NYC Marathon: The Beautiful Struggle

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A helluva morning in the bronx


There are few events like the New York City Marathon. Snaking its way through the 5 boroughs, the course is regarded as one of the toughest major marathons.

The race starts in Staten Island, which for most New Yorkers means catching a ferry to the start line a number of hours before the hooter blows. November can throw up some crazy weather; in a bad year, runners can be standing in the start corrals in single digit temperatures, ducking down to shield themselves from freezing wind gusts.

If the unpredictable weather wasn’t enough, there are 50,000 other runners to avoid, and gruelling climbs like the Queensboro Bridge, which comes at mile 15.

The only aspect of the New York City Marathon that seems on the side of the runners is the crowd. Up to 2 million spectators line the course, willing complete strangers along the streets and creating one of the best atmospheres of any marathon in the world.

With that in mind, Tempo had renowned visual storyteller David Bracetty on course at mile 20 to capture the pain, the struggle, and the joy of the NYC Marathon.

Bracetty has produced an amazing body of work in 2017, including the acclaimed documentary ‘Gabe’, telling the story of US 800m runner and cancer survivor Gabriele Grunewald.

“The NYC Marathon stuff I shot was inspired by the imperfection that you get with video. There’s a big trend in video of quick cuts and blurs, and this idea that you only ever get these glimpses of a moment, you don’t get the perfect shot.

So that’s why a lot of the photos reflect that. That’s why a lot of those people’s heads are chopped in the images. Not because I don’t want to show their identity, but because sometimes you only get a little bit of the information and you have to make the rest of the story up in your head”.

With that in mind, enjoy this collection of images from NYC.


Check out more of David's work via his Instagram page or his website.

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