Friday, November 02, 2012

The NYC Marathon

On Sunday, the NYC Marathon is scheduled to be run. The run travels through all the boroughs of New York City and from everything I have read and from e-mails I have received from readers, the only people who want to have the race run are the people flying in for the event and all of the corporate sponsors. Probably so they can get free food and some electricity. None of the newspapers are in favor of it being run. Most of the residents when they hear about all the power used solely for the marathon at the expense of people who don't have any electricity are against it. It is tough to find anyone who is in favor of it. It is a pain to reschedule for the 20,000 people flying in from all over the world, but what about the all the people who are trying to survive and then be forced to suffer even more as the city shuts down roads and diverts police and other first responders to deal with all the marathoners. Is this the right time to be running a marathon? Is it that important of an event? What about all the food and water being provided to the runners? Think the people who are dumpster diving for food might enjoy some of that? What about all the generators running the mediate tents for the event? Supposedly each generator can provide enough power for 400 homes and the media tent alone has 3 of them. 1200 homes could have power instantly.

96 comments:

hunter said...

Gon' be a shitstorm...

Glitter said...

I think the needs of the suffering should override the marathon. It is not right.

Amber said...

I think it's shitty that magically they can come up with power and provisions for this event, but can't for the residents. However, the influx of people will bring revenue to the city which is something they could use about now. A commenter in a thread yesterday, I think, said one of the biggest ways people can help is to not stop visiting those places. They need the tourism $$$.

ABlake said...

I'm of 2 minds on this.
1) Cancel it
however
2) "The show must go on". Continue to live life as normal (though it certainly is anything but to many in the city). The reasoning probably has a lot to do with the revenue those 20,000 + visitors will bring to the city in a time that can certainly use all the tax dollars they can get.

*shrug*

NapAssasin said...

For the runners who have been training, paid money to travel to a once in a lifetime event, they should have it. But I think those sponsors better make life-changing donations to the cities. Nobody wins & some will always be pissed off, no matter what.

Cathy said...

I'm unclear about if these generators are being brought in specifically FOR the marathon, or if they're being taken away from residents currently using them. If it's the former, while it would be nice to use them to help those suffering, it's not like they are actually taking away resources from those who need them. It would certainly be a kind gesture to forego the whole thing and use the resources to help those in need, but that's the thing about kind gestures - they aren't mandated.

Layna Day said...

The argument for going forward with the marathon is that it will provide money that NYC will need for repairs. I suppose I understand that, but it still seems like a crummy thing to do. Millions of people are in need. The last thing they want to see is a race being run.

Amy said...

I'm a lifelong resident of Brooklyn and think the city did a pretty good job, OTHER than this one decision which not only seems insensitive, but impracticable. It's a struggle just to get to work, and I cannot imagine how they plan to get everyone to Staten Island under these circumstances.

At least part of this is meant to appeal to/showcase the survivor spirit of NYers, I'm sure, but those of us who live here consider it a bit too soon.

Me said...

talked to my friend in NJ about this just a while ago. she aid there aren't eough police resources for the emergency, so obviusly you don't host a party that needs...resources! have to agree. think cancel it forthis year. its respectful on a certain level.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

The marathon should be canceled.

Karli said...

Part of me thinks having the marathon would be a positive, rallying event in light of disaster.... the other part of me thinks as a hungry/homeless/powerless New Yorker and suggests if they go on with the marathon to trip runners with sticks ala Big Daddy and the rollerbladers

Amartel said...

The tourism-generates-revenue argument would be a good one except that these tourists, to the extent many show up at all, aren't going to be spending money because a lot of shops and stores aren't open, and they'll probably get out of town quick. While they're there, they will clog up roads and use up fuel and there's a fuel supply shortage. Tourism after the region starts to get back on its feet: yes. Tourism now: Colossally Bad Idea. Also, Stupid.

JSierra said...

I honestly don't expect anyone to care. It's not about the people, it's about the money they can make and this is one giant money making opportunity.

Imagine instead of a marathon all of those people help clean up the city, help clean up the shore, help put other people's lives back together.

