Beth: For what it's worth, I've been wondering that very same thing about the Giants game... How is NYRR different from the NFL? But I digress...
Beth: Would you have been able to cancel your travel plans or get refunds if the announcement had been made sooner?
D: I also forgot to mention in my previous answer that I did originally think last Tuesday that they should have cancelled the marathon. So when they waited until Friday, that only made me more upset.
My flights and hotels were refundable. The only thing that would not have been refundable was the tickets my mom and I purchased for a Broadway show on Saturday (The Book of Mormon - by the way, it was awesome).
Beth: You’ve mentioned that thousands of runners showed up today to run anyway. What’s going on?
D: Today, there were an unbelievable amount of people running in Central Park. (My best guess is 20-25,000 people.) Many people were wearing their orange NYC marathon shirts, and many wearing their bibs also. I only ran about 10 miles, but I spoke with a number of people doing the full 26.2.
There were tons of spectators, some just cheering, many had thunder sticks or cowbells, and some had set up informal aid stations with water, Gatorade, and even gummy worms. Some people were representing the charities they had raised money for. (I noticed spectators cheering particularly loudly for Team Fox.) And many people were representing their country with shirts and flags.
To the south of the finish line, the grandstands were packed. It was completely unorganized with people running in both directions around the park, but an incredible and emotional show of solidarity of runners who came to run and just wanted to support each other.
Beth: What made you decide to run today?
D: I have always loved running in New York City. I was here with my running gear. My mom was here to support me, and she also had her running gear with her. I didn't realize there would be so many people in Central Park today. I came here to run today, because I just wanted to get out and run.
Originally we were going to run up the east side to the reservoir, but when we were surprised by all the runners in Central Park, our plans changed.
We ran towards the finish line and took some pictures when we got there. My mom stayed in the stands while I did a full loop around the park and about an hour later she took pictures as I ran past (not through - it was closed) the finish line.
We both cried a lot on multiple occasions. It was an intensely emotional experience, and I am proud to have been a part of what must have been the largest informal run ever.
Beth: People are also reporting that thousands of people are spending the day volunteering on Staten Island. Have you seen or heard of volunteering by other NYC runners?
D: I did hear about the people who were volunteering on Staten Island on the ING New York City Marathon Facebook page. But last night I heard on the news that people in general were not encouraged to volunteer, and the best way you could help was to donate money to the Red Cross. I had already done so, and was aware of the $2.6 million New York Road Runners had raised for the relief effort on Thursday night. So I decided to just spend my Sunday going for a run and enjoying my vacation. D, thanks for sharing your experience with us. I am truly sorry that things did not work out the way you - and so many other runners - planned, especially after months of training and all of the travel expense involved. But I am certain this is one run you will never forget.
You'll have to report back when you run in 2013!