- ESPN commentator John Anderson to headline announce team featuring nationally and locally recognized commentators, reporters, and analysts
- Bernard Lagat and Deena Kastor join broadcast team
- Race coverage will be available in over 500million homes around the world
Five-time Olympian Bernard Lagat and Olympic medalist and American record holder Deena Kastor will join fellow Olympian Carrie Tollefson as part of the broadcast team for the 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 7, which will be aired live on ABC7/WABC-TV in the New York City area and on ESPN2 nationwide. WABC-TV and ESPN have been home to the award-winning broadcast of the world’s largest marathon since 2013. The race will be available globally in more than 180 countries and territories and in over 500 million homes through various international broadcast partners.
The trio of Olympians will join a team of 15 commentators, led by ESPN’s John Anderson, who will serve as race-day host and play-by-play analyst for his eighth consecutive race. Both Lagat and Tollefson will join Anderson in the commentary booth. Kastor will join Lewis Johnson in covering the professional athlete races throughout the course from the women’s and men’s motos, respectively. Johnson will then join ABC7’s Sam Ryan in hosting the post-race award ceremonies for the champions.
Lagat competed at every summer Olympics on the track from 2000 to 2016, winning a silver and bronze medal in the 1,500 meters in 2004 and 2000, respectively. He ran the TCS New York City Marathon in 2018, finishing as the top men’s masters athlete. He will now make his broadcast debut at the event at the same time his sister, Viola Cheptoo, makes her marathon debut in the professional athlete field.
“In 2008, I got to watch the TCS New York City Marathon from a lead vehicle, and in 2018 I ran New York for my debut marathon,” Lagat said. “I’m excited that in 2021, I get to see the race unfold from yet another angle – in the broadcast booth. I hope my experiences as an athlete can add a different perspective to the race for those watching throughout New York City and across the country.”
Kastor is the American record holder in the marathon and a three-time Olympian who won a bronze medal at the Athens 2004 Games. She finished as the top American woman in her marathon debut at the 2001 New York City Marathon in an American debut record time, and had three top-10 finishes at the event in her career.
“Twenty years ago, I fell in love with the marathon distance when I debuted at the New York City Marathon,” Kastor said. “I feel privileged to commentate on this historic race by joining the ESPN2 broadcast with my fellow Olympians Bernard Lagat and Carrie Tollefson. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate 50 years of this race.”
The group will be joined by a talented array of reporters at the start, finish, along the course, and in the sky, including ABC7’s Eyewitness News reporters Ryan Field, Anthony Johnson, Kemberly Richardson, Michelle Charlesworth, Lee Goldberg, John Del Giorno, and Josh Einiger.
The international feed will be led by local sports radio personality Ed Cohen calling the play-by-play, and veteran track and field broadcaster, Paul Swangard.
The broadcast, produced in coordination with 45 Live and distributed by IMG, will air on ABC7/WABC-TV and ESPN2 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST. Pre and post-race coverage will air on WABC-TV from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. EST, and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST.
Long-time director of the broadcast Bruce Treut, who has directed every New York City Marathon broadcast since 1989, is handing the reins to Brigette Boginis. Boginis, the first women at the helm of the show, will pick up Treut’s duties directing 35 live cameras.
The 50th running of the race will also stream live on abc7ny.com, and the ABC7New York app in the tristate viewing area and the ESPN App nationally from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST. Pre-race and continuing coverage will also be streamed live nationally on ESPN3 (accessible on the ESPN App and ESPN.com) from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
A two-hour encore presentation of the race broadcast will air on ABC affiliates around the country from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST and on ESPN2 from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EST.
International broadcast partners secured by IMG for the race include: ESPN Brasil (Brazil), SMG Sports (China), Eurosport (Pan Europe, Pan Asia, India), L’Equipe (France), RAI (Italy), TV Asahi (Japan), Sky Mexico (Mexico), NOS (Netherlands), New Zealand (Sky), SuperSport (South Africa), ESPN International (South America), and TVE & Esports3 (Spain).
This year’s broadcast features an engaging story on U.S. Olympic marathon medalist Molly Seidel; a look back at the first New York City Marathon in 1970 through the spoken word of its first champion, Gary Muhrcke; and an insightful piece on New York City during the pandemic from the perspective of Ana Johnson, an Oncology Nurse at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center racing in the professional women’s field.
In the New York tristate area, ABC7/WABC-TV will air marathon coverage all weekend. In addition to the Sunday race broadcast, coverage of the following will be available on ABC7 and abc7ny.com as well as available to stream on the ABC7New York App and ESPN App nationally for viewers outside of the New York tristate area:
Friday, November 5
TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony, 5:30 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. EST
Eyewitness News sports anchor Ryan Field will kick off the celebration for New York City’s most popular annual sporting event, reporting from the kickoff to the 50th Running in Central Park.
Saturday, November 6
Countdown to the Starting Line, 11:35 p.m. – 12:05 a.m. EST
Eyewitness News anchors David Novarro and Liz Cho take an inside look at the top names and most interesting stories behind the biggest marathon in the world from the TCS New York City Marathon Expo presented by New Balance.
Sunday, November 7
Eyewitness News Marathon Sunday, 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. EST
Sports anchors Ryan Field and Sam Ryan will host coverage from Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island. Meteorologist Lee Goldberg will report from the start, while Kemberly Richardson (4th Ave. Brooklyn), Michelle Charlesworth (1st Ave. Manhattan), Josh Einiger (Staten Island Ferry and Finish Line), and Anthony Johnson (Finish Line and the Bronx) will report from throughout the city. John Del Giorno will cover the race from above in NewsCopter7.
Find Your Finisher, 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST
Friends and family can follow their runners on the TCS New York City Marathon app and then watch their runner cross the Central Park finish line in real time via abc7ny.com.
Highlight Show, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST and 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EST on ESPN2
Viewers across the country can tune-in to WABC-TV’s nationally syndicated highlight show playing on local ABC networks across the country. The two-hour special recaps the four professional races and highlights the top moments of the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon.
Final Finishers, 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EST
Though the biggest prize may go to the runner who finishes first, the most rewarding moment often goes to the runners who finish after the official race is over, known endearingly as the “Final Finishers.” Starting at 8:00 p.m. ET viewers can watch these inspiring runners be greeted by hundreds of well-wishers on Facebook Live.
About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.