Yes they have been training for months on end, but the chance to change someone's life doesn't happen every day.

timebob said...

as an actual New Yorker, i'm disgusted that the marathon is happening. It is taking hotel rooms from displaced families. I have read some hotels are refusing to throw out familes and is canceling the reservations for tourists coming in for the marathon. If this is true, thank god. The marathon is for folly, it serves no purpose, it isn't a sport it is a spectacle for the rich. Knowing some toursist from whereverthefuck is going to buy cold bottle water and coffee while famlies in Staten Island don't even know how they will make it through the night, makes my blood boil. On top of the insult the marathon will run through Staten Island along with other boroughs hit by the Hurricane is senseless. Bloomberg might as well tell the displaced to eat cake. The marathon can be rescheduled, people who lost everything need priorty right now

SusanB said...

CANCEL THE MARATHON!!!!

Not only is this taking valuable resources (generators, water, police protection) away from those suffering, hotels in the area are actually throwing out customers who rented rooms because their homes are not habitable and have nowhere else to go. The race is also (I'm told) partially run through an area that has no electricity. Shame on the corporate sponsors, shame on Bloomberg who could postpone or cancel this mess and shame on the runners who are so insensitive. I don't care how hard they trained. There are other races. The amount of money that will be brought in for this event pales before the tragedy going on. This is an absolute disgrace and if it goes on, I can see trouble being started by those who are frustrated by no heat, no electricity, no gas and no food.

SusanB said...

Forgot to put in - the reason these customers in hotels are being thrown out is so they can house the runners that are coming in. How can you have that on your conscience?

katsm0711 said...

I bet most of the prearranged accomodations are shot now. So anyone flying in has to go through all the trouble of finding a vacant hotel room in an area they aren't familiar with. I heard about New Yorkers calling New Haven CT for hotel rooms. How do they now know to avoid the shoreline? So imagine how lost a real out of towner will be. And where will they have meals? Oh and, people don't have DRINKING WATER so they're going to ship in a bunch of nice delicious Poland Spring bottles to be waved in the faces of people who don't decide to run a marathon? And some people don't have any food, so how are the marathoners keeping up their diets to prepare for the race?

msgirl said...

I'm very conflicted, I need more details, some good questions were brought up. NY needs the money, and it will get it from the taxes for all the people coming in. On the other hand, it's very crappy and insensitive. I would need to know more about what power and security forces NY has now. If they are taking away from those who are suffering, it's just not right.

Jeneral said...

I'm really disappointed that Mayor Bloomburg is letting this go down. I know the City needs the money, but they just aren't in a position to handle this yet. Not to mention it's in such poor taste. I don't give a fuck about the people who are running the marathon being disappointed by a cancellation. There's always next year, and what is a little disappointment compared to what the residents of New York and New Jersey are dealing with.

dia papaya said...

My first inital thought is - TACKY! Ridiculous to continue this marathon in the aftermath of the largest storm in American history. Especially since another storm is on the way. I am so worried for my east coast friends.

However, it may bring in much needed funds to a struggling community. Just like after Hurricane Katrina. Maybe some of those people will stay and help out their fellow New Yorkers.

Miz said...

I was actually going to run this marathon but my doctor put a nix on it until next . I would have been running for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and I know a lot of other runners would be running for charity too. So that part presents a problem, because how do they justify taking the money for that?

No matter what happens it'll be damned if you do, damned if you don't. Shitty situation all round.

Kendra Muenter said...

How about every marathon runner run up and down the high rises delivery supplies to the elderly who cannot get out of the their buildings because they cannot handle all the stairs.

After you have delivered 26.2 miles worth of supplies you get your official time and precious medal.

Staten Island is still recovering bodies and FEMA just made it out there to assess the damage.

msgirl said...

This is a great slide show.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/01/us/2012-sandy-POD-3.html?smid=fb-share

hunter said...

I'm on the shrug-train and also of the mindset that "the show must go on" and trying to live as normally as possible.

