The NYC Marathon Is Harder To Get Into Than an Ivy League. Now, You Can Run It Virtually With Peloton

Photo: Peloton/New York Road Runners
Come marathon season, your social media feeds might be filled with friends and acquaintances traversing the boroughs of NYC in the TCS New York City Marathon. Now, even if you can’t run over the Verrazano Bridge or get cheered on by the crowds in person, you can get a taste of the experience on your Peloton Tread.

Wednesday, April 24, Peloton and the New York Road Runners launched exclusive scenic content from the 2023 race onto the Tread and Tread+. Users will have the option to do a two and a half hour scenic run that takes you through course highlights, or five different 30-minute runs featuring different segments of the route narrated by different instructors.

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The experience isn’t limited to your audio and visual senses, either. The incline of the Tread will automatically adjust based on where you are in the real life course.

“You can work on different paces and use the course for all sorts of different running training while also experiencing a piece of one of the most iconic races in the world,” says Peloton trainer Selena Samuela. (And yes, running on a treadmill is an effective way to train for a race.)

Samuela narrates the audio run for miles 10 to 16, which takes runners through parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Samuela herself ran the NYC marathon last year and is excited that the Tread experience could help get people “psyched to sign up for their first race and embark on their running journey.”

Incorporating visuals from races into stationary experiences like treadmills and bikes took off during the pandemic when people were no longer able to compete in person. And while Samuela acknowledges that running the NYC marathon virtually is “only second best to actually running it [in person,]” the program provides some incredible access to a race only a small amount of people get to actually experience.

Only five percent of the people who apply to run in the NYC marathon through the lottery actually get a spot, which, as the Wall Street Journal points out, is a lower admission rate than an Ivy League university. Others may have an easier time competing in the race by joining a charity team, but that requires raising significant funds—which is not a bad thing, but can be a significant barrier to entry.

“It’s one step closer to actually running outdoors,” Samuela says. “It’s a true work of genius and art [and] a great way to share the magic of this incredible race.”

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