New York City Marathon Will Go on as Planned

Friday, November 02, 2012

Signage along the marathon route (Caitlyn Kim/WNYC)

Even as New York gets back on its feet after the storm, tens of thousands of runners have begun descending on the city to take part in the world’s largest marathon on Sunday. Many runners say the event's economic boost — and spirit of celebration — is just what the city needs.

In 2010, the New York City marathon generated nearly $350 million in economic activity for New York City. Not everyone agrees, though. Staten Island Councilman John Oddo criticized Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to let the race go on as scheduled, calling it "idiotic" to "take even one asset away from people in dire need." Alicia Feghhi is member of the Clifton Road Runners.  Though she lost power in her home, she was initially still planning to run the marathon -- her first.  Now she says, the race should be canceled.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, staff writer for Salon is running the marathon this weekend -- also for the first time.  A cancer survivor, she's trained with and raised money for other cancer patients and their families.  She's saddened by the backlash against the race.


Alicia Feghhi and Mary Elizabeth Williams

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [5]

telegram sam from Staten Island

This is an unbelievable decision on the part of the mayor, the NYRR, and the runners who participate. The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers are against this in a direct and visceral way, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who isn't blinded by their own selfish desires. Notice EVERY SINGLE local politician of both parties on devastated SI is against it. No one is running "for cancer" or "to help." They're running because they trained for it, paid their fee and made their reservation and they really, really want to. You want to help? Volunteer or donate. Or just go home and free up a hotel room to someone who's been made homeless.

Rest assured, all of Staten Island despises them. No matter how much guilt money they donate, they'll be making our lives harder, possibly putting people in jeopardy while they're being shuttled around, fed, watered, sheltered. Anyone who jogs across the Verazanno on Sunday is literally running over the broken lives of NYC residents. They truly have no soul.

Nov. 02 2012 03:33 PM
Monica from Manahattan

I have a small business that benefits from the marathon. One of my locations is downtown and out of power the other location is uptown. The marathon has had devastating effects on so many, but I need my business to go if for nothing else but to meet payroll for my staff and to pay my vendors. It is my first marathon and I am running proud to be a New Yorker and running for Recovery. Some of the negative comments I have read online call for the 40,000 marathoners to go out and volunteer in Staten Island and elsewhere. That demand is logistically nonsensical and ignores the fact that so many of the runners are already volunteers and have probably donated to the Mayor's Fund or the Red Cross and give their time to help many including hurricane Sandy relief.

Nov. 02 2012 03:23 PM
andy from manhattan

Running the marathon reminds us all that life keeps moving. My wife will be running, as a gesture of care for the city, to reach out to it.

People need to realize that with 50,000+ people coming from around the world to NYC to participate/suppport, re-scheduling or cancelling just won't work.

As for the cups of water/gatorade, let the runners have it! They deserve a little empathy at the least, after training a great deal in preparation for this huge task. They also did pay a laarge sum of money for that infrastructure to be in place.

Nov. 02 2012 03:22 PM
Deb from Portland from Portland, Oregon

Marathon runners wishing to contribute their efforts to help hurricane relief can donate to the Mayor's Fund for hurricane relief, collecting per mile pledges from friends, family and coworkers around the world.

Nov. 02 2012 01:24 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

combine the Marathon and the Halloween parade and call it "Run For Your Life."

Nov. 02 2012 12:51 PM

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