Ryan Briscoe: The Fastest Man in the 2019 New York City Marathon
Thursday, October 31, 2019

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Any marathon enthusiast would immediately disagree with the statement that Ryan Briscoe is the fastest man competing in Sunday’s New York City Marathon.

And they’d be absolutely correct. There’s no way Briscoe is crossing the finish line in Central Park ahead of everybody else this Sunday.

But how many of Briscoe’s fellow competitors on Sunday have won a Rolex 24 At Daytona, qualified on pole at the Indianapolis 500 or driven down the Mulsanne Straight at over 200 mph in the dark of night during the 24 Hours of Le Mans? None that we’re aware of.

Hence, Ryan Briscoe is the Fastest Man in the 2019 New York City Marathon.

This will be Briscoe’s second marathon overall – and first NYC Marathon. But really, it’s the first one he entered with the intention of running all 26.2 miles.

“I did a marathon earlier this year, in February, so that was my first,” Briscoe explained. “I wouldn’t say I really prepared that well for it, though. I actually went to the marathon with the half in mind and then when I showed up, I was like, ‘Ah, screw it. I’ll do the full and did the full.’ But it gave me the bug.”

Once he was bitten by the marathon bug, his wife, ESPN SportsCenter anchor, Nicole Briscoe, helped him take it to the next level.

“Nicole had a contact at the New York Road Runners, so we sort of submitted my interest and it took off from there to do the New York Marathon,” said Ryan. “So, off we went. I started a training program that they provided a coach (Roberto Mandje) for, so it’s been really full-on since June training for it.”

Briscoe’s training overlapped with the second half of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. During that period, he and his No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT co-driver, Richard Westbrook, won back-to-back races at Lime Rock Park and Road America in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

They closed out the season with a runner-up result at Motul Petit Le Mans, which also helped them earn the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup. Pretty fitting for a guy who’s going to test his endurance in a whole new way this Sunday.

“It definitely takes some planning,” says Briscoe of preparing for the marathon. “It feels like a lot more prep on a personal note than what it requires for a [sports car] race. It’s definitely going to be three-plus hours of pure physical exhaustion.

“Whereas in a [car] race, there is a physical aspect to it, but you’re thinking more about car setup and taking care of your tires and that sort of stuff. It’s definitely different. This is definitely more just all-out, taking care of your body and having your body ready with something in the tank for the end of the race.”

One other thing he’ll have to manage on Sunday is traffic.

“That’s a good point, actually,” he said. “I mean, they do try to start the runners all in, sort of, their order of pace, so the faster runners start at the front and you put in a predictor of how fast you think you’ll run the race. So, they try to make it so that there isn’t too much overtaking and stuff.

“Well, it’s impossible with that many runners. In my case, because I’ve been put in sort of a VIP group of the New York Road Runners, they’re actually starting me right at the start of the race, like right after the elites go (Briscoe estimates he’ll start at around 9:40 or 9:50 a.m. ET on Sunday). So, maybe my GTLM experience will help me out here when I’m used to checking my mirrors for the DPi cars. I’ll definitely have some faster runners going by.”

So, will this be a one-and-done experience for Briscoe?

“I’m not sure,” he said. “I mean, I’ve definitely enjoyed the training for it. I can see this not being my last marathon, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll finish it and say, ‘I am never doing that again. I hated it.’ Hopefully not, but I’ve enjoyed it to this point, so we’ll see.”

As part of the New York Road Runners group, Briscoe will be running in support of the Team for Kids charity.

“It’s a program that the New York Road Runners have had for many years,” he said. “It helps mostly local New York kids get out and run, maybe in environments where it’s difficult for them to do these sorts of activities. They put a lot of money into that. It is a nationwide program, but it’s mostly based for the New York area. I’ll be running in support of that.”

You can track Briscoe’s progress throughout Sunday’s race by downloading the TCS New York City Marathon App and entering his name or bib number (10211) in the search function. ESPN2 will have national television coverage, with local television coverage also airing in New York on ABC Channel 7.