Filmaker Spike Lee to Serve as Grand Marshal of the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon

Brooklyn-Raised Filmmaker and quintessential New York Sports Fan will lead the field at the 45th running of the world’s largest marathon

New York, October 5, 2015—Spike Lee, the New York University tenured film professor, writer-director, actor, producer, author, and iconic New York City figure, will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 1, it was jointly announced by Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, and Peter Ciaccia,president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon.

“I’m honored to represent New York City, the greatest city on Earth, at one of the world’s most recognizable sporting events,” said Lee, who grew up in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. “When my kids were younger, on race day, we would walk outside of my 40 Acres and a Mule office right into the marathon crowd. There’s such a New York sense of community around the race. It’s New York City’s biggest block party.”

As the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon Grand Marshal, Lee will participate in race-week festivities including the TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines, contribute to the live race broadcast on WABC-TV, Channel 7 and ESPN2, and ride with Ciaccia, the Race Director, in the Grand Marshal vehicle through the 26.2-mile marathon route on Race Day, Sunday, November 1.

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“Spike Lee’s love for New York City, whether in the Sporting Arena or in the Community, is unparalleled,” said Ciaccia. “As Grand Marshal, Spike will lead runners from over 125 countries and all 50 states on a one-of-a-kind tour through the neighborhoods of the five boroughs, from Staten Island to Fort Greene Brooklyn, through Queens, up Manhattan’s First Avenue to the Boogie-Down Bronx and into Harlem before finishing in Central Park.”

“When we looked at having a Grand Marshal for this year’s TCS New York City Marathon, we envisioned someone the world would immediately recognize as a sports enthusiast and quintessential New Yorker, and Spike was the perfect fit,” said Capiraso. “We’re honored to have Spike representing our runners, volunteers, spectators, partners, city agencies, and staff at this year’s TCS New York City Marathon.”

As one of New York City’s most iconic personalities, Lee, the recent recipient of an Honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is a globally recognized figure, renowned for his film career and passionate support of all things New York, particular the city’s sports scene.

Lee becomes the first New Yorker and the third Grand Marshal in the race’s 45-year history.

The marathon’s first Grand Marshal was in 1979, when Czech running legend Emil Zatopek was given the honor. Zatopek still stands today as one of the greatest distance runners of all time, having won three gold medals at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, and marathon.

In 2003, Grete Waitz of Norway became the marathon’s second Grand Marshal. One of the most celebrated marathoners ever, Waitz, a New York Road Runners Hall of Famer, won a record nine New York City Marathon titles.

The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon broadcast is produced in partnership with IMG Productions and will be televised live onSunday, November 1, on WABC-TV, Channel 7 in the New York Tri-State area from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET and for the rest of the nation on ESPN2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET.  A highlight show will air from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET on WABC-TV, Channel 7 and local ABC affiliates throughout the nation. Additionally, the race will be available live in Spanish via ESPN Deportes+ and internationally via a variety of global broadcast partners.

Pre-race coverage will be carried live in the New York Tri-State area on WABC-TV, Channel 7 from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, November 1.  Additional race-weekend programming on WABC-TV, Channel 7 includes live coverage of the TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines on Friday, October 30, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the Countdown to the Starting Line on Saturday, October 31, from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. ET.  Pre-race and race coverage on Sunday, November 1 is available to stream live on WATCH ABC and ESPN3 (accessible on WatchESPN platforms). Click here for all the broadcast details, including online and via mobile devices.

For the latest TCS New York City Marathon news and media information and to apply for a TCS New York City Marathon credential to cover race-week and race-day, please visit the NYRR online media center.  Also, follow us on Twitter @nyrrnews.  To join the social media conversation, search #TCSNYCMarathon.

About the TCS New York City Marathon

The TCS New York City Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the largest marathon in the world. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features the world’s top professional athletes and a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. The race began in 1970 with just 127 entrants running four laps around Central Park, and expanded citywide in 1976. In 2014, a record 50,530 runners from 130 countries toured New York City’s five boroughs, including the one-millionth finisher in the history of the event, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and running through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, before ending in Manhattan at the iconic Central Park finish line. More than one million spectators line the city streets to cheer on the runners, while millions more watch the live television broadcast in the United States and around the world. The race is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a series featuring the world’s top marathons—Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York—and crowning the top professional male and female marathoners in the world.  Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, is the premier partner of NYRR and the title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon. To learn more, visit the TCS New York City Marathon website at

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