It’s Marathon Week here in New York City.

Barricades and bleachers are already set up at the finish line in Central Park, as the crisp autumn breeze blows gold and crimson leaves across them.

The race is an iconic event, both to the city of New York, as well as to the global community of runners.

Many marathon runners choose to add meaning to their miles by running in support of their favorite charity.

Among the estimated 50,000 runners participating in the New York City Marathon this year, you can cheer on:

  • recovering alcoholic who raised more than $3,000 in support of Back on My Feet, an organization that provides job support and motivation to those experiencing homelessness through running;
  • Retired professional tennis player, James Blake, running on behalf of his own foundation, which provides seed money for cancer research at The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center;
  • Grammy Award winning singer and NYC native, Alicia Keys, running her second marathon and first NYC Marathon on behalf of Keep a Child Alive, an organization that she founded to provide HIV and Aids healthcare and awareness in Africa and India;
  • Academy Award nominated actor and NYC resident, Ethan Hawke, running with his wife to raise money and awareness for the Doe Fund, which – if you are unfamiliar – is an ubiquitous charity here in NYC, designated with the identifier of “Ready, Willing & Able” and providing transitional work and other resources for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals; and
  • Retired New York Giants star running back, Tiki Barber, back for a second year in a row (he wasn’t pleased with his finishing time in 2014) and raising money for Pitcch In Foundation, dedicated to enriching the lives of inner city youth.

But you don’t have to be a celebrity to run for a charity.  In fact, running in support of a NYC Marathon Charity Partner is one of just a few guaranteed ways to get in to the marathon that fills up with qualifying runners and lottery winners.  For a complete list of participating charities, click here.

NYC Marathoners have a reputation for giving.  When the marathon was cancelled in 2012 following Hurricane Sandy, which devastated New York City, would-be marathoners ventured to Staten Island to provide aid to residents in need.

If you want to give back to the runners who are raising money and meaning with their miles, or even if you just want to show your support for those athletes taking on the challenge of this amazing feat, head outside on Sunday, November 1st and join the biggest block party in NYC — the New York City Marathon.

Connect360 wishes the best of luck to everyone racing on Sunday!

Are you running a marathon this year?  If so, are you raising money for a charity?  Which one?

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