favorite parts of being a photographer. Watching Shalane become the first American woman in 40 years to win the New York City Marathon [in the open division] was nothing short of amazing. This image captures her sheer joy in the moment, complete with the context of the finish line as the background.
—Adam Hunger, photographer
This runner throwing her fist in the air with the finish-line tower lined up right behind her and an image of the Statue of Liberty in view is too good of a technical and emotional combination to pass up.
I was riding up the bridge with the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge athletes and asked if they would be interested in a fun photo, as they were basically on one of the most famous landmarks in the world. After I took the photo, I turned to my driver and told him this is why I love what I do—and that this is one of the most fun images I've done.
—Victah Sailer, photographer
This was simply a fun photo to set up. Meb’s entire family was excited to be there, they were cooperative despite some of them being asked to kneel on the ground for far too long, we were all laughing and joking, and even the littlest kids were enjoying themselves. I come from a big family and know how difficult it can be to get this many relatives together at all, let alone to pose for a family photo. When we handed out the “Meb heads,” even Meb’s father was into it. It’s always a pleasure to work with Meb, and now I can say the same for his family.
—Bethany Nevin, Senior Manager, Photography
The joy in the runner’s face is absolutely priceless as she goes in for her post-finish hug from an NYRR staffer. I assume that runner has trained and fought hard to finish the 26.2, but this moment is also what we at NYRR work so hard for. We start preparing for one New York City Marathon as soon as the previous year’s is over, which means some long hours, lost sleep, and missing out on things in our personal lives. But when I see or am lucky enough to experience a moment like this, with the depth of emotions crossing that finish line brings out in the runners, it makes it all worth it.
Every photographer wants to capture history, and Shalane Flanagan’s win gave a few the chance. This photo and the one below were shot at angles where only one photographer had the vantage point. Victah Sailer was posted behind a track board to get the runners on the last leg of their race and during their victory laps. His photo of Flanagan in mid-stride acknowledging the cheering crowd, phones and cameras out trying to capture their own bit of history, reflects the pride, support, and surprise that were part of this moment.
Victah turned to get Flanagan in a quieter moment amid the chaos of the finish line. All the other photographers were shooting Mary Keitany or getting Flanagan’s flag-draped back, while Victah captured the full range of emotions that no other still photographer had the angle to get.
It’s always kind of interesting to me to see pro athletes just hanging around, especially here, with Manuela Schär and Marcel Hug having a casual conversation as if they hadn’t just won the TCS New York City Marathon. Also, it sort of reminded me of this photo, which is one I’ve always liked.
—Ted Doyle, Manager, Digital Content
I like the “off-script” moments that can happen at NYRR events. Just past the finish line at the TCS Run with Champions, Tatyana McFadden—who has won the TCS New York City Marathon five times, along with multiple titles from nearly every other Abbott World Marathon Majors race—interviewed the winner of the youth wheelchair race. To me, that would be like if Michael Jordan were to have interviewed me after one of my basketball games in grade school.
This photo was taken at the Rising New York Road Runners Jamboree and I almost didn’t catch it because I was busy fumbling around with the settings on my camera. But I heard laughter immediately after the horn went off at the start of the heat. I looked up and saw these two boys running side by side, grinning and giggling all the way to the finish line. I thought it was a lovely representation of the power of running and friendship.
—Margot Inzetta, Senior Manager, Social Media
The TCS Run with Champions felt like a mini marathon. The kids were very excited, even if they didn’t know the elite athletes who were running alongside them. This was their big moment. The grandstand seats were filled as photographers captured photos of kids crossing the famed TCS New York City Marathon finish line. Throughout the event I watched kids enjoy fitness and friendship—as it should be!
—Elizabeth Maiuolo, Assistant Manager, Social Media
This was a technical shot. The camera was set up on a 15-foot pole and shooting was triggered with an iPhone. The timing was very accurate and I was able to capture the winner crossing the tape.
