When TCS New York City Marathon Race Director Peter Ciaccia announced his retirement on May 30, 2018, it felt too soon. But after 18 years with the New York Road Runners, the last three as Race Director of the TCS New York City Marathon, Bronx-born Ciaccia called it enough. 

Maybe that’s how it should be done, better early than late. Only, it seemed like he was just hitting his stride after taking over the top job following Mary Wittenberg’s departure in 2015.

Following in the illustrious footsteps of another technical wizard turned race director, Allan Steinfeld, in his time with NYRR, Peter was instrumental in the technical growth of the NYC Marathon, initiating the wave start system that allowed the number of finishers to expand by 40 percent. He also tried to link the front of the pack with the back, inviting the elites to join him at the finish line hours after their finish to welcome the average Joes and Janes to the land of accomplishment. 

Peter congratulates 4X NYC Marathon champion Mary Keitany

“I am now at an age when the word retirement feels right,” he told RW magazine in 2018. “I’ll move to the next phase of my life, reconnect with family and friends and travel off to new adventures that I had put on hold.”

He’s done exactly that in the five years since leaving the largest running organization in America.

First, Peter moved out to Montauk on Long Island, a community he had a long association with. And this week he reached out to his many friends and former colleagues in the running industry to share a new journey he’s embarked upon. 

“I have been volunteering at the Montauk Food Pantry since I retired,” he told us. “It’s a great community filled with hard-working families, and like other towns in the USA, we have challenges. 

“The Food Pantry services many families in need and I want to continue our work, but costs are making it harder to do so. That is why I decided to run this year’s TCS NYC Marathon – my first since 2001 – to raise funds.”

Very much like the professional organizer he once was, Peter, the concerned citizen, started the “Need 2 Feed” fundraiser for the Montauk Food Pantry on Go Fund Me (link below). I encourage everyone to take a minute to read the story on their fundraising page. 

Here is the Go Fund Me link: https://gofund.me/8775e173

NEED 2 FEED, organized by Peter Ciaccia

Peter (3rd from the left) and friends

You are a good man, Peter Ciaccia. We knew it then. We know it now. Here’s hoping you have a great training lead up and then a successful journey on November 6th as you reach for your fundraising goal. Leaders may retire, but their leadership and dedication still remain.



  1. Well said Toni. Peter leaves an amazing legacy at NYRR. Will be great to greet him at the finish line of the marathon this year.

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