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Kris
November 1st, 2003, 08:57 PM
November 2, 2003

URBAN TACTICS

A New York Kind of Marathon

By BENJAMIN CHEEVER

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I first ran the New York City Marathon in 1978, and I remember hearing a commotion over behind the world's longest urinal. Three men were making a racket climbing the chain-link fence that girds Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, where the race begins. The numbers pinned to their tunics looked like the real thing, but the bar codes, as was cheerfully explained by the bandits, had been cut from cereal boxes.

The race is justly famous for mirroring its host city. The event is gigantic (there were 31,700 finishers last year), hits all five boroughs and has an international flavor.

"New Yorkers are arrogant,'' says the marathon's director, Alan Steinfeld. "They have a right to be arrogant. But come marathon week, everybody opens their arms.''

Which doesn't mean we stop being New Yorkers. Read: passionate, competitive, vain and sometimes devious.

Boston, the nation's oldest marathon, requires speed of its entrants. The New York application process is intended to create a diverse field. Ten thousand come from overseas; locals get in first come first served, with a lottery attached. Now you also can guarantee admission by joining the New York Road Runners' Club and competing in nine authorized races. But if you want a number for New York, it's good to be lucky, foreign, connected or shrewd.

Some 73,000 applied this year, "our highest ever,'' according to Mr. Steinfeld. That's more than twice what the field can hold.

So how do you get in? Many of us cheat. My friend Eduardo Castillo, who had applied twice, got in twice, and I didn't get in at all. So I ran as Julio Castillo and was repeatedly startled when people who seemed to be looking at me, Ben, shouted, "Go, Julio!''

Ray Bowles, a running companion from Pleasantville, N.Y., where I live, first entered on two weeks' notice with the number given him by a friend of his nephew. "I know of a man who had his mail delivered to his girlfriend's home in the Bahamas to establish residency,'' he told me. "I registered once with my brother's address in Vermont. None of this is extraordinary.''

One year I lined up at midnight outside a Manhattan post office, and the next year a friend worked inside and promised to give us all the most advantageous postmark. Marty Linsky, now on the faculty at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, tells me he ran in 1989 with a number provided by the Boston mayor, Ray Flynn, "who was given a small supply to hand out to his nearest and dearest.''

One would think that a race that killed Pheidippides, the first man who ran the distance, would be destructive of self-regard, but New York's egoists are a hearty lot. I recall one young woman who shed the 30-gallon trash bag in which she had huddled against the cold, turned to her friend and said, "I'm doing this to honor my body.''

The willingness to look out for No. 1 can also assert itself at the start. Competitors are urged to line up with the fastest runners first. I'm a small man, and one year I recall finding myself shoulder to shoulder with a whippet. Directly in front of us was this great fat guy. The whippet and I exchanged angry glances. I reached forward and tapped the giant. "I don't think you belong up here,'' I said.

"Yeah?'' he said as he turned and looked us both in the face. "What are either of you going to do about it?''

Ordinarily the race stampede is triggered when the mayor fires a howitzer. But back in 1992, a group of foreign runners who had been let onto the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge couldn't be persuaded to halt at the starting line. Then everybody else began to run. "The police are told that if the race breaks, you just take off, whether you hear the cannon or not,'' Mr. Steinfeld recalled. "I was fortunately a sprinter in college, and I ran like hell to the lead vehicle.''

Fred Lebow, the founder of the race, was running the five-borough race for the first time that year with Grete Waitz. He had surrendered control of the start to Mr. Steinfeld. As the acting race director sped to safety, "Fred is on the phone, or I guess we had walkie-talkies back then, screaming: 'What happened? What happened?' ''

This sort of story works as a foil to the tide of good will that colors the event. I ran in 1992, and I remember passing Fred and Grete. The crowd erupted around that unlikely pair. Since then, runners from the Police and Fire Departments are set out at each of the race's several starting points, arms locked in a cordon, so nobody can cross the line until the race begins.

Mr. Steinfeld has never run the course but would like to in three years, when he is 60, "provided I'm not hit by a bus.'' For now, he enjoys watching others cross the line, kissed by volunteers who hang medals around their necks and dole out the silvery capes.

THERE'S a good deal of status attached to the event. After my 1978 outing, I remember being stopped by a woman in the supermarket who wanted to know how to get the T-shirt I was wearing. "Oh,'' I said, "You need to run the marathon.''

The foil blanket has become the most obvious and convincing badge of courage. My father, John, brought me to Boston to run that marathon in 1979, the day he won the Pulitzer Prize. I took a bath while he answered calls. Walking near the Prudential Center afterwards, he noticed all the other runners still trailing those silvery capes. "Nobody knows that either of us did anything,'' he said.

Mr. Steinfeld started as a marathon volunteer in 1975; in 1978 it became a full-time job, "for half the salary I was making teaching,'' he said, "but it seemed like it would be fun.''

The race he has directed for a decade has spawned imitators all over the globe, including the larger London Marathon and one through the vineyards of Bordeaux, which I ran last year. They serve wine at the water stops. "Le Marathon le Plus Long du Monde,'' they call it. Actually, it goes rather quickly, once you start drinking.

I suppose it's more difficult now than it was in 1978 to fake a number, but there will always be some bandits, a little fraud at the edges of the great event. New York is the business capital of the world, and business is a contact sport. Ask the Indians who sold us Manhattan.

Rosie Ruiz rode the subway to glory in Boston, but the first ever New York Marathon was won in 1970 by Gary Muhrcke. Muhrcke made the front pages in 1978, when he was victorious in the race up the 85 flights of the Empire State Building, and it was discovered that he was receiving a tax-free disability pension of $11,822 from the Fire Department. There were editorials and angry letters. Defenders point out that Muhrcke had been in traction, and that running is not the same as climbing down a ladder with a 200-pound man on your back. Muhrcke went on to found the Super Runners Shop, which now has four outlets.

I like to think that his survival was more a matter of generosity than judgment. People liked Gary. He knew a lot about shoes. And he was fast.

Benjamin Cheever is the author of "Selling Ben Cheever,'' a book about entry-level jobs. His newest novel, "The Good Nanny,'' will be published by Bloomsbury U.S.A. next July.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
November 1st, 2003, 09:04 PM
www.nycmarathon.org

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http://www.nyc.gov/html/sports/html/nyc_marathon.html

Kris
November 2nd, 2003, 07:58 AM
November 2, 2003

Music and Medals Attract Marathoners

By MARC BLOOM

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Entertainment-oriented marathons, some with rock 'n' roll bands every mile, are attracting record numbers of newcomers who are drawn more to the entertainment and camaraderie than to the athletic challenge.

