For one day each year, the New York Times actually has to plan for an increase in demand for a copy of their newspaper.
That would be a day like Monday, the day after the New York City Marathon, when the newspaper continues a tradition it started 27 years ago, and prints a complete list of names and finish times for as many of the marathon finishers as they possibly can.
There were 30,000 people roughly that took part in this year’s race, so writers, designers and editors were busy on Sunday night.
Doing this results in an increase of retail sales by roughly 50%.
It’s a literal race to the finish line for scores of employees of the Times, as they work hard to crank out the results so runners who finished the 26.2 mile course can see their name in print.
The Times calls this the “Marathon Agate,” and it’s called “agate” because the names and times are printed in much smaller type, in order to get that many results on paper.
To show you how successful the Times is of documenting as many finishers as possible, In 1994, the first time they did this, 29,732 runners entered the race, and 28,348 of the runners’ had their names in the following day’s paper.
In 2018, the New York Times published over 35,000 runners’ names and times they finished the race in.
Keep in mind, the editorial and design crew that works on this special project at the paper has to have it all done by their 8 p.m. deadline so it can go to the printer.