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New York City Marathon, Sandy and One Bloggers Thoughts

Posted Oct 31 2012 4:16pm

Courtesy of WashingtonPost.com, Sandy swamps New York area: Parts of Lower Manhattan are inundated by seawater; power outages are reported throughout the region.

What a week it has been so far.  With Sandy causing major havoc here in the Northeast, my thoughts have quickly gone from marathon tapering to those who have lost so much during the storm. My family and friends who are all scattered along the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area seemed to have made it out without major damage.  My wife and I were in Connecticut during the storm and woke the next day to massive trees down, no AT&T service or power.  Thankfully we are in a house that has a generator so we have the essentials to stay comfortable. Right now I am shoehorned in a Darien, CT Starbucks along side day traders with iMac’s set up with their Bloomberg accounts buzzing.  Finally, I am able to check email, Tweet and put together this short post.

I spent most of the morning helping to clean the yard and realized that bending at your hips and collecting hundreds of branches was a great marathon taper exercise.  After hours of this I felt like my hips had spent the morning in a yoga class, chalk one positive up for Sandy in that I found a workout that also was productive.

This am in the sports section of The New York Times there was an article about the New York City marathon and if it will go on.  Mayor Bloomberg says the race will go on. I know my opinion means absolutely squat in the grand scheme of things but I felt strongly enough to write some of my thoughts about the whole thing.

New York City has always been a resilient city where in times of trouble, chaos and tragedy the residents lean on each other and band together to rise up.  I have no doubts that after Sandy the same thing will happen and the city will return to its normal aggressive pace.   Outsiders might think New Yorkers are rude and obnoxious but this perception is just that, an incorrect perception.  New Yorkers are passionate, neighborly and will band together in one positive force when action is needed.  For this reason I am in support of the New York City marathon taking place next weekend and showing the world once again why New York is the best city in the world.

Now, on the other hand, I am conflicted as I know the thousands of volunteers and police presence needed for the race could be used not only in the five boroughs but also in New Jersey and elsewhere to assist with clean up.  First responders main objective is to not only get New York City back to greatness but also the surrounding areas which were hit so hard.  This will take longer than a week, it will take months.  Part of me would rather chalk up my $200 race fee- which pays for the the event, support, food and water- as a donation to those that need the man power, food and water.

The NYRR has become big business.  They secured TV revenue from selling the broadcasting rights to ESPN, which start this year.  There are numerous sponsors who paid big money to have their name associated with the event.  I just wish that a more politically correct response could come from NYRR about the race, those in need and what they might be doing for the local community in the shadow of Sandy. I know Fred Lebow, the founder of the New York City marathon, would want more of a focus on the local community, the community that he worked so hard to weave together to make the marathon even possible through the five boroughs.  I probably am jumping the gun a bit on my criticism of the NYRR, but that is how I feel.

That is enough.  I am rambling now.  No need to express my thoughts any further on this.  I am ready to run on Sunday but if offered I would happily give up my spot and entrance fee for a charity that supports the local community.

What are your thoughts, should New York postpone/cancel the marathon? Were you affected by Sandy?

- Scott

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