Tricia Coultes, 33, of Lansing, Mich., was among the 20,000 participants in last year's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego. She had no interest in running it, was unfamiliar with training methods and knew little about the sport.

Coultes said her goal was to walk the marathon at a pace of 15 minutes a mile and enjoy the sights as part of a weekend vacation.

Coultes had walked previous marathons with her mother but was on her own in San Diego. By the halfway point, she took out her cellphone to call her mother. "I was crying my eyes out," she said. "I told her, `You never told me how hard it would be to do a marathon by myself.' She told me to hang in there."

Coultes was not exactly by herself. In addition to the large field of runners, there were bands with a stage and a sound system every mile to entertain the runners and spur them on to the finish. There were also groups of high school cheerleaders throughout for additional motivation.

Propelled by this popular new style of entertainment-oriented marathon, which is redefining what was once an elite event for superior, highly trained athletes, Coultes finally crossed the finish line in 6 hours 59 minutes, a pace of 16 minutes a mile. "The music gives you more energy," she said.

Coultes, who works for an insurance company, represents a new type of participant that is swelling marathon fields but at the same time slowing them to a crawl. These new adherents, officials say, are changing the marathon from an athletic event to a social event. In doing so, the participants have created running's version of a reality show in which ordinary people with no athletic background can be in the spotlight.

At the forefront of the movement, known as "marathons for everyone," are so-called music marathons, which have sprung up in the last few years. Elite Racing, a company based in San Diego that created the concept, will draw nearly 100,000 participants to its four music marathons next year.

They offer glory without sacrifice to those who barely train but cover the distance; they receive a finisher's medal to wear around their necks.

In addition, at least 20 marathons now offer separate standings and prizes for heavier people once spurned by the event's very thin devotees. Men weighing 200 pounds and up, called Clydesdales, and women 160 pounds and up, called Athenas, are welcomed.

One event with a Clydesdales division is the Cellcom Marathon in Green Bay, Wis. "We wanted to be all-inclusive," said Nadia Farr, a spokeswoman for the marathon, which also featured a Super Clydesdales division for men weighing 250 pounds or more. "We felt we should level the playing field so more people could come out as winners."

Some marathon veterans regard the changes with contempt. They complain that an event in which the quest for Everest-like achievement went along with a disciplined, healthier lifestyle has been watered down to little more than a hike in the park. Proponents of the new breed of marathoner contend that any endeavor that addresses America's obesity problem by getting people to walk is worthwhile.

Coultes, whose next marathon is Elite's inaugural P. F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona in Phoenix in January, said: "Most of the year, I don't train. I'm a couch potato." Even though she said she walks for only four months leading to a race, she has lost 10 pounds this year.

Walkers like Coultes, according to officials, are most responsible for a rise in marathon finishers. Statistics from the USA Track and Field Road Running Information Center in Santa Barbara, Calif., show a 13 percent increase in United States marathon finishers from 1996 (396,000) to 2002 (450,000). Last year, women made up 40 percent of finishers, compared with 26 percent in 1995. The median women's time in 2002 was 4:56:46, compared with 4:15:00 in 1995. The men's median time was 4:20:01 in 2002, compared with 3:54:00 in 1995.

Today's 34th New York City Marathon, which has a field of 32,000, reflects the nationwide trends. The median time for marathon finishers last year was 4:27:02, a pace of 10:12 a mile, compared with 3:59:29 in 1989, a pace of 9:03 a mile. Women were 30 percent of the 2002 field, while in 1989, women made up 18 percent. Subsequently, the starting times for New York's different divisions will be about an hour earlier this year.

"People are coming into the marathon for fitness, not competition," Allan Steinfield, the New York City Marathon director, said in an interview. "Their times are not important. They want the camaraderie. It's not the loneliness of the long-distance runner anymore."

Aware that the new marathoners also want entertainment, Steinfeld said that he was talking with the borough presidents and others about having "bands, choirs and doo-wop groups" along the course next year.

Or at least a tape of "Chariots of Fire" at the 20-mile point, known as the Wall because marathoners' energy tends to run low.

Pushing through the Wall at a brisk three-hour pace, or 6:52 a mile, was what motivated James F. Behr of Staten Island, a Vietnam veteran and former smoker who ran every New York City Marathon from 1975 to 2001. Behr, 56, a high school teacher and everyday runner who broke 3:00 often and once ran a 2:38 at the Boston Marathon, no longer enters New York.

"I resent that the race is now dominated by what the French call poseurs," Behr said. "They want to look like runners and get a medal but they're not running. It's the dumbing down of the marathon."

Behr said that the final straw for him occurred when participants carrying cameras stopped shortly after the start on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to ask others to take their pictures. "Another guy took out a cellphone to brag to someone about his race," Behr said. "And he hadn't even done a mile yet."

On the other hand, Tim Murphy, the president of Elite Racing, extolled his events' open-arms atmosphere. "What I hear most is that the people feel just as cool as the runner trying to break three hours," he said. "It's all about finishing."

JoAnn Dahlkoetter, a sports psychologist in San Carlos, Calif., said that she had previously helped obsessive marathoners learn to cope with pain so they could break three hours. "Now I see people struggling with goals to get under seven hours. Some marathons have a cut-off time where they close the course. These people want to make sure they don't feel like they're getting kicked out."

Dahlkoetter said that, in a startling shift, most newcomers made the marathon their first race. "They've never accomplished anything physical in their lives," she said. "This gives them bragging rights."

Marathoners once served an apprenticeship based on training fundamentals and historical precedence. They started out in five-kilometer (3.1-mile) and 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) races, worked up to a half-marathon and, after advancing to a training regimen of 40 to 50 miles a week and up, found the courage to tackle a marathon. This process often took years.

Today's participants go right into a marathon because the typical five-kilometer race offers little recognition or hoopla and is not perceived as an athletic steppingstone. Coultes's first race was the Honolulu Marathon, which she has done three times. She does not run five-kilometers but sometimes does half-marathons.

Coultes did the Nashville Country Music Half-Marathon with seven other women from her office. She covered the 13.1 miles in 3:04 and turned out to be the event's big money winner. Murphy had offered a sweepstakes in which participants' race numbers and finish times were picked at random. Coultes won $5,000. The winner of the half-marathon, a Kenyan who ran 1:08:54, got nothing.

