It's the largest marathon in the world in terms of the sheer volume of spectators and competitors, but it's essentially a hometown celebration: 26.2 miles of New Yorkers coming out to support their friends, family, and neighbors, and to express their love for the city itself. Photographer Clay Williams, a native New Yorker, has watched the New York marathon for years from every possible angle, and took to the streets in Brooklyn last weekend to capture the event in all of its powerful details.
Story and Photos By Clay Williams
If you told me ten years ago that I’d spend the first Sunday of every November standing outside watching people run through the streets, I’d have said you were crazy. Born and raised in New York City, the race didn’t mean anything to me until I met my wife, Tammi. In our first year dating, she dragged me out to watch the race a much colder day than we had last weekend. It could only have been love that got me out of the house.
Years later, just weeks before we were married, Tammi ran the marathon herself and I led a dozen friends and relatives along the route. We went from Brooklyn to Queens to Central Park to scream and wave and let her and all the other runners know that we were there for them and that they could do it.
Clay Williams is a Brooklyn-based photographer and blogger known online as
UltraClay. He has covered food and events for Bon Appetit, Edible Manhattan
and Midtown Lunch.