—Miguel Saavedra, Assistant Photo Manager
The emotions of the two runners finishing and the photographer's eye—how he kept both runners in the frame—set this photo apart for me.
This photo is from the TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony the Friday night before the race. Being at this event was one of my favorite parts of the whole week. It felt like the Olympics. This lady was marching in the Parade of Nations representing Australia. The joy on her face speaks to the excitement of the night and the much anticipated 26.2 miles that lay ahead.
—Mary Morrison, Social Media and Editorial Intern
My race-day assignment was to take photos in the Bronx as runners were passing the 20-mile marker. At this point, the pro runners had already passed through and there was a period of time when we were all waiting for the general runners to arrive. I was trying to find a good place to shoot and decided to sit down on the curb across the street from the 20-mile marker. As soon as I sat down, I looked to my left and realized I wasn't the only one taking advantage of the curb-side seats.
I took this picture on Marathon Monday at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion. There was a ceremony where the race's winners helped present checks to various charity partners. After the ceremony, many of the winners began doing interviews with reporters. Instead of engaging in interviews, Geoffrey Kamworor, the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon champion in the men's open division, went straight to the crowd and started greeting fans and taking selfies with fellow finishers.
I like the juxtaposition of the pacer singlets against the sidewalk stripes.
—Da Ping Luo, photographer
What I love about this photo is that it makes me think about the race from the a wheelchair athlete’s point of view. It captures how much closer to the road they are than I am as an able-bodied runner, and how much faster they are moving. Both of these things I know in my head—the photo allows me to feel and—in a limited way—experience them, and to imagine what it must feel like to roll at 20, 30, 40 mph over 26.2 miles of roadway. You can also see the beauty of the gray, misty, foggy weather that all the runners experienced on November 5.
—Gordon Bakoulis, Editorial Director
This is Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn. What I love about this photo is Lou's ability to capture a true NYC moment: the movement of the runners breezing by a crowd of supporters in front of a church that has been here longer than all of us. It's an example of the way the TCS New York City Marathon really brings together all New Yorkers.
—Amanda Perez, Assistant Photo Editor
I love the angle of this photograph. It really captures the energy of the crowd. It shows thousands of strong and motivated runners, with months if not years of preparation behind them, lined up and ready to conquer their goals.
I first saw this photo during an all-staff meeting where two of the five Rising New York Road Runners who served as Grand Marshals at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon came to speak to Team NYRR about their race-week experiences alongside pro runner Jenny Simpson.
The photo reflects the genuine bond the group shared during race week. It reminds me of a moment when I overheard Jenny talking with the kids and their parents about how they all played "I Spy" in the lead vehicle. The group sat around a table in the media center comparing Snapchat stories they had each captured out on the course. They were kids being kids—but they had also just led the TCS New York City Marathon from Staten Island to Central Park.
—Hollis Templeton, Senior Manager, Digital Content
I was lucky enough to capture photos at the finish line and these ones are kind of an obvious choice.
For some backstory, Shalane Flanagan had won a marathon before—she was first at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials—but she hadn’t won an Abbott World Marathon Majors race. When she made her marathon debut in New York in 2010, she finished second, becoming the first American woman runner to finish as the runner-up since 1990, but she still had one step up to the top of the podium.
She would compete in the Boston Marathon three times after that, finishing fourth in 2013, seventh in 2014 (later upgraded to sixth), and ninth in 2015. She became the second-fastest American woman in history with 2:21:14 for third place at the 2014 BMW Berlin Marathon. At the Olympics, she was 10th in the marathon at the London 2012 Games and sixth in Rio in 2016.
In 2017, Flanagan’s bronze medal from the 10,000 meters at the Beijing 2008 Olympics was upgraded to a silver after Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey was disqualified for doping.
But on November 5, 2017, Flanagan finally had her moment. After seven years of marathon racing, she won the TCS New York City Marathon. She crossed the finish line first, she stepped onto the top of the podium, and she had the gold medal placed around her neck.