After the devastation that Hurricane Sandy left along the East Coast, it was uncertain up until the end of last week what would be in store for this year’s ING NYC Marathon. Even in 2001, just two months after the September 11th attacks, the race went on as scheduled. Opinions were divided on the fate of the race. This prominent annual event that has taken place since 1970, has become the center of controversy and much discussion. The New York Road Runners Club were pushing to hold the marathon as scheduled while the City of New York and Mayor Bloomberg were insisting that the race be canceled.
Questions and Concerns for both sides to consider:
Would NYC soldier on and hold the marathon as scheduled?
Would it be a moral booster for residents on NYC, NJ, and For the entire country?
Would resources be better spent for Hurricane relief? Generators, law enforcement, supplies, funds, volunteers?
Are the race conditions safe?
Succumbing to public and possible political pressure, Mayor Bloomberg finally put his foot down and officially canceled the marathon late Friday. This is the first time in the event’s history that the race had been canceled. 47,000 runners were saddened and of course disappointed by the news.
The cancellation, many say, came too little too late. Many of those runners were already in NYC or well on their way traveling there. A large amount of runners were coming from countries outside the United States. Preparation for this annual event began as soon as last year’s race was over. Preparations from vendors, preparations from the city of New York, and preparations dedication by the thousands of runners.
Many runners vowed to spend the day volunteering in NYC for Hurricane relief instead of racing. Others will participate in make shift races around Central Park in hopes of collecting supplies for Hurricane victims.
It seems as though the 47,000 will be spending Sunday doing anything other that what they anticipated doing on this day.
What are your thoughts and reactions to this event?
Should it have been canceled?
Should it have gone on as scheduled?