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Friday, November 2, 2012

NYC: Cancel or Don't Cancel?

I'm really torn on this. First of all, let me just have a moment of total and complete selfishness where I say that I'm glad that I ran the New York City Marathon last year.

New York was devastated during Hurricane Sandy, and the storm happened less than a week before the annual ING New York City Marathon. The NYC Marathon last year had over 46,000 finishers. That's a big race! It is, in fact, the largest marathon in the US. The race runs through all 5 boroughs of NYC, and has more spectators than I have ever seen at any other race. The people of New York come out for this and support the race, that's true.

That being said, the subway is still crippled. Parts of the city are without power. Emergency crews have been running around the clock to restore the city to normal. New York is not at its best right now.

Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the New York City marathon would go on as planned this Sunday. The New York City Road Runners are going ahead with it. Was this the right decision??

I have no idea.

The one thing that I think a few people fail to realize is that you cannot reschedule a 47,000 runner race. The logistics of doing so render it impossible - closing the city, rescheduling the support, getting new food and water and/or storing the water. Rescheduling a few weeks from now would bump against the Thanksgiving day parade. Rescheduling months from now would most likely begin to impact the 2013 marathon, which starts getting underway in April for registration. It's have the race this weekend, or don't have it at all. There are no other options, and none should be expected.

What if it was canceled? Well, I am sure most runners will find another race, if there are races that are still open. I would imagine other races that aren't already full would become so. Not that this is important. Would it hurt the morale of the city to have such an important event canceled? Would revenue in the city be lost - revenue that the city desperately needs right now? Is it better to have something to make people feel positive and happy about something?

What if it isn't canceled? To be honest, I cannot imagine the race without the subway running. It was critical to my race day plans. A lot of attention is being shown to emergency workers,who are already worn thin. Can they handle this event? Will the backlash from people upset about the marathon mean that it will not be as welcome in future years?

My initial thought was not to cancel, only because I feel like of course you should have it! Marathons are a great thing!! Marathons spread love and happiness, and that's what people need! You do things after a tragedy to bring yourself back up, that's how the world works. "We just can't do it" doesn't seem to be motto of the New York City that I know. But, it doesn't seem like NYC necessarily agrees with me. So, I don't know. I am curious to see how it goes, and I am curious to see how many finishers there are this year - I know that several people that I knew who were running it have dropped out.

What I do hate more than anything is that the comments that I see on Facebook revolve around selfishness. Oh, you're a runner, you're so selfish. I hate that word. Do people no realize how much money marathons raise for charities?  Geez.

Good luck, NYC runners, regardless!

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1 comment:

James said...

I was on the fence about it, until I read that some elderly New Yorkers without power were being forced out of hotels so runners could have a room. While it would suck for all the runners, NYC needs to think about the safety of their citizens first.

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