Mary Wittenberg’s To Do Friday: Run With Champions

Runners make their way through Queens. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Runners make their way through Queens. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Visitors to Central Park this morning might catch a glimpse of more than 1,000 New York City kids, some of the 200,000 students NYRR educates year-round across the five boroughs, as they race and participate in clinics with professional runners and wheelchair athletes at our Run with Champions event.

Tonight is the Marathon Opening Ceremony in Central Park. This is one of my favorite events. It’s so special to come together with runners and their families and friends to celebrate the diversity and international makeup of the race. There’s the annual Parade of Nations with delegates from more than 75 countries, fireworks and appearances by pro athletes.

Central Park, entrance at Central Park West and 67th Street, 4 p.m., free, first-come, first-served grandstand seating available

The Marathon Lounge presented by Tata Consultancy Services at the Time Warner Center opens today. On Race Day, the space will have on-screen viewing of the TV broadcast and great views of the runners making their way up Central Park South to the finish line, but until then there will be an interactive marathon course running experience, photo booth and other activities.

Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, second floor, 212-823-6300; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; free