Well, better late than never I guess. On Friday night, after most of the approximately 50,000 New York City Marathon runners and their families and friends had already arrived in town, under mounting pressure and outcries, NYC Mayor Bloomberg called off the 2012 race, thankfully.
According to The Huffington Post Sports feature “NYC Marathon Canceled,” ….this weekend’s New York City Marathon was canceled Friday when Mayor Bloomberg reversed himself and yielded to mounting criticism that this was no time to run a race. Although I am not sure the Mayor completely “gets it” when the city was assigning emergency personnel TO marathon aid stations and taking them FROM storm aid stations and shelters. Still, to his credit the Mayor relented and in the end understood the outrage over hosting the event in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction:
“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.”
As I stated in my previous post, “Starting On Staten Island? New York City Marathon Runners Are Running The Wrong Way!“, the marathon had been scheduled to start in Staten Island, one of the hardest-hit places, and then wind through the city’s five boroughs. I applaud the Mayor’s difficult, but timely decision, yet I stand by my suggestion to corral this 50,000-60,000-strong humanitarian force to help suffering Staten Island/NYC residents survive post-Sandy. My suggestion for this weekend in NYC and to the Mayor (from my previous post):
…we take this massive humanitarian force of 50,000-60,000 people to the starting line on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and HAVE EVERYONE TURN AROUND AND RUN ONTO STATEN ISLAND (not off) to help those suffering and starving residents! Afterwards, this mobilized 2012 NYC Humanitarian Marathon force can roll on into Manhattan and then to Queens and the other boroughs to do more good. That’s a race worth running.
Well, apparently in the wake of the race cancellation, many others feel the same way as I do, and want to turn an inconvenience for marathon runners into an opportunity to help the helpless victims in NYC. There’s opportunity in every crisis after all. With 50,000-60,000 able-bodied, active and energetic runners in the city, that is some potent humanitarian aid force that FEMA would only dream of. Let’s roll!
A few of the more incredible and thoughtful humanitarian ideas being organized to take advantage of the hordes of runners in the city this weekend, and banding together to HELP the Staten Island and NYC storm victims are:
Newton Running ~ (from their Facebook page):
We are compiling a list of ways to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by Hurricane Sandy. If you know of a way that
people can help (ESPECIALLY if it is NYC marathon runner/athlete specific), please let us know by doing the following:
-Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
-In the body of the email, please include the name of the organization and a link to any pertinent information
-Please make the subject line of the email “Sandy”
~The Newton Running Family
Staten Island Marathon ~ (from their Facebook page):
Join us on Sunday Nov4th at 8am at Family Fruits 2270 Hylan Boulevard Staten Island, NY 10306 (or make a donation) as we run the Staten Island “Marathon” for Sandy Relief. 5K distance every hour on the hour (*running ON Staten Island and WITH Staten Island residents to bring them aid/food/help) for 26.2 total! TIME: Starting at 8 a.m. and then run a 5K (3.1 miles) every hour on the hour!!
If you can’t be there physically, please join us virtually! Donate to our Page http://www.indiegogo.com/sisandy262 and then run/walk/swim/bike/zumba/kickbox/vacuum any distance you feel comfortable with…. We are all picking up the pieces of Hurricane Sandy together no matter where we are. Thank you so much for supporting our family and community on Staten Island.
New York Runners in Support of Staten Island ~ (from their Facebook page): MY PERSONAL FAVORITE!
Group of New York area runners who are running and delivering aid on Sunday morning in Staten Island. #SupportStatenIsland. This is exactly what I was hoping for and thinking of. I LOVE IT: “Show me thousands of tapered/tightly wound marathoners with a cancelled race and I’ll show you an army of runners ready to provide relief for #Sandy victims. Join the Orange-clad Army! Gather provisions like non-perishable food, pre-paid phone cards, batteries and other items listed below, put ’em in a backpack and run on over to the Staten Island Ferry at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov 4. We’ll all Ferry them over for distribution to those in need.” And from Forbes, they are calling this the Run for Life!
THANK YOU one and all for Running the Right Way this weekend in NYC and TO Staten Island to help! The storm victims are lucky to have runners like you at their aid stations as their marathon back to normalcy is just beginning. [As for me, I will be supporting Newton Running’s efforts and, although I cannot make the ferry tomorrow morning to Run for Life, I am hoping to make the trip down to Staten Island, and Manhattan, to help and support my fellow Seacoast residents. Please help and #SupportStatenIsland if you are able.]