By Cindy Hsu

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Marathon is returning this weekend, after being canceled last year due to COVID-19.

As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported Thursday, in addition to being a famous sports event, it will also be a celebration of the city’s recovery.

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Hsu ran into Brian Nacht at the marathon finish line. He ran it in 1997 and said having it back means so much.

“It’s great. It’s New York coming back to life. Even though spring is when we feel the revival of the New Year coming back, now it’s the fall and it’s still beautiful,” Nacht said.

Sally Greene of the Upper East Side said the event is a huge step among many showing how resilient New Yorkers are.

“It’s just exciting. The tourists are back. The people are back. The kids are back in school. The restaurants are busy. The museums are doing away with the timed ticketing. So all of those things are good steps,” Greene said.

Hsu got a chance to interview the top runners in the world, who said the crowds are a huge part of why this marathon is legendary.

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“You know the crowd support on First Avenue I hear is just absolutely phenomenal. You have to actually prepare for it and then consciously try slowing down or else you’re going to be running too fast,” Ben True said.

“It’s the crowds. It’s the energy that you get. It’s the going through the five borough. It’s the history of the race,” Olympic medalist Molly Seidel added.

Sunday’s race will mark the 50th running of the marathon. The first one was back in 1970 with just 127 runners. This year, organizers are expecting around 30,000 participants.

Ted Metellus is heading things up. He’s the first Black race director of a world marathon major event. He grew up in the Bronx and has run 32 half marathons and two New York City Marathons, so he knows what it takes.

Sunday is forecast to have perfect running weather, so it will be a great day to get outside and cheer on the athletes.

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As far as COVID precautions are concerned, runners must provide proof of at least one dose of the vaccine or a negative test within 48 hours of the race.

Cindy Hsu