After a few days of controversy, the NYC Marathon for 2012 is postponed. Leading up to today, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many were torn about the initial decision to hold the marathon less than a week after the devastation to the East Coast. As someone who grew up in NY and as a runner, it pains me to see all of this unfold.
One of the things I love about the NY community is that it really pulls together and gets s#!* done. Folks willing to lend a hand, offering assistance. That’s just some of what I love about the City.
This spirit of helpfulness, this notion of community is also what I see in the running community. At any race, no matter if you’re a seasoned runner or a first timer, there is this notion that we’re all in this together. That community ethic is one of the many reasons I love to run.
Reading reports of the devastation and of so many people are still in dire straits, I completely understand the arguments against holding the marathon right now. Likewise, I also understand the arguments that the economy needs the boost from the marathon, that the City needs to continue on.
Thinking about my relationship with running, running is something that I am incredibly lucky to do. Aside from being in good health, I have the means to do it. Financially, socially, and all that. Right now, there are so many who are not as fortunate.
I am pleased to learn of grassroots efforts for the runners to give back. Part of me is hopeful that *all* the runners do this as a show of solidarity for the City that has given so much to the runners year after year. While I’ve never run the NYC marathon (hope to someday), I’ve run enough long distances to know that the support of the crowd really helps carry me through to the finish line. It seems to me this is a time where the runners can give back to the City instead.
Given that many runners are in transit or are already there following the postponement of the race, I hope folks look at how they can give back as a running community to a city (and area) that really needs all of us right now.
As for me, I wasn’t signed up to run the race on Sunday. That said, I will be looking at my milage from this year and donating that dollar amount to aid efforts. Being thousands of miles away, I figure this is the least I can do to help.
My thoughts are with all dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.