Park Slope

Marathon: Continue or Cancel?

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The ING New York City Marathon is scheduled to go on as planned on Sunday, less than a week after Hurricane Sandy devastated the city. It’s generating endless controversy, with many people wondering why the city would want to reallocate valuable resources from places they’re needed more, cause more traffic problems (think of all the lines for gas along the 4th Avenue route), and more.

Many residents seem to be against it, with petitions popping up left and right. Some runners have said they’d prefer to help out recovery efforts – several are planning to boycott the race, and instead will gather at the starting line and then distribute supplies to hard-hit areas.

Other runners, who have been training for some time, often raising money for charities as part of their race, are looking forward to it. Runner and restauranteur Joe Bastianich told NPR that he’s running with a group of people from Italy. “They’re coming from all over the world,” he said. “Some are being rerouted through Istanbul, literally coming halfway around the world. The Italian runners are excited to be here.”

For its part, the NYRR has created a fund to donate “at least $1 million, or $26.20 for each of the more than 40,000 runners expected to participate in the race,” with money going to “a number of charities involved in relief efforts, including the Mayor’s Fund and the American Red Cross.”

So as we wait for the race to wind through the neighborhood on 4th Avenue, just a few block away from evacuees in the Armory, what are your thoughts? Do you think the marathon should go on as planned? If you had been planning on running, are you still going to? Will you go out to watch and support the runners?

Photo of the Marathon start by the U.S. Coast Guard

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