NOTE: Check the bottom of this post for any updates. Even better, email me your email address so I can email you any changes. If you want to see the original information about this race idea, click here for the first blog post.


My name is Ben Hauck.  I’m a guy running a marathon in Central Park on Sunday since there is no NYC Marathon 2012.  It was featured in an article on the Huffington Post website.  I understand you’re interested in joining me.  Here are the official details of what I’m calling “The NYC Replacement Marathon.”  Details subject to slight change so watch your email.

First things first:

– Kindly confirm receipt of this email by hitting Reply so I can estimate the numbers attending.  Thanks!
– Also, note that it’s Daylight Savings Time tomorrow. so before you go to bed tonight, “fall back”: Set your clocks back one hour.
– And FYI, I am not planning to bring a phone or internet with me to our marathon, so I will be incommunicado by 6:45am Sunday morning.


We will be starting our marathon at 8am sharp at the SE entrance of Central Park.  Specific location is East 60th Street at 5th Avenue.  There you will see a large black art installation that looks like a “melted staircase.”  It looks like this. That will be our gathering point.

There is a subway entrance right there.  The subway stop is the 5th Ave. stop on the N train (yellow train) line.  The R also stops there, but service is currently suspended for the R train.  Check the website for any subway issues.


I plan on arriving at our start around 7:30am (plus or minus 10 minutes).  Please aim to arrive by 7:45am to avoid a lot of chaos and so that we can start on time.

Singer Angie Atkinson will sing the United States national anthem just before our race begins.

I will be bringing a limited amount of Gu’s and PowerGels that I happen to have on hand (some caffeinated, some not).  If you know you would like some, please email me back so I can bring some for you to carry.  I would prefer to bring only as much as I need to if at all possible.  I will distribute before the race.


Here is a map of the course from a prior marathon in Central Park that I did.  You can click the Play button and watch how the course unfolded for me

Basically, the course is the service entrance to the park, 4 loops of the park, 1 loop of the lower loop of the park, then finishing where we started on the service entrance.  We will run counterclockwise.

More specifically, this is the course:
1. Start on the SE entrance to Central Park (aka East Drive).
2. Run to the loop (approximately .3 miles).
3. Run the main loop 4 times counterclockwise (approximately 6.1 miles each loop).
4. After the 4th loop, run the “lower loop” (approximately 1.7 miles). To do so, continue as if starting a 5th loop, and go to the 72nd St. Transverse. Take a left onto the Transverse.
5. Run across the 72nd St. Transverse until you intersect the loop again.  Take a left to get back onto the loop.
6. Run back to the service entrance.  Take a right onto it (as if running back to our start line).
7. You will have run 26.2 miles at some point running back to the start line.  I will say: run back to the start line.  You will run 26.2 or maybe even 26.4 or .5 … technically, an ultra!

NOTE: The finish line of the ING NYC Marathon is shut down, and therefore very congested with people and bikes.  We have to exit the roadway on the left before getting back onto the roadway.  This will add a slight amount of distance to your run, and the pathway is a bit rugged.  Careful.


1. You are running at your own risk, and by running in the NYC Replacement Marathon, you do not hold Ben Hauck liable for anything that happens while you run it.
2. If you are running with a stopwatch, you must keep it running even if you stop for water or a bathroom break.  This simulates your true marathon net time.
3. Please stick to running in the pedestrian lane of the roadway, and be respectful of cyclists who may be in the park.
4. We may make a few additional rules before the start, but that’s about it.


If you’re unfamiliar with the park, here is a map of water fountains and bathrooms in Central Park:


We are all running our own races.  If the idea of Central Park frightens you, or you really want an escort, let me know and I’ll jog a Courtesy Lap of Central Park with you and point out restrooms, water fountains, etc.  I will do this around an 8:30 pace unless you are faster.  My goal pace is somewhere between 7:07 and 7:40.  Please email me if you’d really like a Courtesy Lap with me.


When you’ve crossed our start line, you’ve finished the NYC Replacement Marathon.  Stop your watch and see how you did.

The water fountain nearby did not work last I checked.  The closest bathroom is in a building near Central Park Zoo ticketing, where there is also a water fountain.

I believe I’ll run somewhere between a 3:10 and 3:30 marathon, depending on whether I’m doing a courtesy lap.  I will stick around for a bit to see how NYC Replacement Marathoners are doing.  I hope I see you finish and finish strong!

I’ll send a wrap-up email probably later in the day Sunday.  Email me your time and any stories or experiences and I’ll pass them along in that email or later.


Here is an article on the Huffington Post website about marathoners like us.  I believe some of us have been interviewed for the article.

There may also be press just before our race.  A documentarian vlogger is busing overnight from Montreal to be there for the start and document some of the experience.


Cheers, Good Luck, and I hope to run with you tomorrow the NYC Replacement Marathon.  Stay tuned to your email in case I have a follow-up email before the race.  And spread the word.  You’re welcome to forward this email to others interested in running the NYC Replacement Marathon.

Ben Hauck

UPDATE 6:12pm Saturday – Angie Atkinson ( has agreed to sing the United States national anthem just prior to the NYC Replacement Marathon.

UPDATE: 7:36pm Saturday – I will have a limited number of spirit bracelets for those running the NYC Replacement Marathon!

UPDATE: 9:52pm Saturday – The article by Huffington Post reporter Katherine Bindley is out!  Click here to read the article about the NYC Replacement Marathon.

UPDATE: 10:51pm Saturday – Here is an image of the meeting place for the start of the NYC Replacement Marathon: An art installation called “Fir Tree” I believe, which looks like a large melted staircase:

UPDATE 11:08pm Saturday – Canadienne vlogger Aimée Davison is busing in from Montreal overnight after hearing about the NYC Replacement Marathon.  She hopes to document some of the experience at the start and finish of the race.  Here YouTube channel is


UPDATE: 10:18am Monday – I’ve posted a wrap-up of the event in a separate blog post, which you can access here.