Then again, I'm in the West 50s and everything in my life is fine so I'm not probably one to comment.

katsm0711 said...

NYC will not make any money off the marathon because there's no place to spend money!!! There's no tourism right now, no hotel rooms, no stores open.

Miz said...

Ah, my doctor put a nix on it til next year. Damn iPad.

SusanB said...

All you New Yorkers - I'm unfamiliar with the city. Is the shopping area with Bloomingdale's, etc, open? Can people actually shop for stuff other than food/water, etc?I think I'd have trouble going shoe shopping while people 1/2 mile away don't have electricity.

Basil said...

As long as there are areas without power, and people without homes, water and food, running a marathon is a colossally bad idea. The last time someone said let them eat cake a revolution started. Does anyone think someone who has to line up for water is going to be THANKFUL for the revenue generated by these runners? They are going to be ANGRY. I wouldn't want to be a runner in this marathon because they might end up having to run for safety.

dia papaya said...

How about the marathoners not run the race but instead participate in clean up efforts? Spend that time helping the newly homeless, distributing food, cleaning up debris, etc. The hosts of the race should donate the purse to NYC and all the people who lost everything. There is another storm coming and so many people don't have heat or electricity. These are real problems that running a race won't solve. Life is different now and people need to adjust.

I like this idea better.

Vera L- said...

reschedule or postpone it.

msgirl said...

It's civil war between uptown and downtown. And then the boroughs. Uptown is comfortable and a different world up there. Uptown has more money too. Downtown still has no power.

msgirl said...

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few.

rhinovodka said...

I think they should reschedule or if that's important to have, move it to another city, of course then it wouldn't be the NYC Marathon. The city is a mess and to inconvenience the residents even more so is asking a lot.

Seachica said...

Great idea, dia.

Seachica said...

This enrages me. No way is the city ready to divert resources to a race. Postpone the race for a month. Allow anyone who can't make the new date to get an automatic entry into next years race. Organize runners into a marathoners love squad on Sunday, bringing the food and water to people who need it. Yes, it will cost money for the race organizers, but they likely have insurance that will cover much of the cost. Charity racers and their donors will surely understand if the racer doesn't race this year. Hotels won't be out revenue, because they are already full from the displaced. Airlines are, but that is the cost of doing the right thing.

NN Marathon organizers: remember Susan B Komen's missteps and the resulting drop in breast cancer walkers this year. It can happen to you too, if you show disregard for people. I, for one, will never be applying for a NY Marathon spot if they persist in this

Christina said...

@timebob,
AMEN!

sweetsmellofexcess said...

There is a woman who is registered to run, but will be using her bib to board the ING bus to Staten Island to volunteer rather than run the race:

http://gothamist.com/2012/11/02/marathon_runner_starts_protest_grou.php

yawnathon said...

I read that the NYRR are allowing runners who cancel this year have an entry for next year but refusing to refund their exorbitant entry fees. Why they don't donate all of the canceled runner's fees is beyond me.

JoElla said...

On a brighter note, I read that the Victoria Secret models brought the generators that were going to be used for their show to the local Reserves.

sweetsmellofexcess said...

@Miz

I don't run, but I support Fred's Team (Sloan Kettering Cancer Center). They have my donation race or no race. I wouldn't dream of asking for a penny back.

Pogue Mahone said...

I think it's shameful and a disgrace that they're having a stupid marathon while people are struggling to survive. People should get their priorities straight.In the grand scheme of things a dumb race doesn't matter. People are without electricity, food, heat,and water.How can they even THINK about a marathon at a time like this?I can't believe it!!

Nope said...

I think we have a false dichotomy here. Instead of cancel or don't cancel, how about they postpone? Yes, it is an inconvenience to training schedules and flights, but how do you compare that to what's going on in NYC's outer boroughs. They are still uncovering dead bodies in Staten Island right by where the race is starting. How can you justify diverting resources to this right now? Plus, as other pointed out, businesses in the areas hit the hardest are still going to be without power on Sunday, so how is this going to help them? My vote is to postpone.

SusanB said...

