First Finishers from Inaugural 1970 Race to Be Honored at 50th Running of the TCS New York City Marathon 2021
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First Finishers from Inaugural 1970 Race to Be Honored at 50th Running of the TCS New York City Marathon 2021

By GRR 0

Larry Trachtenberg to return to run the 50th marathon

New York, November 1, 2021 To mark the 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon,  several of the First Finishers from the inaugural 1970 race will be honored at the TCS New York  City Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines on Friday, November 5, and at  the Marathon finish line on Sunday, November 7.

The first New York City Marathon, organized by New York Road Runners, took place on  September 13, 1970, in Central Park, with an entry fee of $1 and a budget of $1,000. Of the 127  registered runners, there were 55 finishers. The race ultimately expanded to all five boroughs in  1976. To date, the event has seen more than 1.2 million finishers.

The TCS New York City Marathon has influenced and inspired so many people around the world  for more than five decades, and to think it all started with 127 runners in Central Park is  incredible,” said Ted Metellus, Vice President of Events for NYRR and Race Director of the TCS  New York City Marathon. “We are honored to bring back some of the First Finishers from the  1970 race to have them with us on marathon day this year, and to honor them for being the first  to take part in what has grown to become the world’s premier marathon.”

Former FDNY firefighter Gary Muhrcke was the first New York City Marathon champion, coming  off the night shift at work to win the race. He still runs weekly in Central Park to this day, and his  wife makes the laurels that the champions wear after their victories.

Larry Trachtenberg will be the sole runner from 1970 who will run in the 50th marathon. He was  born and raised in Queens, and ran at Long Island City High School and regularly in Van  Cortlandt Park, where he trained for the first marathon.

Joining Muhrcke and Trachtenberg in New York will be a number of other First Finishers from  1970, including:

Arturo Montero He came to the U.S. from Chile in 1960. He has run more than 100  marathons, 31 of them New York City Marathons (2016 being the last one). The 1970  race was his first marathon.

Bill Newkirk Born in the Bronx, he regularly ran around Central Park and met Fred  Lebow during his runs. He has now participated in more than 20 marathons, including
more than 10 New York City Marathons. He also helped NYRR by measuring courses  with his friend, Ted Corbitt.
Ed Ayres After growing up in New Jersey, he ran the 1970 race with his brother, Glenboth of them finished in the top 10. He went on to start Running Times magazine.

Gerald Miller The oldest living First Finisher at 92 years old is originally from Queens  and moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan after he got married. He heard about  the first marathon at the YMCA. He has run more than 20 New York City Marathons and  got his whole family into running.

Jim Isenberg He grew up in Boston and has run in more than 100 marathons, including  the New York City Marathon four times. He ran for Princeton University and is friends  with Larry Trachtenberg, who told him about the first marathon. He was a professor of  physics and mathematics at the University of Oregon.

Joe Martino He took his first trip to New York as a teenager with Rick Sherlund,  sleeping on a mattress the evening before the marathon at the local YMCA. He also ran  the marathon in 1978 and became friends with twotime winner Tom Fleming.

Moses Mayfield He was the fastest African American marathoner in history at the  time with a time of 2:24:29; he led the 1970 marathon for 24 miles of the race before  being passed by Muhrcke.

Ralph Garfield Originally, from England, he came to the U.S. in 1961 and would  regularly run in Central Park on the Reservoir. He has run 14 marathons (eight New York  City Marathons) and still jogs/walks to this day.

Rick Sherlund At 16 years old, one of the youngest runners of the first marathon, he  traveled to NYC with his friend, Joe Martino, to participate in the marathon. He ran the  first 20 miles and then had a cream soda before cramping and having to walk the last six  miles.

Steve Grotsky Originally from the Bronx, he was a fixture in the New York running  scene; he went on to run for Princeton University and completed 50 marathons.

Tom Hollander He ran the marathon after graduating from high school in Connecticut, and ran again in 1977. In 1972, he won the Cherry Tree Marathon.

Vince Chiappetta Along with Fred Lebow, he codirected the first New York City  Marathon and is a cofounder of NYRR. He has run in more than 100 marathons.

Nina Kuscsik She changed the sport of running by breaking through the “Boys’ Club”  barrier and changing the rules so they included women. She opened doors for future  generations. While she did not finish the race, she is the only woman among the 127  entrants who ran in the 1970 New York City Marathon.

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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, knowhow, 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

NYRR Media Relations Stuart Lieberman (o): 212.548.7332 (c): 646.770.6987 (e):

author: GRR