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

1 comment:

David said...

I've been have the same internal debate with myself. If they had cancelled it, I would have been bummed, but I also would have completely understood. I live uptown and was extremely fortunate to have power throughout the storm but my office is still closed because it has only generator power and no heat. That said, since the race is on, I see nothing to be gained by not running it so I'll be there on Sunday.