The first New York City Marathon was held in 1970 when the entry fee was only $1.
The race was founded and organized by the New York Road Runners and consisted of more than four loops of Central Park, according to the New York Road Runners website.
At the time, only 55 people out of the 127 that signed up had completed the race.
It's a far cry from the droves of runners who now cross the finish line each year. The race is now regarded as the largest marathon in the world with more than 53,000 runners from 142 countries finishing the course in 2019. To date, more than 1.2 million people have finished the race, according to the NYRR.
"Marathoners come from all over the world to run the spectacular course through five boroughs and over five bridges, cheered on by more than 1 million spectators and viewed by a huge global broadcast audience," the city Road Runners website reads.
The course, which spans the five boroughs, is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which is a series of the six largest and most renowned marathons around the world.
However, entering into the race is no easy task. Normally, the organization accepts applications at the beginning of each year for a drawing in February.
However, the drawing is known to be selective. For the 2018 race, only 15,640 out of 105,184 applicants, less than 15 percent, were selected through this process, Runners World reported.
Runners can also sign up for a MyNYRR account and apply. If a runner makes the cut, non-NYRR members have to shell out $295, but members pay $255 and runners living outside of the U.S. will pay $358, according to Runners World.
However, runners can skip the drawing and register to run with NYRR Team for Kids, which offers a guaranteed entry. Runners who sign up through this program have to commit to fundraising a minimum of $2,620 prior to the race, according to the New York Road Runners. If runners register with a team of at least ten people, the commitment gets lowered to $2,500 per runner. TFK runners are responsible for a $100 TFK sign-up fee as well as registration fees for the race, according to the NYRR website.
Aside from that, runners can also take part in the race with over 400 of the organization's Official Charity Partners. These nonprofits will purchase guaranteed entries for runners who commit to fundraising for the charity. The runners are generally listed on the TCS New York City Marathon website with the charity’s logo and a link to their website, according to NYRR.
There are three levels of charity partners. Silver Level partners and Bronze Level partners can set their own fundraising minimum as long as it is at least $3,000 per runner.
Meanwhile, Community Level partners can set a fundraising minimum as long as it is at least $2,500 per runner.
The city Road Runners also offer training programs for new and experienced runners who wish to partake from one on one coaching sessions to training groups.