UPDATE: The New York City Marathon has been cancelled for Sunday.
We have all seen the pictures of the destruction from Hurricane Sandy. Many homes have water damage or are gone. Many people still does not have power and that means people are standing in massive lines for simple things like gas or food. And on Sunday one of the biggest marathons takes place in New York City and it needs to be cancelled or postponed. Have you seen this front cover from the New York Post. Massive generators that could be used to power gas stations or stores are going to be used to power the starting line and stations in Central Park. That is just wrong!
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday said that the race should go on, that small businesses depend on the marathon. He went further down this slippery slope: “It’s a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you’ve got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind,” Bloomberg said. What an insensitive and idiotic statement that is! People are going hungry and are suffering in the cold weather. Some people have lost everything and are feeling hopeless. And yes some people are dealing with the loss of their loved ones. The marathon takes many resources to make sure the entire route is safe for the runners. That means many city workers and cops are going to have to be along the course instead of helping the suffering people.
The marathon is going to begin in Staten Island. The island has seen 19 people die. And many parts of the island are without power, food, and gas. Their residents are starving and are trying to stay warm. And the island is going to see over 40,000 extra people on Sunday wanting to run the race. Here is a great conversation from Mike and Mike in the Morning talking about the marathon.
I can get why Mayor Michael Bloomberg is wanting the race to be run on Sunday. Sports can bring people together after a national disaster. After 9/11 people rallied over sports! And sports can bring a sense of normalcy to people. But New York City is facing a huge cleanup cost! People’s bodies are still being discovered in the northeast. Millions of people in New York and the tri-state region are without power, heat, or in many cases, fresh food. The city’s subways, buses, and roadways are in a state of schizoid paralysis. With the estimated bill for the clean-up and recovery from the devastation soaring toward $50 billion. Who knows how many years and how many cost overruns, delays and disruptions it will take to clean everything up. And finally; with a city of eight million people still grappling with the emotional, psychological and financial body blows it’s endured over the past several days, Mike Bloomberg still thinks the marathon should go on.
The marathon has been renamed to The Race to Recover: The ING New York City Marathon. Many hotels are kicking out evacuees so runners can have a place to stay. Transportation is gridlocked in the city. Many businesses have no power and can not be open. And resources used in the race such as generators, water, and portable bathrooms could be used in areas that have been impacted. I have heard of several runners who are protesting this race and I am wondering if they will get their money back? I think this race will have the fewest people participating in race history! They could have the runners go out into the neighborhoods and help the suffering people but instead we will get to see runners and people from Africa on our TV screens while they ignore the suffering people and damage.
I am amazed that anyone would put their desire to complete this Marathon above the needs of the people in the area. For example there is a massive gas shortage in the northeast. People are sitting in there cars in hours for gas. Or people are standing with gas cans in long lines for gas. Here is a video showing an example.
I hope the people who have signed up to run the marathon will make the right call and postpone or cancel the 2012 marathon. Right now is not the time to run the marathon. I have found a few things online where people are trying to get this marathon cancelled or postponed.
Here is an change.org petition asking for the marathon to not be held on Sunday. http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-bloomberg-governor-cuomo-nyc-road-runners-cancel-or-postpone-nyc-marathon-on-november-4-2012.
And here is a Facebook page withy over 20,000 fans asking for the marathon to not be run. https://www.facebook.com/CancelThe2012NycMarathon.
- New York divided over marathon plans (cnn.com)
- Why Are Generators Being Used to Power Up NYC Marathon Tents While New Yorkers Suffer Without Power, Food? (foxnewsinsider.com)
- NY Mayor Criticized for Not Canceling Marathon (abcnews.go.com)
- Charlotte runners skipping NYC Marathon (charlotteobserver.com)
- Marathon Presses On Amid Backlash (nytimes.com)
- Viewpoint: Why They Should Cancel the NYC Marathon (ideas.time.com)
- Seven Reasons Why New Yorkers Think Holding the New York Marathon Is a Terrible Idea (theatlanticwire.com)
- NYC Marathon: No Room at the Inn? (newsy.com)