The New York City Marathon doesn't compare to any of the dozen races I've run. It blows everything out of the water. This marathon is a production. There are so many people running and spectating. PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR SHIRT! The weather can be hit or miss but the event itself outweighs any cold weather, wind, or rain. I've heard people talk about the inclines but I would say there the bridges are a very gradual incline and if you train on some hills, you will be ok. This is a bucket list race that you seriously have to do. The expo is huge, the start village is huge, and the finish line is wonderful. A perfect event. I didn't get in via the lottery so I joined Team for Kids, the NYRR's charity, and I am so glad I did. Besides all the perks of a training plan and team you have heated tents on race day! (Our tent wasn't heated before the race due to winds but we still had a tent, food, warm tea and coffee, and a sheltered place to hang out, mix, and mingle. I would absolutely recommend doing Team for Kids if this is your first marathon.