4. The First NYC Marathon Was Won by a Bloomingdale’s Employee

The first marathon to take place in the NYC area happened in November 1907 and was won by a Bloomingdale’s employee named John J. Hayes, also known as “Johnny.” Hayes was then the assistant to the manager of the sporting goods department.

The 25 mile “marathon” took place in Yonkers, with Hayes training on the roof of the Bloomingdale’s store, on a cinder track made for him by the company. One year later, in London, Hayes, born to Irish immigrants, would go on to win the Olympic Gold Medal and set the world record. He was the first and only Olympic gold medalist to enter into the marathon until 1972, and was promoted to manager at Bloomingdale’s following his Olympic win.