Skip to Content
Eternal City

Video: How to Cross the Street at the NYC Marathon

Three filmmakers capture moments of extreme grace and tragic hubris.

3:37 PM EST on November 15, 2022

Two women hold hands and cross the NYC Marathon laughing.

It’s now or never.

Every year, New Yorkers wishing to cross the route of the New York City Marathon on foot without hitting one of its 50,000 participants must summon a seldom-used combination of speed, rhythm, and strategy—Frogger meets double Dutch.

For the 2022 marathon, filmmakers Jeff Seal, Chris Libbey, and Nick Libbey ventured to Williamsburg to try and better understand this sweet science. They captured moments of extreme grace and scenes of tragic hubris. One guy crossed with 100 pounds of Trader Joe's groceries on his back.

This video is the third in a series of marathon-related shorts from the trio—you may recall 2017's iPhone masterpiece, and this 2018 classic set to "Chariots of Fire."

"Sometimes people wait a really long time before crossing and so you miss other people who have crossed in that same time frame," Seal told Hell Gate, describing some of the challenges of making this video. "And then sometimes people straight up give up and just walk back in the direction they came from."

Everything was shot in slow-motion, even the interviews. "This made for a mess in the edit but necessary to capture what we did," Nick Libbey added.

Oh and don't miss the crew's New York Times Op/Doc from earlier this year about Good Cause Eviction, and the absolutely essential two-part documentary, "Why Are You Honking?" and "SERIOUSLY: Why Are You Honking?"

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Give us your email address to keep reading two more articles for free

Subscribe to Hell Gate for just 69 cents!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Hell Gate

In Another Secret Court Hearing, Adams Administration Again Asks to Wriggle Out of Right-to-Shelter Duties

And after a closed-door court conference on Tuesday, the presiding judge mysteriously recused herself from the case.

September 26, 2023

NYC’s Biggest Nonprofit Newsrooms Face Massive Layoffs, Salary Cuts

Mismanagement, flagging ad revenue, and waffling megadonors leave journalists paying the price.

September 26, 2023

New York’s Finest: Automate This

The NYPD robots are stupid and creepy, but at least a robot can't steal its ex-wife's car keys.

September 26, 2023

Eric Adams, Freemason

Nothing like some fraternity on a Tuesday.

September 26, 2023

They Want to Clean Up Their Block. The NYPD Won’t Give Them a Permit.

“There’s been violence, and I’m not comfortable shutting down any street in that neighborhood for a block party,” a local cop told the neighborhood group.

September 25, 2023
See all posts