NEW YORK — Fifty thousand runners participated in this year's New York City Marathon with at least 50,000 reasons why they're pounding the pavement through the five boroughs in this 26.2 mile test of endurance.
Jay Cameron and his cousin Courtney are running Sunday in memory of Cameron's dad who passed away four months ago of prostate cancer at age 59.
John Cameron loved this corner of 59th Street and First Avenue to watch the marathoners pass by.
"He was the ultimate New Yorker and the marathon is the ultimate New York experience." Eileen Cameron, John's widow, told PIX11 News.
"My cousin is running for Memorial Sloan Kettering and my brother is just runners Ng to honor our dad," Peter Cameron, the runner's brother, said.
Todd Ohlmeyer came all the way from Austin, Texas to run and raise money for Action for Healthy Kids.
"I do it because I enjoy it. I know she thinks it's crazy," Ohlmeyer said, gesturing to his wife, "but it makes me feel healthy."
"Three years ago, I ran as part of the DetermiNation team of the American Cancer Society and this year, my niece, 26-year-old Janie Lavin, finished her first marathon and raised thousands for the New York Road Runners Youth Programs," Ohlmeyer said.
Many of the runners say it's the roar of the crowds that propels them forward, so they are appreciative of the cheerleaders along the route.
"They work so hard, they need to feel the energy if the people," Emily Whitaker said as she shouted encouragement from the sidelines.
"This is great," Nkem Stanley Mbamelu, a volunteer handing out Gatorade said. "We are so happy."