I woke up this morning to news that the New York City Marathon was cancelled. Instantly, I heaved a huge sigh of relief.
Just the night before, there was much controversy over the decision of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Marathon Director Mary Wittenberg to proceed with the race despite the devastation in New York City brought upon by Superstorm Sandy. That decision was met with a huge public uproar. Some called Bloomberg and Wittenberg greedy and insensitive. Some said the marathon would be a symbol of resilience and would help raise millions of dollars for the victims. The issue caused heated debates all over the world—even between me and a friend! By this morning, Bloomberg reversed the move and cancelled the marathon. (You can read more about it HERE or HERE.)
– New York City Marathon 2010 –
The NYC Marathon is a race that’s close to my heart having run it both in 2010 and 2011. It is, for me, one of the best marathons ever because the entire city comes out to celebrate the marathon. It is the people of New York, all two million of them that come out to cheer, that make the marathon extra special. I have a few friends who flew into race it this year and I was thrilled for them. But, after Superstorm Sandy and witnessing its destruction upon New York, I questioned how the race could push through when there was so much suffering.
I felt that it was simply wrong to have people running a marathon through a city that was still grieving over the losses of the storm. I just couldn’t imagine starting the race at Staten Island where twenty people lost their lives to Sandy, or drinking water from the hydration stations when many don’t even have water yet, or running through the boroughs of New York with people cheering when many are still shedding tears over their losses.
I sympathize with the runners who saved their hard-earned money for a trip to NY, trained for months, and made other sacrifices all for the marathon only to find out so close to race day that it was cancelled. It sucks. It could’ve been handled better.
If I had signed up for this race, I too would’ve shed a tear or two for all my wasted efforts and cash. But, I’d probably quickly dry my eyes and remember that, in the greater scheme of things, I didn’t lose much compared to the victims of the storm. At the end of the day, it’s just 42.195km. There will always be another race—even another NYCM—to run.
If you’re one of the 47,000 runners registered for NYCM, click on race2recover for one way you can help.
If you’re looking for alternative races to NYC Marathon, Adam Howitt of WalkJogRun compiled a list of alternative marathons that are scheduled for the remainder of the year. check out WalkJogRun.Net