Murphy's newest music marathon, the Chang event in Phoenix, advertises a fast, flat course, more than 50 bands, 40 cheering squads and cool weather. Murphy said he already had 15,000 entries and would limit the combined fields to about 30,000, a record for a first marathon and half-marathon.

"Murphy has built a recognizable brand," said Phil Stewart, the publisher of Road Race Management, an industry newsletter. "Individuality is what used to set marathons apart. Now we're seeing the reverse of that. He's looking at it in more marketing terms."

Even though the entry fee of $85 will generate around $2.5 million in revenue for the Phoenix race, Murphy said his events lose money. "The Arizona event has a marketing budget of $700,000, the entertainment costs $600,000, and we're spending a total of $3.6 million," he said.

It is too soon to determine if the new marathoners are making a commitment to improved health in the long-term or whether they are taking a one-shot attempt at fun and glory.

"Many events claim large numbers of first-timers year after year," said Stewart, the newsletter publisher. "If that's the case, where are the second-timers?"

But the participants' emotional gratification is clear. Going from obscurity to covering 26 miles on foot, no matter what the pace, can be a transcendent experience.

For Tricia Coultes, the best part comes when she glances back at the finish.

"There are a lot of people behind me," she said. "That makes me feel good."

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Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company


NYC Marathon Pictures (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=76) (2002)

NYatKNIGHT
November 3rd, 2003, 10:33 AM
It was such a beautiful day to watch the marathon - a little warm for the runners, but the mild temperatures brought out as many onlookers as I've ever seen. Fun day!

NYatKNIGHT
November 4th, 2004, 11:41 AM
I'm running it this year.

Anyone else?

NYatKNIGHT
November 9th, 2004, 03:55 PM
Took a few photos of the starting area at Fort Hamilton on Staten Island.


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A great photo tour of New York City and the marathon by SSP member gct13, here. (http://www.skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=59644)

BrandonUptown
November 9th, 2004, 04:05 PM
That urinal? Do they put that there just for the use of the men to use? Is it there all the time or only during the Marathon?

NYatKNIGHT
November 15th, 2004, 11:13 AM
November 11, 2004

A Long Run, but He Broke the Red Tape

By JOYCE PURNICK

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Fred Lebow, in bronze, checks a runner's time.


THOUSANDS see it every year at the finish line of the New York City Marathon, and all but maybe the youngest know they are looking at a bronze statue of Fred Lebow, the marathon's founder.

What they don't know is how that statue came to be, that its path was long and costly and nearly blocked. Its sponsor had to raise contributions from afar and hold meetings with commissions and lawmakers, the mayor and the governor.

There were disagreements over location, and a religious objection threatened to consign the statue to storage until a clever solution presented itself, giving rise to The Secret of the Lebow Bronze.

This little saga began in 1990, when a runner from San Diego named Daniel S. Mitrovich ran in the New York marathon. "I felt it was one of the greatest events I'd ever been in," Mr. Mitrovich said over the phone this week.

He was so impressed with New Yorkers and with the determined, willful Mr. Lebow, that he thought he should be honored with a statue. He started the equivalent of a campaign, even though he had just met Mr. Lebow, who created the marathon in 1970 and grew it into a world-class institution.

In the government relations business, Mr. Mitrovich knows his way through the political maze, as does his older brother, George, president of the City Club of San Diego and a former press adviser to Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Charles E. Goodell of New York.

The elder Mr. Mitrovich helped get Mr. Lebow a visit with the first President Bush in the Oval Office. The younger Mr. Mitrovich asked a San Diego artist, Jesus Ygnacio Dominguez, to work on the statue, and he got such luminaries as Grete Waitz and George Plimpton to join his effort. "George said, 'You think you're just going to put up a statue - do you know how tough that's going to be?' '' recalled Mr. Mitrovich, who concedes he hadn't realized how hard New York could be.

He soon found out, starting when he first met a dyspeptic Henry J. Stern, commissioner of parks and recreation. "Henry told me, 'This is not going to happen.' ''

The Californian did what any good government relations man would do. Over the next several years, he gathered broad support from public figures. In Rudolph W. Giuliani's administration, he consulted often with the mayor's spokeswoman at the time - a marathon runner - Cristyne F. Lategano.

Commissioner Stern relented. "I'm wary of statues in general, but here was a guy, Fred Lebow, who really brought about a new sport," he said this week.

The statue was unveiled at the marathon on Nov. 4, 1994, a few weeks after Mr. Lebow died of cancer at the age of 62, but did not find its semi-permanent home for another seven years.

IT kept moving, from the marathon's finish line near Tavern on the Green to a less visible site nearby, into storage and out of storage.

Mr. Mitrovich, driven for reasons he cannot quite articulate - innate obstinacy, perhaps - kept pushing. The Giuliani administration, about to leave office, wanted to tie up loose ends.

Today, the statue stands in Central Park near 90th Street and Fifth Avenue, not far from the headquarters of the New York Road Runners. It is still moved each year to preside over the finish line of the marathon, and while the city Art Commission has yet to officially sanction its location, nobody expects it to be dislodged.

Money was another problem. Mr. Mitrovich called on friends and associates, including the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians, a tribe from Alpine, Calif., near San Diego. They contributed $25,000, and Mr. Mitrovich helped the tribe hold a ceremony at ground zero to honor victims of Sept. 11.

Then came religion. One of Mr. Lebow's brothers objected, citing the prohibition against graven images. Some Jews believe that since God created human beings in his image, any representation of a human being could be construed as the image of God.

What to do? The night before the statue's dedication in Central Park 10 years ago, Mr. Mitrovich and a rabbi ducked under the blanket covering the statue. The rabbi used a metal file to chip the statue between Fred Lebow's left thumb and forefinger.

"It's an incomplete human being, so you're not creating an image of a human being," explained Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, director of the National Jewish Outreach Program. "It's sort of like a loophole."

The Secret of the Lebow Bronze. The statue of Fred Lebow is incomplete, imperfect. Like the rest of us. But it finally seems to have found a comfortable home in Central Park because a sunny, persistent Californian didn't realize you can't get things done in New York.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NewYorkYankee
April 28th, 2005, 10:57 PM
I have a question about the Marathon. Can anyone run it? Just pu tin an application and you in? I thought they may select just the best runners. I want to run this year, anyone have plans to? Also, when should I submit the application?

