NYC Marathon 2012: My thoughts

So I promised a half marathon race report, but I am hijacking this post to share my thoughts about the NYC Marathon that will be run on Sunday.  I know a lot of people are writing about this, and I wanted to share my opinion.

As I expect many runners do, I have conflicting feelings about if they should hold the race this weekend.  At first, I was thinking, of course they should run it!  NYC businesses make lots of money during the race and increased tourism.  And the race will bring the city together over something positive.  I did run NYC Marathon last year, and thought the whole experience was amazing.  The race does truly transform the city for a Sunday morning in November.

However, the more I thought about it and the more I saw about the destruction and devastation that still exists in the city days later, I began to think that it is not a great idea to hold the marathon this weekend.  So many people are still in need, and all resources – volunteers, supplies, generators, etc. – should be focused on relief efforts and not a marathon.

Now, obviously I hadn’t planned on running this race, so I don’t have that weighing on my opinion.  I would definitely have wanted to run if I had trained and tapered for a marathon this weekend.  But to be honest, I don’t know if I could have gone to NYC, stayed in a hotel (taking the spot from others who have been living in hotels due to the status of their homes) and run a race where I was taking water, food, timing mats and other race equipment being powered by generators… knowing that others were stuck without power, water, food, etc.

The Mayor and the NYC marathon folks are doing a good job of trying to turn the marathon into a positive thing – donating money and calling it the “Race to Recover”, but I’m not sure it will adequately make up for what it’s taking away from the city’s resources.

There are tons of people supporting both sides of the argument.  New sites popping up with message boards and petitions against the race, and advocates standing up for what they believe will be a morale booster for the city in a dark time.

UPDATE:

As of 5pm today, the NYC Marathon has been officially cancelled for 2012.  I feel for all the runners who put their hearts into training for this race, but I think it was the right call, given the circumstances.

 

Images from http://www.nytimes.com

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