NYC Marathon decision causes backlash

Published On November 1, 2012 | By Kimberly Petalas

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on October 31 that the New York City Marathon would still go on as planned, despite the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately for the Mayor, this decision has created a lot of negative backlash.

Traveling within Manhattan has been difficult for those who live there, never mind those who are trying to get there for the race. Many roads are still blocked off, flights have been canceled, and a lot of people and places are still without power in the area.

Staten Island is still in ruins after Sandy and there is very limited access to the island, where the race starts. Another issue is that the finish line in central park is currently under water.

The marathon also requires the help of the police and fire departments, which are already spread thin helping the community recover from the storm. It also requires hundreds of volunteers.

Of course canceling an event this big is a huge decision. There is a lot at stake for all involved from the vendors to the runners, but there is even more at stake for those who still have no power or water in their homes.

No matter how you look at it, this decision is a tough one. So many people still need help with recovery from Hurricane Sandy, but who knows, the Marathon might be good for the city.

If the city-wide cleanup continues, and the city is in good physical shape for the race on Sunday, this event might just be what the doctor ordered for the citizens on Manhattan. Despite the backlash of spending time and money on the marathon when the city could be using it for cleanup, this event could keep people’s minds off of the devastating events that just occurred.  It might be a good way for them to take a day off and enjoy themselves.

Some may feel like it is a good thing for the city, like the Mayor, but citizens have decided to take matters to social media.

There is a Facebook group that was created in the wake of Mayor Bloomberg’s decision. It is called “Cancel the 2012 NYC Marathon.”

Clarence Eckerson Jr., posted, “As a NYRR member who has run the marathon, it is RIDICULOUS they are even considering running it. It is a slap in the face to city residents. There are so many logistical problems to just cancel this, never mind the human suffering. What will it look like when tens of thousands of people still don’t have power but we can use thousands of city worker manpower to run a marathon?”

Samantha Sommerfield, is a Staten Island resident who is also opposed to the continuation of the marathon. She posted on the Facebook group, “Taking needed NYPD out of such places as Midland Beach and other devastated areas in NYC to secure a SPORTS EVENT is not where our priorities should be. We need to rebuild and help those that have lost everything before we can think about tourism. This will not help anyone. It will only be hurting those in need even more. Our tunnels aren’t even open yet! The mayor is treating these people as second class citizens. He should be ashamed of himself.”

Right now many citizens are against the continuation of the Marathon, but the decision is completely up to the Mayor. As of right now, the race will be held this Sunday, November 4.

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About The Author

Kimberly graduated from Hofstra University in December 2012. She has been a sports fan her whole life and grew up around sports, whether it was playing or watching them. She started her writing career interning for her local newspaper, The Gardner News, where she currently works as a reporter. In college, Kimberly wrote for Long Island Report, as well as Her Campus Hofstra.