NYatKNIGHT
April 29th, 2005, 01:02 PM
You have until June 1 to submit an application. You can pill out an entry form at this site which also shows who is guaranteed entry. For all others there is a lottery. I submitted an application for this year, though odds are I don't get in because I ran it last year.

http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/entrantinfo/applyfor2005.html

autumnsun
October 30th, 2006, 03:00 PM
Hey all,

Longtime lurker here. I'll be coming to NY in a few days to run the marathon, my first. If any of you have run in the marathon before (such as NYatKNIGHT), would you care to share your experiences/photos/tips? I'm curious about a few things in particular like how to deal with the long wait at the starting line, the best places for spectators to stand, and what to do when I hit the wall at mile 20. Thanks everyone!

kliq6
October 30th, 2006, 03:44 PM
a great moment in my life (2004 runner) last four or five miles are pure will as your bosy is out of it

TranspoMan
October 30th, 2006, 09:34 PM
I've run the NYC Marathon before and will tell you that is is 26.2 miles of pure adreneline rush. From the moment you get on the Verrazano Bridge and the deck starts bouncing up and down, get ready for the experience of your lifetime!

The crowds throughout the course are awesome but I think Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn is the best because they have tons of live bands along the street. If my memory serves me correct, there is usually a good rock band near an auto dealership by the 86th Street subway station (between miles 2 and 3 on the blue/orange starts). That is a good place for spectators because you can quickly jump on the subway and head off to watch the race in other locations.

It's an incredible experience when you first enter Manhattan at Mile 16. On the 59th Street Bridge it's eerie quiet but this suddenly goes all the way from nothing to a deafening crowd roar when you turn onto First Avenue. Use the crowd noise to your advantage to re-energize yourself after the long climb up the bridge. However, if you're a spectator it's much easier to watch the race a few more blocks uptown where the crowd isn't five people deep.

If you hit the wall in the Bronx, just hang in there for the last 10K. You'll get tons of support from the spectators along Fifth Avenue, and even more if you write your name on your shirt. Good luck Sunday and save enough energy to give some high-fives to the kids along the course!

NYatKNIGHT
October 31st, 2006, 04:59 PM
The start may seem an unnecessarily long wait, but there is plenty of things to keep you entertained. Just stretch, keep warm, eat a little, drink a little, go to the bathroom, walk around....it's a real scene. Soon enough you'll be on the starting line.

You can put a bag of your things on a bus to retrieve after the race, but that's a good half hour before the gun goes off. So remember to bring something warm to wear for that last half hour that you can take off at the starting line - something that you'll never see again, so nothing you particularly like. They give all the discarded clothes to charity.

It's sort of hard to say where the best place for spectators to stand is. Central Park has a lot going for it, but it is so crowded you may not see who you're cheering for. I know a lot of people who like First Avenue because there are lots of eateries (and bars) to get inside of. As a runner I appreciated the fans in the harder to reach places - like in the Bronx and in Queens. There's a good spot in Brooklyn around Mile 8 just after coming off Fourth Avenue when they make a right onto Lafayette. Lots of subway lines there around there and places to get breakfast or lunch. Then you can catch the subway back to Manhattan on the 4 train to 86th Street and either check out the race on First Avenue or head straight to the park. This is how I've been able to see who I'm cheering for three times along the race course.

I'll try to find those pictures I posted above - they show what it's like at the start.

NYatKNIGHT
November 3rd, 2006, 11:44 AM
I put most of those photos back. Makes me wish I was running it this year. Maybe 2007, we'll see. Good luck to all.

autumnsun
November 3rd, 2006, 11:43 PM
Thanks for reposting the pictures, NYatKNIGHT. Both my sister and I are running and getting seriously pumped up for it. Seeing those start photos at Fort Wadsworth made my heart rate go up a bit, knowing I'll be there in just over 24 hours.

dshama
May 9th, 2007, 04:43 PM
Dear sirs,

I'm writting your from Spain. I'd be in NY by nov 4th. But I didn't get Marathon Lottery. Could I run the marathon anyway with the people, but without the number & chip??? How can I do to be there???

Thank you so Much

brianac
October 29th, 2008, 04:56 PM
October 27, 2008

On the Run in New York

Five boroughs, 26.2 miles, about 40,000 runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators. Explore the New York City Marathon route, learn about the race course, get strategy advice from elite runners, follow the stories of runners on race day and find out where to eat along the route by clicking on the interactive maps below.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/10/27/sports/20081027_MARATHON_INTERACTIVE.html?ref=nyregion


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

NYC4Life
October 29th, 2008, 08:01 PM
NY1

Updated 5:32 PM

Marathon Organizers Paint Finish Line


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Organizers of the 39th annual ING New York City Marathon painted the ceremonial blue finish line Wednesday morning in Central Park.

The resulting ceremonial blue line will mark the 26-odd mile course.

The five-borough event starts on the west end of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and concludes near Tavern on the Green in Central Park.

“Painting the blue line is a significant effort in and of itself,” said Mary Wittenberg of New York Road Runners. “Some 75 gallons of paint in two nights in the middle of the night, the Department of Transportation, our team at NYRR and NYPD will come out and paint the blue line.”

Tens of thousands of runners will take their marks Sunday at 9 a.m.



Copyright © 2008 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life
October 30th, 2008, 06:24 PM
NY Daily News

Priest dedicates 20th marathon run to fallen construction workers

BY LARRY McSHANE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, October 29th 2008, 8:57 PM

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Roca/News

The Rev. Brian Jordan will doff his cassock and run in his 20th New York City Marathon, which he's dedicated to the city's fallen construction workers.


As he runs through the concrete canyons of Manhattan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Manhattan), the Rev. Brian Jordan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brian+Jordan) plans a quiet prayer Sunday for the workers who died creating the skyline above.

The Franciscan priest swaps his sandals for running shoes Sunday in the New York City Marathon (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+City+Marathon) - and he's dedicating his 26-mile run to the 21 city construction workers killed this year.

The run also launches the Construction Workers Relief Fund, an organization to raise money for the families of future work site tragedy victims - an equivalent to the New York Police (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+City+Police+Department) & Fire Widows & Children's Benefit Fund.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2008/10/30/amd_brianjordan.jpg
Roca/News
Jordan limbers up at 31st St. and Sixth Ave.

"This is going to be one of the most emotionally draining marathons I've ever run in my life," Jordan said yesterday. "I was present at many of the wakes and funerals for these construction workers.

"I'll be praying for them as I run across the bridges they built and past the buildings they put up."

For Jordan, 53, this is his 20th New York City Marathon and his 56th overall. His idea for the fund, to benefit union and nonunion workers, was hailed by several in the construction industry.

"He's really committed to this," said Edward Malloy (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Edward+Malloy), president of the Building and Construction Trades Council (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Construction+Trades+Council). "He's seen the pain, seen the problems caused by the loss of a breadwinner.

