Saturday, November 24, 2012

NYRR Races for Early 2013 Posted

The calendar is up, though you can't yet register.  And as always, they are subject to change:

A couple of dates to note:

*Jan. 5: Joe Kleineman 10K (Central Park)
*Jan 27: Manhattan Half (Central Park)
*Feb. 23: Al Gordon 4-Mile (Prospect Park)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

PPTC Turkey Trot Results Are In

Race results are here. Brilliant day for a race.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Good Luck!

Lot of people running the Philadelphia Marathon this Sunday. An unfortunately fewer number of people will be running Brooklyn Marathon in Prospect Park (unfortunate in that the size of the race couldn't be expanded).  Good luck to everyone who is out there!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Moving Forward After Marathon Cancellation

The City of New York and New York Road Runners announce that the 2012 ING NYC Marathon has been canceled. While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division. We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event -- even one as meaningful as this -- to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to help New York City recover from the storm. New York Road Runners will have additional information in the days ahead and we thank you for your dedication to the spirit of this race. The Expo will remain open tomorrow.

Above is the statement on the NYRR site. Mixed feelings here after the demise of the 2012 NYC Marathon, though I think they made the right decision in the end.  Not going to rehash the reasons to do so pro/con, though if you want a sampling, head to the NYRR Facebook page.  I will say that at work today (involving non-runners and casual runners), the majority opinion was that the race shouldn't be held this weekend. A lot of potential tipping points - the coverage of the Staten Island children who died? New York Post coverage (hugely against the race).  Who knows.

So what's next?  Going to be interesting. Much of the revenue and expenses NYRR has involving the race are so-called sunk costs. Money has been spent by runners to get here, pay NYRR; in turn, NYRR has shelled out a fair amount in race preparation.  While I'm sure there's insurance involved in the event of some calamity such as this, I wonder how much it will cover.  I also wonder what this means for the 2013 local races put on by NYRR - will there be any change in cost?  What about the national TV contract?

As much as I think some runners are disappointed and frustrated from the decision, others are fine with it. A number of my friends and colleagues were conflicted by the race, whether they were planning to run or volunteering.  I have no direct skin in this game, though was facing potentially similar issues earlier this year with Boston with the heat - do they cancel? Should I defer?

One suggestion for NYRR as they deal with the fallout (because there will be significant from both sides - the ones who wanted the race to be run, the ones who didn't and wondered why it took so long): Be open and honest with your thought process, and discuss how the organization wants to move forward.  There are huge schisms in the New York running community when it comes to NYRR and its focus, whether it should be local or national.  

Today's process was a bit ugly, but it also can be used to help move things ahead.  We run. We discuss. We debate. We forgive. We heal.  How?

We run.

Turkey Trot Registration Open

Just got a reminder that the PPTC Turkey Trot registration is now open. Chances are good the 2,500 slots will fill up *before* Thanksgiving, so worth getting your entry in now.

Online entry being handled by NYC Runs.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cancel the NYC Marathon or Not?

Wow, this one is a tough question, generating lots of debate from runners and non-runners, from participants and non-participants.

The arguments for:
*Generates lots of money for the city
*Would provide a ray of hope at a time the city is in need
*The city infrastructure will be fixed (more or less) by Saturday, meaning that Sunday's race would cause undue hardship
*Much of the course goes through areas relatively unaffected by the storm

The arguments against:
*Drive through lower Manhattan right now
*Police, fire, safety officials would be pulled away from the people in need
*The city shuts down for the marathon; it's already shut down now in many places
*It's insensitive
*Transportation issues will make it difficult Sunday for many people to reach the start

I'm boiling down a bunch of the main arguments into bullet points, so forgive me for missing the nuances. And there may be others.

Here's another question: If you were planning to run Sunday, but believe the race should be canceled, will you run? Will you defer?

The runner-grandiose part of me says yes, let's have the race. We can persevere. We can overcome. I ran home from mid-town on Wednesday and thought - yeah, the race can do it.

The realistic part of me just took a bus home through lower Manhattan.   I'm a lot less sure of it now. At a time where people don't have basic necessities (working toilets, water, food), the city should put all its efforts into helping them, rather than staging a race.   There are other years, other times. *It's just a race.*  There are National Guard on the streets distributing food and water. Geez.

Some other coverage:
*New York Times:  Marathon Presses on as Backlash Builds
*Runners World: NYRR unveils recovery fund, promises transit info