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‘Cheering Station’ at Court Square Aims to Energize Passing Runners During NYC Marathon

Volunteers from the 2016 cheering station interacting with NYC Marathon runners (Queens Center for Progress)

Nov. 2, 2017 by Nathaly Pesantez

COURT SQUARE — A “cheering station” will be set up in Court Square during the Nov. 5 TCS New York City Marathon to encourage runners passing through Queens, fresh off the race’s halfway mark.

The station will be set up at 44th Drive and 21st Street, where volunteers can sign up to cheer on the hoards of runners making their way through Long Island City before reaching the Queensboro Bridge. The runners enter the neighborhood after passing the 13.1 mile mark at the Pulaski Bridge and go through sections like Jackson Avenue, Vernon Boulevard, 44th Road, and Crescent Street.

The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon course map, zoomed in on Long Island City. (New York Road Runners)

Orange and blue pompoms, balloons, cowbells, whistles, rattles, and more will be on hand for volunteers to use, who can sign up to cheer in two shifts, one from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and another from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The station, in its third year, was devised by the Queens Centers for Progress and the Queens Tourism Council, part of the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

Rob MacKay, director of public relations for the QEDC, says the cheering station was partly organized in an effort to liven the brief time the runners spend in Queens in a moment of the race he calls a “perfect negative storm.”

“When you go into Queens you’re about exactly halfway, and runners say that that’s exactly when things go bad,” MacKay said. “The adrenaline and early energy have left, and you realize you have all this time to go.”

MacKay added that Queens doesn’t put out a crowd of spectators during the event like the other boroughs do, noting the lines of fans along the large stretch of 4th Avenue in Brooklyn and the hype of Manhattan’s Central Park. “We came up with the idea of having a cheer station to represent the borough,” MacKay said.

One runner, however, with seven New York City marathons to her name, said that sight on Vernon Boulevard after coming off the Pulaski is welcoming.

“The crowds when you first get over the Pulaski are wonderful, as are the spectators on Vernon” said Heather Laurel, a music theory professor based in New York City and member of the Woodside-Sunnyside Runners group.

NYC Marathon runners on Vernon Boulevard and 46th Avenue in 2015. Spectators often line up on the long stretch of Vernon Boulevard for the race. (Photo by Jack Zalium)

Last year’s cheer station saw about 75 volunteers throughout the course of the race, including MacKay. “I end up being more tired than the marathon runners at the end,” he said.

Interested volunteers can sign up with the Queens Center for Progress for the event.

The 2017 TCS New York City Marathon, a 26.2-mile race and “block party”, is expected to see over 50,000 runners and close to one million spectators across the city. A list of all street closures can be viewed here.

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stop it already

cheering stations, this is like when they started using the laugh track on tv.
Why be phony about it? if you want to cheer, just cheer.
You dont need a special section.

Freakin millenials and facebook moms need to overdo everything just so they can post online that they did something special.


Cheering stations because if us running the marathon know where one is before the marathon starts, we will be running with the anticipation of reaching it… And then the next and then the next.

Knowing that at mile X there will be one helps tremendously in keeping pushing to get there.


This is about people taking down the beast that is the NYC Marathon. Not about hipsters, politics, or your opinions. It’s incredible and everyone should cheer the runners on!


Of course these HIPSTERS need cheering stations. More proof that Jimmy Van LAMER is in the pocket of Big Cheering. When I used to run home through the mean streets of LIC after my 12-hour shifts at the bowling alley still wearing my bowling shoes, the only “cheering” I heard were people getting stabbed. That was the old LIC, before GREEDY real estate developers, like the one I voted for for president, ruined it.


This isn’t about hipsters, politics, or your opinions. It’s about joining together and cheering on the amazing men and women that are taking on the beast that’s is the NYC Marathon. Also, why were you wearing bowling shoes….?


MRLIC is a legitimate person with a legitimate voice. Some troll has been posting as MRLIC. If the LICpost can’t do something about these trolls then they are putting nails in their own coffin. It is sad to watch this nice local news source become infested with immature idiots. With the Gothamist and DNA Info closed, expect a troll infestation.


and for the record, I am not defending MRLIC, I am hoping that I can continue to come here for news and community.


I like your response. It’s a textbook example of how you can take something that’s really positive and twist it and turn it into something negative. I hope that’s a remunerative talent.


Sooo do you long for the days where you feared for your life. What exactly the f-ck are you complaining about ?


If you are going to be a troll and impersonate people with annoying comments, then at least make them funny. You are such an imbecile it is disturbing. Get a life fake MRLIC.


Oh, brooklynzzz. You are so witty and smart. In todays world, suicide bombers can kill innocents, psychos can mow down church goers and trolls can shut down comments sections. Good for you. Cowardly loser.

One of those things is not like the other

One of those things just doesn’t belong. Really? Comparing mass shootings and terrorism to a “troll” on a local comment board? I hope you hear whistles blowing in your sleep.

a fitting comparison

Wait, you seriously just compared a mass shooting to comments on a message board? Wow, we were already laughing at you as hard as we could, please show mercy.

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