This is the big one—an athletic event that often proves to be as much a life-changing experience as a physical challenge. Like all marathons, the NYC race covers 26.2 miles from start to finish—but no other city offers competitors the sights, sounds and sheer excitement of the New York City Marathon, which starts in Staten Island and wends its way through all five boroughs on its way to the finish line in Central Park (adjacent to Tavern on the Green). Close to 50,000 people will run; millions will watch. The application period for the 2017 race is January 17 through February 17. For more information, visit tcsnycmarathon.org.