"That's where this idea came from, and we totally embrace it."

Gary La Barbera (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Gary+La+Barbera), president of the New York City Central Labor Council (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+City+Central+Labor+Council), agreed.

"Father Brian Jordan is paying an incredible tribute to all New York City (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+City) building trades workers," he said.

This was a particularly grim year for the industry, with a pair of East Side crane collapses boosting the death toll: Seven dead in March, two more in May.

Jordan, who presided over an April memorial for victims in St. Patrick's Cathedral (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/St.+Patrick's+Cathedral), was hopeful that the average New Yorker would help out.

"There's no office to work in if no one builds that office," he said. "There's no public transportation, no new stadiums if you don't have construction workers."

Jordan's history with the industry dates back to 9/11, when he worked as a chaplain at Ground Zero for nine months.

Donors for the new fund can contact Malloy's group in Manhattan.


© Copyright 2008 NYDailyNews.com. All rights reserved.

Schadenfrau
October 30th, 2008, 07:31 PM
Thanks for posting that story, NYC4Life. The marathon is my favorite city day of the year, and I'll certainly keep an eye out to cheer for Rev. Jordan.

NYC4Life
November 1st, 2008, 04:25 PM
NY1

Updated 1:12 PM

City Ready For Marathon

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/2271/27565693fh1.jpg

Top runners from around the globe will hit the pavement tomorrow for the city's ultimate test of endurance.

Nearly 40,000 runners will lace up their sneakers for the 39th annual New York City Marathon, spanning 26.2 miles through all five boroughs.

The race begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge and finishes in Manhattan's Central Park.

A new feature this year is staggered start times, with groups of runners beginning at different times to ease congestion, but whoever has the best total time will be the winner.

The fastest runners will begin before those staggered groups head to the starting line.

Top finishers on the man's and women's side take home $130,000 in prize money.

There are a number of street and bridge closures tomorrow because of the race.

For a full list and to take a look at the route map, head to www.nycmarathon.org (http://www.nycmarathon.org).


Copyright © 2008 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life
November 2nd, 2008, 11:39 AM
Paula Radcliffe from the UK has just won the womens race, her third NYC marathon win. American Kara Goucher, a native of Queens, finished 3rd.

NYC4Life
November 2nd, 2008, 11:55 AM
Marilson Gomes Dos Santos from Brazil has won on the mens race after pulling ahead on the final mile. Abderrahim Goumri of Morocco came in 2nd.

NYatKNIGHT
November 3rd, 2008, 10:05 AM
Stating the obvious, but it happens every year: it's hard to watch the race and not be hugely inspired by the runners, and equally proud of New York.

Front_Porch
November 3rd, 2008, 12:34 PM
. .. the worst I've ever seen it — I feel like the city messed up on this one.

At around 6, all the cabs were "off-duty"; the marathoners were tired, chilly, exhausted, and just trying to get home.

There were a gazillion pedicabs trying to pick up business at high prices (I heard one quote $35 to go from 72nd and Columbus to Madison and 38th) and all they did was clog up the bus lanes so the buses couldn't run.

I was very inspired by all who ran, and apologize for their inability to get anywhere else post-race!

Jasonik
October 18th, 2009, 11:58 AM
How insane do you think the ridership volume is for the tram on race day (http://rooseveltisland360.blogspot.com/2007/11/nyc-marathon-tram-view.html)? Any guess on wait times?

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2116/1862652822_84ba0b22a0.jpg
2007 by Pabo76 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pabo76/1862652822/)

lofter1
October 18th, 2009, 04:50 PM
Gonna be quite the party weekend, with lots of visitors coming to town:

Friday, October 30: St. John's University Homecoming (http://www.stjohns.edu/campus/eventscalendar.stj?timeframe=2009)

Saturday, October 31: Hallowe'en

Sunday, November 1: NYC Marathon

Merry
October 23rd, 2009, 06:56 AM
Plodders Have a Place, but Is It in a Marathon?

By JULIET MACUR

Every weekend during this fall marathon season, long after most runners have completed the 26.2-mile course — and very likely after many have showered, changed and headed for a meal — a group of stragglers crosses the finish line.

Many of those slower runners, claiming that late is better than never, receive a finisher’s medal just like every other participant. Having traversed the same route as the fleeter-footed runners — perhaps in twice the amount of time — they get to call themselves marathoners.

And it’s driving some hard-core runners crazy.

“It’s a joke to run a marathon by walking every other mile or by finishing in six, seven, eight hours,” said Adrienne Wald (http://www.cnr.edu/Athletics/CrossCountryCoach), 54, the women’s cross-country coach at the College of New Rochelle, who ran her first marathon in 1984. “It used to be that running a marathon was worth something — there used to be a pride saying that you ran a marathon, but not anymore. Now it’s, ‘How low is the bar?’ ”

Tens of thousands of runners are training for marathons this time of year.

As the fields continue to grow — primarily by adding slower runners — so has the intensity of the debate over how quickly an able-bodied runner should finish the once-elite event that is now an activity for the masses.

Purists believe that running a marathon should be just that — running the entire course at a relatively fast clip. They point out that a six-hour marathoner is simply participating in the event, not racing in it. Slow runners have disrespected the distance, they say, and have ruined the marathon’s mystique.

Slower marathoners believe that covering the 26.2 miles is the crux of the accomplishment, no matter the pace. They say that marathons inspire people to get off their couches, if only to cross off an item on the Things to Do Before I Die list. And besides, slow runners are what drive the marathon business, they say.

John Bingham, a runner who is known as the Penguin (http://www.johnbingham.com/), is often credited with starting the slow-running movement, in the 1990s. “I have had people say that I’ve ruined the sport of running, but what I’ve been trying to do is promote the activity of running to an entire generation of people,” he said. “What’s wrong with that?”

Bingham added: “The complainers are just a bunch of ornery, grumpy people who want the marathon all to themselves and don’t want the slower runners. But too bad. The sport is fueled and funded by people like me.”

Trends show that marathon finishers are getting slower and slower — and more prevalent — according to Running USA, a nonprofit organization that tracks trends in distance running. From 1980 to 2008, the number of marathon finishers in the United States increased to 425,000 from 143,000.

In 1980, the median finishing time for male runners in United States marathons was 3 hours 32 minutes 17 seconds, a pace of about eight minutes per mile. In 2008, the median finishing time was 4:16, a pace of 9:46. For women, that time in 1980 was 4:03:39. Last year, it was 4:43:32.

