NYC Marathon Runners Sound off on Late Cancelation

ING NYC Marathon Cancelled

For some participants, the entry fee was the only thing that was lost to them. This applied to runners living in the area and did not have to plan on any extra expenses. For others, the loss was much more and some of that loss could have been avoided by canceling the NYC Marathon days earlier instead of waiting until roughly 5 p.m. EST on Friday. Though runners who commented mostly say it was the right thing to do, comments also include that the race should have been canceled earlier and that it shouldn’t have been canceled because of the monies that will now be lost.

Longtime New Yorker and runner Lauren Mandel was having second thoughts about participating in the race four days after the Superstorm had it. As she got close to the convention center that was serving as the hub for race participants, she could feel a knot in her stomach as she went to pick up her Marathon bib. She said, “Walking past … generators heating up tents for people to eat pasta tomorrow night when there are people who haven’t eaten a hot meal in five days” left her with the feeling: “This is so inappropriate and this is so wrong,”

Other marathon residents roughly were saying the same thing about why the race should be canceled and were glad it finally was. However, other participants had different comments about the race being canceled so close to the starting time and even that it was canceled at all. Sung Kwak flew from Chicago to New York to participate and when the news of the cancelation was announced, he was disappointed with the timing. He understands why the race was canceled but had it been canceled a few days prior, he would not have come. Also, it is frustrating that you train for so long for a race and when it does not happen, you are left with a feeling that it was all for nothing.

Both Alberto Guiterrez (Madrid) and Eric Gessenne (Paris) voiced the same understanding and disappointment about the late cancelation of the marathon. Both said they would not have come had the announcement been made earlier and for Gessenne, had the announcement been made on Thursday the trip insurance he had purchased would have been able to eliminated a decent amount of expenses.

Going one step further, runners voiced out that canceling the race has cause a significant amount of monies to be lost not just for the city. Original comments for keeping the race on included how much NYC makes during the race and some businesses count on making extra profit the day of the race. Runners also voiced out their disappointment because charities that they were running for will now lose money as donations that were collected now have to be returned.

There is also the prize money now lost to the winners of the race and it is reported that the male and female winners of the 2012 race would have been $130,000. Bonuses are also awarded as a runner who would have completed the race in less than 2 hours and 5 minutes would have earned $60,000. Finishing 2 hours and 6 minutes would have gotten $50,000. This does not include, of course, any sponsorship the winners most likely would have acquired.

Some runners have said they will make the best of it by exploring New York as well as spending money to help support businesses. Others, such as Meb Keflezighi, are asking their fellow participants to come together and contribute to storm relief efforts in any way possible. “Any inconveniences the cancellation causes me or the thousands of runners who trained and traveled for this race pales in comparison to the challenges faced by people in NYC and its vicinity in the aftermath of Sandy.”

Stars such as Keflezighi will most likely not become financially undone by losing a payday. Unfortunately, second-tier runners such as Ian Burrell of Tucson may not be so lucky. A participant in the 2012 United States half-marathon championships, he finished third which helped in acquiring a small appearance fee to be able to run in the New York City Marathon. He had aspirations of having a breakthrough performance that might have earned him a shoe contract as well as supplementing a racing income of roughly $20,000 a year. Burrell said, “This is the last six months of my life.” Burrell is married and has a 1-year-old daughter. While he understood the decision to cancel the race, Burrell said, “It’s devastating.”

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