Friday, November 02, 2012

I say cancel the New York City Marathon; UPDATE---race postponed

2010 Chicago Marathon
As a veteran of over thirty marathons--but not the New York City race--I can write with authority on the subject of the enormity of how a 26.2 mile race transforms a city. Every street that intersects a marathon route--even side streets--in urban marathons have a police officer on hand to ensure that an impatient driver doesn't try to plow through the race path.

How many cops? That's a good question for Mayor Michael Bloomberg--who vows that Sunday's NYC marathon will go on despite the carnage from Hurricane Sandy. Let's say it's 1,000. That's 1,000 fewer police officers to respond to emergency calls, search and rescues missions, crime, and yes, civil unrest such as violence at gas stations. Even after the runners are gone there are task for municipal workers to be done, such as street cleaning. 

Bus routes--public transportation is on its knees in New York post-Sandy--will have to be altered to accommodate the race. Emergency response teams that are dispatched will have to contend with the path of thousands for runners crossing five boroughs in a city with 8 million residents

As for the men and women who have been training for months for the race: If the marathon is cancelled, I will understand their disappointment. But their unhappiness may go beyond that. While successfully training for a marathon is indeed a major achievement, some runners take on a pre-race narcissist persona, and they convince themselves that the world should take notice of their efforts.

But the part of the world that the New York City Marathon is scheduled to disrupt is hurting. There are other marathons coming up, and besides, they'll run it again next year.

UPDATE 4:25pm CDT: CBS New York is reporting that the marathon will be postponed.

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Tania said...

14bAgreed. This marathon should be cancelled at this time.

Tania said...

As for me, I just want to finish the Philadelphia Marathon..hopefully in 4 hours 30 mins ish :)

John Ruberry said...

Go Tania!