In a debate on the Web site slowtwitch.com (http://forum.slowtwitch.com/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/WANTED-_A_slow_marathon_runner_is_Chicago._P2520089/), someone posting as Record10 Carbon wrote that more than half of the people at a marathon are just overweight and “trying to get a shirt and medal ... looking to one day tell a story about the saga and the suffering of their 11 minute pace ‘race.’ ”

In response, someone wrote: “Being a participant isn’t bad. Yes, there should be a cutoff on some events. But, what that cutoff is can be a raging debate.”

Race directors often struggle to find the right cut-off time, when water stations are closed, roads open to vehicles and volunteers abandon the course. Some directors, however, avoid that problem.

Runners in the Honolulu Marathon have no limits. Race rules state, “All runners will be permitted to finish, regardless of their time.”

Last year, 44 percent of the field for that event finished in more than six hours — with some marathoners stopping for lunch along the course.

“For every race director, there’s a very fine line between putting on a community event and putting on a race,” said Chris Burch, race director for the Des Moines Marathon (http://www.desmoinesmarathon.com/), which stays open for seven hours. Last year, it stayed open for eight hours, but Burch found that only 4 percent of the participants needed more than seven hours to finish. In the end, that extra hour was not worth it, he said, because of the costs of keeping the course open.

“It is a huge budget item because you have to pay municipal services, like police, fire or trash, and volunteers have to stay longer,” he said. “But it’s not a simple decision. Those back-of-the-pack runners are income for the event, too, and they’re just as important for everyone. There’s a feeling of ‘I paid as much money as the other people to enter, so I should be treated the same.’ ”

At the Marine Corps Marathon (http://www.marinemarathon.com/page11.aspx), runners must keep a pace of 14 minutes per mile or risk being booted from the event near the 20-mile mark. A bus looms there, waiting to pick up those who fail to cross the 14th Street Bridge before it reopens to traffic. Those who choose to continue on the open course do so at their own risk, taking to the sidewalks or dodging traffic.

At the Berlin Marathon (http://www.real-berlin-marathon.com/events/berlin_marathon/2009/index.en.php), where the cut-off time is 6:15, the “slow police” are notorious for lurking at the back of the pack. “If runners aren’t able to finish in the time we put in our information book, we ask them to leave the course and find their way to their hotel, or get in the bus,” the race director Mark Milde said.

The New York City Marathon (http://www.nycmarathon.org/), scheduled for Nov. 1, will have a field of about 40,000. Last year, about 21 percent of the field finished in more than five hours. The race officially ends after 6:30, though runners are scored through 8:40, when the timing system is finally carted off, said the race director Mary Wittenberg.

Longtime marathoners like Julia Given, a 46-year-old marketing director from Charlottesville, Va., still find ways to differentiate the “serious runners” from those at the back of the pack.

“If you’re wearing a marathon T-shirt, that doesn’t mean much anymore,” Given said on the eve of this month’s Baltimore Marathon, where vendors were selling products that celebrate slower runners. One sticker said: “I’m slow. I know. Get over it.”

“I always ask those people, ‘What was your time?’ If it’s six hours or more, I say, ‘Oh great, that’s fine, but you didn’t really run it,’ ” said Givens, who finished the Baltimore race in 4:05:52. “The mystique of the marathon still exists. It’s the mystique of the fast marathon.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/sports/23marathon.html

whiteathame
October 24th, 2009, 08:25 AM
IMHO, the Marathon T-shirts should indicate "who ran the race" and "who merely completed it."

Runners show their finish times and receive the appropriately stenciled T-shirt. (At the 6-hour mark, all finishers receive a shirt with the words "6th Hour, Still Running" entered in parenthesis.

I Finished in the ... Hour

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Merry
November 1st, 2009, 12:55 AM
Block-a-Thon

By ANDY NEWMAN

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/10/30/nyregion/01mara_span_ready/articleLarge.jpg
WALK THIS WAY Andy Newman with his dog, Barnaby, on Warren Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Honey, I'm Taking a Walk (http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/10/30/nyregion/01marathonGraphic.html)

A nail salon opened around the corner from my house on Monday. Normally, this fact would barely register. Nail salons open every few minutes in New York City, and there were already three within two blocks.

But on Monday morning, the sight of cheery women in surgical masks hanging up plastic pennants was big news: I was in Lap 17 of 75.4, on a quest to walk a marathon around my block, so the prospect of a $16 pedicure with foot massage seemed a good omen.

On Sunday morning, 40,000 people will run, walk and wheel their way 26.2 miles through New York’s five boroughs in a whirlwind tour of the city at its most festive. My personal marathon, restricted to the long rectangle created by Baltic and Warren Streets and Fourth and Fifth Avenues in Park Slope, Brooklyn, offered something more subtle: a glimpse at a day in the life of my neighborhood.

The idea came to me on my umpteenth walk with Barnaby, a basset hound with a trace of beagle that we adopted from a shelter in June. Somehow, the thought “This is pathetic — I’m walking miles every day without getting anywhere” morphed into “What if we kept walking — without going anywhere? Wouldn’t that be kind of cool?”

Suddenly, the dutiful, oddly agrarian-feeling urban activity of escorting an animal outdoors for nature’s call took on the urgency of adventure. With the hound as social lubricant, I would immerse myself in the quotidian rhythms and stutter-steps of the block, watching its lives intersect or sometimes — it’s a neighborly block, but this is New York City, after all — float by one another without acknowledgment.

And so we set out on Monday at 7:51 a.m., in weak sunlight that promised a warm, yellow-leaf day. Over and over, the scenery clicked by, like frames of a film loop: our house on Baltic; Miriam’s house; Doña Rosa’s house; Belinda’s house, with the big crack in it, that the city is getting ready to demolish; the blue “Post No Bills” wall at the corner where the Egg Roll burned down; “Grandpa’s” store (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E03E1DD133BF933A25753C1A9629C8B 63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all%20of%20its%20five-and-dime%20inventory), miraculously still open five years after divesting itself of all of its five-and-dime inventory (Grandpa is not a drug dealer — he owns most of the block); the Pentecostal church with the rocking concerts; Bee Healthy pediatrics; the hip used-clothing store.

Against this backdrop, life unfolded: A construction crew finished bricking the first story of a new building and made progress on the second.The books in a box left on the sidewalk gradually migrated as unseen hands picked through them. A dead thrush, body still warm and soft, appeared beneath a tree. A 10-year-old walked her dog with her nose buried in a wizard novel. A heavyset man, left mute by a stroke, stood behind his gate, watching, watching, watching. (Note to animal rights types: Barnaby dropped out after Lap 22.)

