NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The New York City Marathon isn't just for athletic achievement.
Many runners rely on inspiration to get them through the race.
“Running makes you feel free as a bird,” said one runner.
“At the end, you cross the line and you’ve done it. You’ve achieved something very few people in the world actually get to do.”
At the 2016 NYC Marathon, runners came from around the world including Italy and Peru.
Many ask what this marathon represents for people around the world.
Plenty of celebrities laced up their shoes too, including former Giants running back Tiki Barber, who ran to benefit causes including autism awareness.
“There's a challenge in running and conquering your own demons- whether it’s the pain or the agony,” said Barber.
Barber continued on comparing the marathon to football, “It’s very different. In football, someone’s always there to pick me up or I can rely on someone else to get the job done. When you’re running, it’s solitary. It’s all mental. It’s inside your mind.”
For American Idol finalist Jax, Sunday's marathon was symbolic as she battles thyroid cancer.
She talked about how it represents strength and a turning point in life, “I feel like I can just get up and keep going,” she said.
Beyond all the accomplished runners, the marathon has made a significant impact on the community with 300 official charity partners and $200 million raised by charity runners in the past decade.