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5 Great Spots to Cheer and Eat Along the Marathon Route in Harlem

Marathon runners looping around Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.
Marathon runners looping around Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.

The New York City Marathon is back at full capacity this year, with 50,000 runners participating in the iconic 26.2-mile race this Sunday.

One of the best places to catch all the action? Miles 22 and 23 in Harlem, a section of the route that has a less-crowded, almost small-town feel.

This 42-block stretch—Fifth Avenue from E 138th Street to E 96th Street, with a short detour around Marcus Garvey Park—is where you'll find tons of great music, inspirational messages and lively cheering.

For those planning on going, here are a few notable spots to watch and eat and along the route, starting at around noon. And if you want to glimpse the elite runners, get there early—around 10:30am.

From north to south:

Watch: Final entrance into Manhattan Madison Avenue Bridge exit ramp, E 138th Street and Fifth Avenue

This is the spot where runners re-enter Manhattan from the Bronx for the last stretch of the race—and really need your encouragement. Look for DJs, fun signs and plenty of other cheering on.

Harlem's Shake Shack has huge windows facing Fifth Avenue, the route of the New York City Marathon
Shake Shack is right on Fifth Avenue.

Eat: Shake Shack 1 W 125th St and Fifth Ave

The huge windows here look directly onto Fifth Avenue, making it the perfect spot to grab a quick burger while watching the race outside.

Watch: Harlem Run Cheer Station Fifth Avenue and 124th Street

Join local running collective Harlem Run from noon onwards as they cheer on marathoners approaching the bend around brownstone-lined Marcus Garvey Park.

Eat: Maxwell's Central Park 1325 Fifth Avenue and 111th Street

Is watching all of that running making you really thirsty? Nab one of the picnic benches outside of Maxwell's, a casual American spot right on Fifth Avenue, and order the bottomless brunch. Choose from 90 minutes of all-you-can-drink mimosas, bellinis, bloody marys or beer for $25.

All of Teranga's windows face Fifth Avenue and the New York Marathon route
Teranga's windows face Fifth Avenue.

Eat: Teranga, 1280 Fifth Ave between E 109th and E 110th Sts

Grab a coffee, pastry or grain-based bowl at this colorful West African spot located on mile 23 of the race. Get there early (they open at 10am) for a prime spot by the windows overlooking Fifth Avenue.

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