UPDATE: The NYC Marathon has been cancelled by Mayor Bloomberg.
The ING New York City marathon is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most popular marathon’s in the world. Bringing hundreds of thousands of runners, spectators to the streets of New York. Every since 1970, when the first New York City marathon was run, it has been a sort of rite of passage, a goal, a must do thing for runners. The four decade long event only happens once a year and brings in a substantial amount of money to the city of New York. However with the damage done by Hurricane Sandy to the area many people thought the annual running of the marathon would be cancel or at least postponed, but as of now the event will be run as scheduled on Sunday Nov. 4.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed why he felt the need to still continue the marathon as scheduled. “There’s an awful lot of small businesses that depend on these runners, we have to have an economy, it’s such a great event for New York,” Bloomberg said. “I think for those who were lost, you’ve got to believe they would want us to continue the marathon, have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind.”.
There is no denying that there are people that are on the opposite side of wanting to still run the marathon, but also people that vastly want and understand why the race will still be going on as usual. The individuals, including the mayor, are actually in the minority for wanting the race to be run, if you take a look at what it took to pull off the marathon last year, it requires a lot of people and a lot of power. Last year the race brought in 47,000 runners, along with 2 million spectators to witness the massive race through five boroughs of New York.
The event needed close to 10,000 volunteers, staff members, and police officers to make the event run smoothly. With still thousands of people stranded among the city, the numbers would appear to be drastically down this time but apparently enough to hold the event none the less. There are several businesses that need, and want the race to go on as schedule, mainly because they usually get a huge boost from the runners, spectators buying things.
For example, Dave Jaffares who is the owner of Mullanes Bar & Grill in Fort Greene, Brooklyn which is on the marathon route, mentioned that his business usually makes around $2-3,000 more on marathon day. “It needs to happen. The marathon is coming at a great time. It gets people back into the idea that we are New York, this is what we do; we do a marathon every year. Nothing stops us,” Jaffares said.
The New York Road Runners, which organizes the marathon mentioned in a statement that this year marathon will bring in around $350 million, and that the organization will actually donate $1 million itself according to NBC News.
Although the event will still go on as plan, there are still high ranking officials in areas around New York that do not like the fact that the marathon is not at least postponed.
“If they take one first responder from Staten Island to cover this marathon, I will scream, we have people with no homes and no hope right now,” New York City Councilman James Oddo tweeted.
Whether you like it or not the event will kick off this Sunday Nov. 4 with the Wheelchair Division at 8:30 am, the professional Women will start at 9:10 am followed by the professional men 30 minutes later. The starting location is interesting because the race will start on Staten Island, which was actually the hardest hit borough in New York.
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