New York Marathon running Sunday as scheduled
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg and organizers have decided to push through with the New York City marathon Sunday amid the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy.
The world’s largest with a field of almost 50,000 runners, will be held six days after the hurricane left parts of the city in ruins and crippled its transportation system
Bloomberg said race will go on as scheduled, like it has done every year since 1970, as a symbol of the city’s resilience and ability to rally after hard times.
“The marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this city,” New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said in a statement.
Before the hurricane, organizers were expecting nearly 50,000 runners to join the 26.2-mile race that will run through five boroughs.
The organization has laid down several contingency measures, including adjusting the course as race officials have yet to determine whether any part of the route was flooded.
Wittenberg said that private companies could be hired to handle some of the services provided by the city. If subway services are not restored to Lower Manhattan, where many runners travel to get on the Staten Island Ferry, more buses could be added.
She added that runners who could not make it to New York would be guaranteed a spot in next year’s marathon but would lose their entry fee from this year.
The group is also considering whether to cancel two annual events that are held in conjunction with the marathon: the opening ceremony in Central Park Friday evening and the Dash to the Finish Line 5K on Saturday morning.
Marathon registration is expected to open Thursday morning at the Jacob K. Javits Center on the Far West Side of Manhattan.
The decision was met with criticisms and support from different personalities and organizations in New York.
Critics said that diverting the police and fire crews to perform marathon duties is a misuse of precious public services as New York struggles to get back on its feet after the devastation.
For his part, public advocate Bill de Blasio supported the decision to hold the race, citing the economic benefits.