I can agree with postponing instead of cancelling.

After looking at major news sites and watching MSNBC, CNN & Fox, I'm impressed to see they're all against having the marathon. Never thought I'd see those networks agree on anything! The New York newspaper sites also seem pretty upset. You'd think Bloomberg would be a little more cautious in upsetting so many voters.

Lynette said...

After reading all these comments I must agree with those of you who are living through this nightmare. Cancel it. There will be other marathons.

Kendra Muenter said...

They are still planning the pasta meal the night before. How about every runner donate their meal to a needy person and go BUY dinner at a restaurant that is open.

katsm0711 said...

I don't think the argument right now is between postponing or canceling, it's just, don't have it at the original date period. They can talk about rescheduling after but right now focus on the cleanup.

urban chaos said...

I lost my long comment earlier- but they need to postpone and allow runners the option to defer their entry fees to disaster relief/clean up. Give a guaranteed entry to the new race and people would repay if they knew their money was making a difference.
Those prerace pasta meals, free swag, water,ect should be handed out where it's most needed. If a runner has a place to stay go and help make a difference.

DO NOT deplete/divert resources when people are in need. I know a marathon is a profit maker but like my city (Toronto) they can host 2 a year and make this workable.

Having friends and family without power and gas but with food and shelter I recognize they are the lucky ones and think it's a crime against humanity to not give all this stuff that's being brought in to those that need it NOW, not after the monies have been tallied and a group sits around figuring out where to best put the $$.

msgirl said...

But the thing is, it's the companies that are sponsoring this that have to make the supplies into donations. Would be nice if they did.

NYer said...

ah the urban myths are starting already. please.

goes in circles said...

Wow.
I am a littled disgusted by this.

And whoever that was upthread who said they lived in a part of NYC that has power so 'shrug'...shame on you. You are right, you shouldn't have commented. It's that attitude thats what is wrong w/ this country.

LottaColada said...

Point well made.

CANCEL THE MARATHON

LottaColada said...

I hope more people do this. It's in bad taste to run a marathon in a city that needs so much help right now

dia papaya said...

Perfect! This is exactly what I was thinking of. That's great that people are already taking initiative to support the survivors and help the clean up process.

dia papaya said...

Thanks Seachica! Great minds, as they say!

Amy said...

I'm fine with canceling the marathon. I have a real problem with people in the news, however, suggesting that the runners instead be put to work running up 80 flights of stairs or cleaning up or what have you. For fuck's sake -- all of the upper side is with energy and food and stores are open, put them to fucking work running up 80 flights of stairs you asswipes.

tara17 said...

NYC Marathon is a big event involving many people worldwide + the city of New York. Diverting power to a single source is easier than fixing power over 10000+ points. Use the event to raise funds to give to/compensate those struggling without power. This shows all New York is resilient and can be relied upon to host future events.

Amy said...

What I mean is, the people who signed up for the marathon are not the enemy, and I don't understand why suddenly New Yorkers are turning on them like they are vile and evil etc. Just fucking cancel the marathon.

KLM said...

I live in NYC and I think Bloomberg did a fine job of handling everything but the marathon. It should be cancelled or postponed. Life is not back to normal here - even if you haven't been displaced, you feel the effects. Mass transit is crippled, stores are low on supplies, there is no gasoline to be had. Life isn't normal. The marathon is in extremely bad taste, even if some people are lucky enough to have power (read: upper Manhattan). I live in Park Slope and have power, but life isn't normal yet. Forcing this stupid marathon is not going to lull me into the false security that all is well in my city. It isn't.

msgirl said...

Very nicely said, KLM.

feraltart said...

@Amber, I mentioned tourism yesterday, but in a couple of months time. I think the marathon should be postponed. Rebuilding needs to take place first, power needs to be restored, displaced people need priority housing.
My hometown was hit by a big storm a few years back & the worst part of it was all the "tourists" (people from other areas locally as well as interstate & overseas) coming to gawk at the mess. It made it really difficult for the locals. It also meant that there were no quiet outdoor spaces to take a breather at because they were filled with people delighting in the shitstorm happening. People still needed to go to work & do their daily business. I wish they had set up road blocks & you had to show ID to come into the city for work or because you lived there.

