#1 I have a coworker who is running the marathon on Sunday. Where are some good locations to cheer the runners on?

#2 Is there a better map of the course out there? The official map is missing an amazing amount of information about the actual roads of the course?

The ING New York City Marathon is one of the world's great road races, attracting more than 90,000 applicants from all over the world. Prize money is more than $600,000 and there will be two million spectators live, as well as 315 million worldwide television viewers. And we do think it's great to get out there and celebrate months and years of these runners' hard work - all 37,000+ people running through the 5 boroughs.

We discussed viewing strategies on Monday, but let's refine them further: Start times for the race are staggered, with the Athletes with Disabilities starting first at 8:00am, then the Wheelchair Division (9:05am), professional women(9:35am), Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge (9:45am), and lastly, the Open Field including Professional Men at 10:10am. Here is a arrival chart, if you know your friends' estimated pace, you can chart their progress throughout the course.

Last year, Brian Timoney created a Google Maps mashup of the marathon route, which is especially helpful if you want more detail than what the ING site provides. Some readers mentioned along Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene and by the Pulaski Bridge in Greepoint, but others suggested heading up to the Bronx where runners hit the wall and may need the most encouragement. We have always watched the action from Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn, around mile 8, when everyone still looks happy and exhilarated. (The MTA website gives you several ideas of where you can go that also have easy subway access.)

If you're bringing a sign for the runner you're cheering, write a message for all other runners on the back. And be sure to bring some water, tea or lozenges to soothe your throat, because you'll go hoarse from the cheering.

For those of you preferring to see the action sitting down, the race will also be broadcast live on WNBC Channel 4 for five hours. Coverage will be from 9:00am to 2:00pm with a one hour highlights show from 2:00 to 3:00pm. NBC Sports will also broadcast a one hour highlights show beginning at 2:00pm EST. You can also get extensive coverage on the ING website, including their Athlete Alert program which sends updates of a runner's progress to up to five registered email addresses (Sign up November 2). They also offer Race Day Tracker, allowing anyone to check runners' latest splits.

AND - something important to know - Dunkin' Donuts will be giving away a free small iced coffee on race day from 10:10am to 2:10am at participating locations.

Photograph from last year's marathon by Tien Mao