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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

50th NYC Marathon gets a boost from public workers

Local 1455 members paint the 26.2-mile golden line that charts the course of the 50th TSC Marathon in New York City. Photo: NYC DOT.

DC 37 members helped prepare New York City for its biggest comeback event to date, the 50th NYC Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 7.

“We are honored to participate in making this 50th New York City Marathon one of the greatest events for our city. The marathon brings everyone together. I am very proud of my members who make this happen,” said Local 1455 President Mike DeMarco. Local 1455 members in the Department of Transportation spent nights before the footrace shutting down streets to paint the traditional blue and gold lines outlining the course that traverses major arteries and roadways in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan.

One of the oldest and most renowned marathons in the world, the annual NYC event was canceled in 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This year 30,000 excited racers — and thousands more cheering in the crowds — celebrated the return of the grand sports event that attracts runners and tourists from around the globe and millions of dollars in much-needed revenue.

Local 983 PEP Officers at the finish line in Central Park Nov. 7. Photo courtesy of Local 983.
DC 37 members in Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Employees Local 1931, who maintain city bridges and tunnels, painted the Staten Island starting line at the foot of the Verrazano Bridge. They shuttered the bridge to early vehicular traffic the day of the race.

As a COVID-19 measure, runners who tested negative were permitted to participate in the marathon. They raced staggered in groups to prevent crowding.

Although police estimate that there were less spectators than in previous years, people in every borough brought that special New York City energy to boost the international corps of competitors.

Throngs of runners pound the pavement at the 50th NYC Marathon. Photo by Mike Lee
The Parks Department assigned about 120 PEP Officers and Associate Parks Service Workers in Local 983 to the Central Park finish line. Parks workers in Local 1505 erected fencing and barricades and cleaned the grounds to make Central Park picture perfect as cameras broadcasted the marathon worldwide.

“The New York City marathon is iconic. This year’s race signals a reopening of our city since the COVID-19 pandemic. New York City is on track to recover and welcome vaccinated tourists here to enjoy the parks, museums and cultural gems New York offers,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo, who co-chairs the DC 37 Parks Committee.