Saturday, November 3, 2012

New York Marathon - Cancelled

This year my big race was the New York Marathon!  Tomorrow morning, in a normal year, I would have been running it.  Instead, as you all know, the marathon was cancelled.  And, now I plan to run around central park in the morning before I head back home to the bay area.

Yes, I made the trip out here.  After the storm, I was very unsure what to do and expected that more likely than not the race would be cancelled or postponed.  I checked often for updates on the marathon and on my flight.  My flight was scheduled for Thursday morning from SFO to Newark.  I thought about calling off the trip, but we had used miles for the flights and paid for the hotel.  Thus, as Wed came, my wife and I agreed that we would go if the marathon is on and our flight was not cancelled.

I check the marathon and flight status late Wed and early Thursday.  Everything was a go, so I woke my two year up at 5:30am to make the flight.

We landed on time in Newark and had a car waiting for us.  We decided to get a car because we heard of the gas problems.  On my way to the hotel in New York, talking to the driver, I started to question whether I should be out here.  The driver told me that many people were not happy the marathon was taking place.  Back at the hotel, I saw a lot more images of the damage done by Sandy.  My wife told me, should we be out here for a marathon?  I was not sure. We had followed what we heard from about the marathon being on and made the trip.

On Friday, we went to the expo.  I picked up my bib and shirt.  And, started to feel okay about running.  I felt horrible about the damage and the lost lives.  Yet, I thought that I could run this marathon.

Then, we loaded a shuttle to head back towards the hotel.  On the shuttle my wife told me she heard some one behind us say the marathon was called off.  I told her she must have misunderstood.  I checked cnn and espn and sure enough the marathon was off.  News spread fast.  Everyone was checking their smartphone.  There was silence on the bus.  People did not know what to say or how to react.

I brought my family out here and wanted to run the marathon.  I was disappointed.  But, I understood the decision.  Especially being out here as I questioned whether I should run.  My heart was torn as to whether I should even be out here.  I know my running friends were just getting off a plane and heading to New York when the news broke.  I thought of the people I spoke to who had traveled great distances to come to New York.  Yet, I also thought of the people who lost their lives, who lost their homes, and those who are still struggling to survive.  I understood the decision to cancel the marathon.

I wish the decision was made sooner.  If I knew the marathon might be cancelled and was not "on" on Wednesday, I would have never made the trip. 

However, I don't feel bad for the trip I made out here. I was able to spend the weekend with my wife and daughter in New York.  I will not run a marathon in New York, but I will run in Central Park.  My life will be back to normal on Monday.  Yet, many people affected by the storm will be affected for years.  I'm disappointed that the marathon was cancelled, but my heart goes to the people that lost so much due the Storm.  I wish a fast recovery for those who were affected by the storm.  There will be another marathon.  And, I will run the NY marathon another time.

1 comment:

Nelly said...

That is tough that you were out there for it. I agree that it seems like they should have cancelled the race earlier in the week so people didn't fly in. That is very tough, I bet your emotions are all over the place.

I posted a facebook post to my friends on Friday wondering why they allowed the Knicks-Heat game to happen on Friday, as well as the Giants-Steelers game to happen today. My friends basically crucified me. Seemed like to me that they should either cancel all sports or none of them.

Though I understand why the marathon shouldn't happen, because it goes through areas that are hard hit by the hurricane. Just seemed like people wanted to blame runners or something for wanting to have the race, or almost telling runners that they needed to donate their hotel rooms to the victims or give their supplies to them too. And why didn't fans going to the Steelers-Giants game donate their hotel rooms too if they were flying in from out of town? 80K people were at that game today. While people should help out the victims if they want to, it should be voluntary. Not almost like a forced obligation brought on by others. The marathon is run as a stand alone entity, so if the race didn't exist, there wouldn't be any talk about runners helping out because they wouldn't have any opportunity to do so. I saw that runners helped out in Staten Island today, that was really great to see. There will always be other marathons out there to run.