Miz said...

I don't think I made it clear in my previous comment, but although I can see the difficulties in to go ahead or not, I don't think it should.

Had I still been registered to run, I wouldn't feel right completing a marathon while, like many have said, bodies are still being found. I would have paid for my own flights anyway, so I would have came over, helped where I could, and stayed at a friend's house (who was thankfully unaffected) so I could cancel my board.

I wonder how many runners will do something similar this weekend. If they insist on going ahead I can imagine it'll be the last time the events organiser will do so. It'll be a PR disaster

In-N-Out!! said...

Honestly, they can reschedule it by a few days. As soon as power is back on locals will not mind at all, it will be a welcome distraction! But the insensitiveness from organizers, sponsors and the city is so deafening!!

I don't care that these are their generators, and I don't care they are bringing $$ in! DONATE THE $$ ANYWAY then!! The people coming from all over the world can wait until TUESDAY let's say to run it. No big deal! By Tuesday we should all have power.

Ridiculous. I am glad they are getting called out on their bullshit

Bridget said...

Postponing is not an option for a LOT of reasons. It's either cancel or run the race.

G said...

I expected nothing less from our illustrious mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He's always about business first.

Bridget said...

All you morons that talk about postponing the marathon, that's literally not possible. 1) with all the permits and such that is needed, there aren't any other dates. And 2) it takes most people 6 months to train for a marathon. You can't just say "come back in a month or so."

Personally I think they should have cancelled it, but this point thousands of people have already come into town and it's a done deal. They're making a gamble that the participants will bring in the large amount of money that the event typically brings in, and I already know for a fact that a large percentage of the runners will also be volunteering their time. So I say, see how the event goes. See how the organizers use this as an opportunity to help the people affected, and frankly as an opportunity to show the world what te streets of NY look like right now.

All about Eve said...

I live in Staten Island and I'm furious that they won't even consider postponing this event! I understand that this is a very important event, many runners train a long time to participate but people here have lost their homes! Some have lost loved ones! People are living in shelters with nothing but the clothes on their backs, no power in some areas and three mile long lines for gas. Postponing it a few weeks won't make a difference to the runners but it will make us here in Staten Island feel like we matter.

auntliddy said...

Of course cancel for all above reasons. And for one more. Its the moral and ethical thing to do.

All about Eve said...

Is the city that gives the permits, if they wanted to do it they could.

Miz said...

Bridget, calling us morons isnlt exactly going to endear us to your opinion. I think we all understand what the difficulties such a move will make, but doesn't mean it simply HAS to go ahead.

Like I said before, they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't.

LottaColada said...

I just heard on the news its
OFFICIALLY CANCELLED

Hazeldazel said...

ah you beat me to it, Lotta!

good call, Bloomberg.

csproat said...

A couple of friends were going to run it, but they decided not to because it would have been in poor taste....sounds like the race organizers just wanted their money......
Now they have to let the runners run for free next year.....

iheartjacksparrow said...

All news outlets reporting it has been cancelled.

C.L.Russell said...

Bloomberg cancelled it. Damn shame too, because he'd won it. There's nothing like millions of angry New Yorkers to make a man suddenly become Usain Bolt.

ABlake said...

Yep, cancelled

Bloomberg quote "We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it. 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 recover from the storm and get our city back on track."

ABlake said...

..just how meaningful is that race? My bf received a scholarship for running and it has never pinged his radar.

Renoblondee said...

^Yeah, I thought the Boston Marathon was the biggie.

Seachica said...

Well done Bloomberg. I love the suggestion that runners who have already traveled to NY use their time to help others.

Renoblondee -- NY is big for slower runners. You have to qualify for Boston, which puts it out of reach for us turtles. Ny marathon gets a shitload of applications for their 47,000 slots every year. A good friend has entered the race lottery for several years now and hasn't gotten in. I think next year she is guaranteed race entry because she has lost out so many times. I wonder what they will do about that?