In 26.2 miles, I could have walked to Yankee Stadium (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/y/yankee_stadium/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and back. I could have walked to Lido Beach on Long Island or Linden, N.J., to Rye, N.Y. (gateway to Connecticut!), to Hackensack or Hasbrouck Heights or through the Lincoln Tunnel and across the Meadowlands to Ho-Ho-Kus.

I chose, instead, to walk a marathon without ever being more than 416 feet from my home, a feat that may never have been attempted in the history of extreme sport.

Buddhists and Hindus, too, circumambulate stupas and temples as worship, an acknowledgment of the spiritual gravity that lies in the center. And what place is more sacred than home?
Fifteen hours 50 minutes and 3 seconds later — I took a lot of breaks, to do some work (http://fort-greene.blogs.nytimes.com/) and take care of my 5-year-old daughter — I finished my unlikely journey, in the same spot but a very different place from where I had begun.

The first few laps unspooled typically. Barnaby ran into friends — Lincoln the Boston terrier, Mimi the spaniel — and they exchanged morning sniffs.

Bella the shepherd mix slunk by in a head cone that kept her from scratching an infected hip. On Lap 2, 16 minutes and 43 seconds into the journey, Barnaby executed his first poop, against the stair post of 658 Warren Street (sorry). Normally, this would be our signal to head home. I wondered when he would suspect something was amiss.

A few laps later, the world began to shift ever so slightly, like a Philip Glass (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/philip_glass/index.html?inline=nyt-per) piece evolving. There was a box of books in front of 682 Warren, topped with a stack of back issues of the journal Foreign Affairs. When I began, “Fidel’s Final Victory” blared from the cover. By Lap 5, a new issue had surfaced: “Immigration (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/i/immigration_and_refugees/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) Nation: Tamar Jacoby on the Case for Reform.”

The changing titles began to seem like chapter headings of my journey, their authors the unseen neighbors who had picked through the box.

Barnaby seemed to be getting into the spirit, too. On Lap 12, he paused to sniff the exact spot where he had pooped two hours earlier. Neighborhood fixtures — the man watching the street from behind his gate, Ronnie the can redeemer, down-and-out Claire, usually seen nursing a beer on someone else’s steps — were, well, fixtures. Others, wraithlike, flitted in and out of the frame. Lap 16: A tall man in casual office attire appeared on the stoop of the empty house a few doors down from mine, “talking” on a cellphone and inspecting the contents of a wallet seemingly not his own.

I studied him for a long moment, trying to decide whether he was up to no good. He studied me back: made. I lost my nerve, turned and walked on.

Laps 14-26: “Is China Winning Asia?”

By 12:30 p.m., 22 laps in, the hound was begging for mercy. I deposited him at home. I was feeling fine, but the lace on my four-year-old New Balance cross-trainers broke. So I switched to New Balance 587 running shoes purchased for my quest. Bereft of the dog, my mind sought occupation. I started counting steps and discovered that my house was a good seven paces closer to Fifth Avenue than to Fourth. For eight years I had thought I lived right in the middle of the block.

Another revelation: There is an ice cream lady 100 feet from my house. She showed up as the Park Slope Christian Academy let out for the day.

Children in blue uniforms lined up for cookies ’n’ cream. I ordered a coconut ice. Laps 27-39: “The Santorini Guidebook” tops the book box.

A 30-ish hipster in headphones dropped an envelope in the mailbox at Fifth and Baltic, exhaled cigarette smoke and walked resolutely across the street to Gorilla Coffee, where a couple of Scottish tourists were snapping pictures. A woman in a blue housecoat pushed a shopping cart up Baltic in the shadow of the supermarket.

On Fourth Avenue, part of the actual marathon route, trucks plodded loudly by, unceasingly. Warren was quieter — the tap of construction hammers at No. 682 sounded almost gentle. A young mother sat on the stoop, reading a Joyce Carol Oates (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/joyce_carol_oates/index.html?inline=nyt-per) novel while her baby snoozed in the stroller.

All day, parks department workers had been tearing out a community garden on Baltic, the grim finale to the thorniest controversy our block had seen in years. The city had decided to tear down Public School 133, an ancient-looking castlelike structure, and put up a much bigger school.

Neighbors fought to save the building and the garden, which was planted in the 1970s; they lost.

On Monday morning, shovels and bulldozers removed a fruit-bearing plum tree and a peach tree. I knew the trees would be repatriated, but the workers seemed like gravediggers.

Rosetta Winslow watched through the fence. “Nothing, nothing,” she said softly. “They had so many beautiful things. I don’t see nothing there.”

As the afternoon shadows lengthened, I acquired a one-woman, one-dog cheering section: A few laps after I explained my mission to Polly Bahadur of Warren Street, she brought her Maltese, Precious, out in a pirate outfit from Old Navy. They waved.

Elizabeth Zenteno, 300 pages into “Midnight for Charlie Bone,” nearly bumped into me. I had met her (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0CEFDC1E3EF930A15751C0A9609C8B 63&scp=2&sq=kipper%20%22andy%20newman%22&st=cse) and her little tuft-eared mutt, Kipper, when she was 6 and he was a pup. Now she’s 10. I asked if she always walked around reading. “Not really — this is my first time,” she said. “My dad doesn’t know.”

Laps 50-58: “La Dernière Tentation du Christ,” by Nikos Kazantzakis.

Night fell. I could delay gratification no longer. At Q Spa, the new nail salon, I was ushered into a big black leatherette chair. Synthesized panpipe music filled the pleasantly overlighted space. A woman named Nina bathed my feet. She dug 18 miles of road from under my toenails. She rubbed my leg with the magic green scrubby crystals. I found the remote for the massage function of the chair and whimpered like Barnaby.

Too soon, it was over. I asked Nina’s colleague Sofia how my feet looked.
“Beautiful,” she said. “Like a girl.”

I wished for a fresh pair of socks.

Laps 59-75: “Reefer Madness” — the box had DVDs in it, too.

Challenge for another day: make sign that says “Post No Bills.” Affix it to the “Post No Bills” wall on Baltic. See if it gets taken down.

After 9 p.m., I knew I was hungry, though I didn’t really feel it. At Pizzatown, I ordered lentil soup and chatted up Nick the counterman. He’s usually a font of wisecracks, but when I asked the meaning of life, he turned oddly serious. “God put us on this planet to do good, learn, make a living, work hard,” he said. “Life is kind of like school.”

