Blood pumped through the veins of New York City’s streets in the form of 30,000 runners on Sunday, each determined to achieve a mammoth personal goal set amidst more than a year of uncertainty.

And in Brooklyn, the community turned out to support each and every one of them.

“We are so happy to be here,” Ramona Dunlop said, as she stood race side cheering on the runners with her family.

“There’s nothing like the New York Marathon, it’s my favorite day in New York!”

NYC Marathon 2021. Photo: Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez for BK Reader.

A little up the block in Fort Greene, a DJ blasting tunes perfect to set a running rhythm to told the runners and spectators how much they’d been missed, “We’re back, that’s all that matters.”

The marathon is typically held annually on the first Sunday of November, but was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s run felt somewhat of celebration of being together again after such a devastating time, and of the hard work needed to recover together as a city.

NYC Marathon 2021. Photo: Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez for BK Reader.

It wasn’t just New Yorkers racing through the city’s streets though; the race attracts top professional athletes to runners of all ages and abilities from across the world. And it attracts equally dedicated spectators and support crews to match. Cheering squads, signs, balloons and an eclectic array of costumes lined the runners’ route through Central and North Brooklyn, which, once completed, is a little more than one-third of the way through the 26.2-mile course.

Williamsburg local Cris Gallo said for him, the best thing about this year’s marathon was seeing how everyone involved in the event — the runners, spectators and volunteers alike — had such a positive attitude and state of mind.

“The city felt different in a good way and more energized.”

NYC Marathon 2021. Photo: Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez for BK Reader.

First to the finish line, with a time of two hours and eight minutes, was Albert Korir of Kenya, making it his first major championship. First in the women’s race was Peres Jepchirchir, also of Kenya, who won gold in the women’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics just three months ago.

In the wheelchair races, Marcel Hug of Switzerland took his fourth men’s title, and first-time winner Australian Madison de Rozario took the women’s wheelchair title.

Check out our photos of the marathon along the route in Brooklyn below!

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