ABlake said...

Thanks Seachica, That explains it, he always talks about the Boston Marathon, but he's never mentioned the NYC one. I thought he just mentioned Boston because he's a Red Sox fan:)

Seachica said...

Yw ablake. I admire your bf for being that fast!

Virtual Boricua said...

Luv you TimeBob!

Tuxedo Cat said...

I may be being naive here, but why can't they reschedule it?

ABlake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henriette said...

I think it's stupid not to postpone the marathon until city is back up.

ABlake said...

Yeah Sea, he won his scholarship for running a mile at 4:45 (no idea, I'm an indoor kind of girl) but he has talked about the Boston marathon at length. Never once mentioned the NYC one.

dia papaya said...

The people spoke and Bloomberg listened. Wow! I'm kinda shocked. Way to go New Yorkers!!! Band together and make things happens!!! Wish I could be there to help out.

Renoblondee said...

@ABlake Damn! So impressed at your man! I'm a slow poke runner,so just wow! Awesome!

motcollins said...

There are a lot of runners who feel like this:

http://www.facebook.com/BoycottThe2012NycMarathon/info

We are a team of runners dedicated to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Due to the catastrophic events, we have decided to wear our Bib numbers on race day, BUT WILL NOT BE RUNNING. We will be volunteering and assisting those in Staten Island who need our help. We disagree with the decision to proceed with the marathon in light of the fact that there are so many fellow New Yorkers without homes, power, food, water and basic essentials.

ABlake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ABlake said...

Instead of posting the entire article, I'll just post the best part

“I feel very badly for those who still wanted to run, but I feel so much worse for those who lost their lives less than a week ago,” she wrote. “Instead of running this weekend, I am going to be taking supplies to those who need it!"
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/marathon-runners-rip-bloomberg-waiting-long-cancel-race-article-1.1196062#ixzz2B8ApxUjw

ABlake said...

Cripes, I'm sorry you guys. Don't know how to link and it just added itself.

I'm sorry

katsm0711 said...

Awesome news! If u go to www.therunchat.com you can see alternative marathons being organized all over the USA for runners who still want to run! And I saw a link on twitter to donate your paid NYC hotel room to displaced Sandy victims!
But bad news. I'm sure Enty will post the new news about the woman whose two sons were ripped from her arms in the storm surge and I'm just warning everyone that there's probably going to be a 300+ comment race "discussion" here. I'm hoping what I'm reading now isn't true and tomorrow we will see its not as bad as it sounds today but I doubt it ....

CarmeliteLady said...

The show must go on, but not in this circumstance.

All about Eve said...

It did happen Katsm, the poor woman was caught in the car with her kids by the flood, trust me this things move fast, she apparently knocked on a door and asked for help and was turned away and she became so desperate that she tried to break a window to get into a house and when she got her babies out of the car they were literally ripped from her arms by the current, the bodies of the 2 and 4 year old were found two days ago, the most heartbreaking story. There has been talk about charging the person who refused to help with a crime.

katsm0711 said...

Unfortunately thanks @allabouteve. At first a small part of me was like why didn't she heed the mandatory evacuation? Assuming if waters flooded the area that badly, of course she must have ignored the mandatory evacuation. Then I saw that the line dividing must evacuate and able to stay home, was incorrectly placed, so people on the border in the safe zone got nailed and should have been made to leave. She spent the night of the hurricane, that terrified me so much on the second floor that I took ALL my belongings downstairs, convinced a tree was falling on the house or the roof would get ripped off, made a bed on the dirty floor behind a couch to protect me from a broken window.... She spent it huddled on the front porch of an abandoned home. 65 mph winds.

Lelaina Pierce said...

I guess I'm a moron, b/c I don't understand why it can't be postponed. Either way, it was cancelled and I'm hoping the people that thought about staying to help with some of the volunteer efforts.

My husband said some people were complaining about them still having the Giants game for the same reason (hogging police, resources, etc.). Not sure if it's the same scenario or not?