I picked up the pace, determined to finish before midnight. The sketchy wallet guy made a brief and somewhat terrifying reappearance on the steps of the empty house, then disappeared again.

Last lap. I stirred Barnaby from his stupor on the living room chair.
Halfway around, we ran into Peanut and Midnight, two dachshunds of recent acquaintance. I explained to their owner, Shawn, that I’d been around the block 75 times that day. He didn’t miss a beat: “And he still won’t go? Damn.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/nyregion/01marathon.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion

Merry
November 3rd, 2012, 02:53 AM
After Days of Pressure, Marathon Is Off

By KEN BELSON

The move was historic — the marathon has taken place every year since 1970, including the race in 2001 held two months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — but seemed inevitable as opposition to the marathon swelled. Critics said that it would be in poor taste to hold a foot race through the five boroughs while so many people in the area were still suffering from the storm’s damage, and that city services should focus on storm relief, not the marathon. Proponents of the race — notably Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Mary Wittenberg, director of the marathon — said the event would provide a needed morale boost, as well as an economic one.

“It’s clear that the best thing for New York and the best thing for the marathon and the future is, unfortunately, to move on,” said Ms. Wittenberg, the chief executive of New York Road Runners, the organization that operates the marathon. “This isn’t the year or the time to run it. It’s crushing and really difficult. One of the toughest decisions we ever made.”

George Hirsch, chairman of the board of Road Runners, said officials huddled all day Friday, hoping to devise an alternate race. They considered replacing the marathon with a race that would comprise the final 10 miles of marathon, starting at the base of the Queensboro 59th Street Bridge on the Manhattan side. But that was not deemed plausible, Mr. Hirsch said.

“We still want to do something, and we’re going to do something,” he said, referring to a replacement event for the marathon. “But it won’t require generators or water.”

Among the many details that remained unclear was how the field of nearly 50,000 runners who were expected to compete in Sunday’s marathon, thousands of whom traveled to New York from other countries, might be compensated. Runners who were registered for Sunday’s race are guaranteed entry into next year’s race.

“We have a lot to work through,” Ms. Wittenberg said when asked if elite runners would still receive their appearance fees. “We appreciate the investment athletes have put into training for New York. As always we’ll be sure to be fair. I think everyone knows and will expect that of us.”

Nearly 40,000 of the 47,500 registered runners had already arrived in the city, Mr. Hirsch said.

Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Wittenberg had repeatedly stood behind the plan, insisting it was best for the city. But many runners joined a chorus of politicians and area residents this week in speaking out against the plan to stage the marathon despite the widespread damage wrought by the storm Monday night.

For days, online forums sparked with outrage against politicians and race organizers, a tone that turned to vitriol against runners, even from some other runners who accused them of being selfish.

The city was divided so bitterly that it became clear to marathon organizers that to hold the race would defeat the very purpose of it.

“The marathon is about uniting the city,” Mr. Hirsch said. “But all it was doing was dividing it. Is that what the New York City Marathon is all about? No, not at all.”

But as the criticism of the decision to hold the race escalated on Friday, Road Runners continued with its plans. Runners arrived to pick up their bibs at the Jacob K. Javits Center, elite runners spoke to reporters at the marathon’s media center in Central Park and preparations for the course were made. After lunch, board members were sent an update with little hint of what was to follow.

Christine Quinn, the speaker of the City Council and an ally of the mayor’s, came out against the race, saying it was not something she would have chosen to do.

Ms. Wittenberg had said several times this week that the decision to hold the race was ultimately Mr. Bloomberg’s. But she had been working around the clock to turn the event into a platform to help the city heal, both psychologically and financially.

“People are running as an example, they have children, raised money to come here, and they see this as a good, healthy thing,” said Norbert Sander, who won the 1974 marathon and now runs the Armory, an indoor track in Upper Manhattan. “People came from around the world. I think they caved to the worst elements.”

Deborah Rose, a City Council member whose district is in Staten Island, said she fully supported the decision to cancel the race, adding that she and her colleagues were imploring the mayor to change his mind about the event.

“I thought it was a gross misplacement of priorities on the mayor’s part to even consider having the marathon when there are people in Staten Island facing life-and-death situations,” she said. “I’m glad to see that the mayor had an epiphany and be sensitive to those communities that have been so impacted by the hurricane.”

She called on all the marathoners to go to Staten Island to help with the cleanup effort and to bring the clothes they would have shed at the start to shelters or other places where displaced people were in need.

“This is always a race that unites the entire city,” said Howard Wolfson, the deputy mayor. “It’s something that 100 percent of the people who live here can agree on every year. When you have a significant number of people voicing real pain and unhappiness over its running, you have to hear that and take that into consideration. Something that is a celebration of the best of New York can’t become divisive.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/sports/new-york-city-marathon-will-not-be-held-sunday.html

mariab
November 3rd, 2012, 12:22 PM
They made the right decision. All the bodies haven't been recovered yet, and people will be running through there just because it's a marathon? On top of that, big generators - these can power 400+ homes - used for tents for people to carb up, when who knows how many haven't eaten except for scraps here and there. Then they see marathoners running through dropping half-full cups of water, or gatorade. Almost twenty seven miles of roads and bridges closed for the thing, there's no way city resources wouldn't have been diverted.

This is not the same thing as a couple of games after 9/11. Those were self-contained, largely self-sufficient events (maybe a couple of traffic cops) that didn't tie up parts of all five boroughs. They could have even postponed the basketball game, and even postponed the marathon. They should have made the decision Tuesday before everything and everyone was in place, but in the end, not having it this weekend was right.


She called on all the marathoners to go to Staten Island to help with the cleanup effort and to bring the clothes they would have shed at the start to shelters or other places where displaced people were in need.

That's it in a nutshell. They're needed more as volunteers than as runners simply heading toward a goal line.

Merry
November 3rd, 2012, 08:18 PM
Nice :).


Disappointed Marathoners Volunteer Instead

By Andre Tartar


With 47,000 would-be marathoners with nothing to do tomorrow, many are tapping their pent-up energies to help out communities still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. One Facebook group (with 1,577 likes) is organizing a run in support of Staten Island tomorrow (https://www.facebook.com/NewYorkRunnersInSupportOfStatenIsland); 40 Dutch marathoners meanwhile have travelled over to ravaged Newark to help, according to mayor Cory Booker (https://twitter.com/CoryBooker/status/264762561562558465); and a new website, Race 2 Recover (http://race2recover.com/), offers marathon runners and their families a way to donate unused hotel rooms to victims of the storm.

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/11/disappointed-marathoners-volunteer-instead.html