On Sunday some of the world’s best runners will line up in a bid to take the prestigious New York City Marathon crown. We picked out three of the most epic NYC Marathon moments in the event's history.

1981 – Alberto Salazar breaks the world record. Almost.

Escorted by a camera car, the 1981 NYC Marathon winner Alberto Salazar was out on his own as he raced against the clock in a bid to break the world record.

“He’s gonna do it! He’s gonna get it!” screamed Gloria Averbuch as he approached the ribbon and clocked a world record time of 2:08:13.

Unfortunately for Salazar, the record was later adjudged to be invalid after the course was re-measured and deemed several metres short. The following year, Salazar returned to Manhattan to win his third consecutive NYC Marathon title.


1983 – Rod Dixon’s perfect timing

The year in which Salazar’s reign came to an end saw one of the greatest comebacks in NYC Marathon history. Britain’s Geoff Smith led right from the start, quickly getting away from 1972 1500m Olympic bronze medallist Rod Dixon of New Zealand.

However, with only a few kilometres left, Dixon’s race strategy came good. He powered through valiantly to claim glory in the final metres in a time of 2:08:59. But we’ll let him explain his tactics himself:

2005 – Paul Tergat and Hendrick Ramaala in photo finish

Don’t get us wrong, we love a good photo finish, but the 2005 NYC Marathon was almost too much for anyone to take.

Neither Kenya’s Paul Tergat or South Africa’s Hendrick Ramaala were willing to give up, running side-by-side right up to the line, forcing organisers to get the magnifying glass out.

In the end, Tergat’s time of 2:09:29.90 beat Ramaala’s 2:09:30.22 in one of the closest marathon finishes of all times.

And as a bonus – The amazing Grete Waitz (1978-1988)

The pioneering Grete Waitz won the NYC Marathon an unbelievable nine times between 1978 and 1988. In 1979, the Norwegian became the first woman ever to run any marathon in under two and a half hours when she set a world record of 2:27:33.

In 2011, Waitz died of cancer aged only 57, but she remains one of the greatest role models for runners around the world.