The Show Must Go On: I’m Glad The New York Marathon Is Moving Forward

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Kyle has written 168 posts on Salty Running.

I'm a camera assistant in New York's film and TV industry, underboss at Salty Running, working toward a 22:00 5k and a 3:40:00 marathon and trying to find time for everything else too!

Storm shmorm! Come on down to NYC!

I may not have been born here, but I’m a New Yorker through and through. It’s in my soul, and I’m never leaving this glorious place because to me, it truly is the Greatest City In the World.  And our Marathon, the New York Marathon, is more than just a race. It’s more than just 26.2 miles of running. It’s more than the millions of spectators, more than the thousands of volunteers, more than the block parties in Bay Ridge, Park Slope, Bed Stuy, Long Island City, the Upper East Side and the South Bronx…

It’s a symbol of solidarity for our city.

Don’t take that away from us.

There certainly was a threat that the Marathon would be canceled. Even as I write, 36 hours after the worst of the storm, most of Lower Manhattan, below 39th street, still has no power.  Some of the auto traffic tunnels have been pumped, but we still have no Subway service. First responders and City employees are still working their asses off trying to make sure shelters are staffed and that people have what they need.  Yes, it’s true, many of the residents of Manhattan are affluent and have financial resources to get what they need, but many of them are struggling too, and are relying on public resources right now.  We may not have power back before next week, they’re saying.

Heh. I say we, but I’m landlocked at a high point in Brooklyn; since my neighborhood didn’t lose power my biggest worries over the last three days were making sure we had content on Salty Running and wondering whether or not Halloween was going to happen.

Thanks for the tree to play on, Sandy! In all seriousness, it really is important to maintain a sense of humor and have some fun when bad things happen.

In my defense, I’ve been really working hard to keep my thoughts light, because I’ve been through it before and much, much worse.  A few nights ago I let this hurricane stuff dredge up a lot of the pain I experienced before I was a New Yorker, when I was still a New Orleanian. I only moved here to NYC in 2007, after Katrina had kicked me out of my home, stolen my sanity, torn away mementos of a happier time, pushed me back into a bad relationship, made it worse by changing us both completely and totally distorted my entire world.

Having been there, in this situation where everything seems to be spiraling out of control around you, where your life becomes completely turned upside-down in a terribly short time, I can tell you how important it is for us to keep going.

Many runners in the NYC area are disenchanted with the New York Road Runners these days, claiming NYRR’s current leadership characteristically pays too much attention to its bottom line and not nearly enough to runners’ needs (case in point, the bag scare).  I tend to agree, but right now I think they’re doing okay in the face of disaster, and I like the practical eye with which they and Mayor Bloomberg seem to be approaching the issue.

And hey look, I know there’s event insurance for the race that can help with the costs of rentals, equipment, trucks, volunteer ponchos, supplies, TV crew cancellations (yep) and everything else, but with an event on the scale of the New York City Marathon (47,000 registered participants), I can’t imagine insurance would be able to recoup the cost of cancellation for NYRR.  Think of the money that the City would lose; that’s a lot of hotel rooms canceled, a lot of restaurants vacant and a lot of souvenirs unpurchased. And don’t forget the personal costs cancellation would mean for registered runners: the training, the travel costs…the crushed hopes.

And postponing? Not even on the table.  The City has other events on deck, other permits in place, and once you push an event as huge as the Marathon it creates a domino effect for permits that will literally last all year. Not to mention, can you imagine if your race was postponed during the last week of your taper? Especially if you were traveling to it and had to change your flight, your hotel reservations…hell, in New York, even your pre-race pasta dinner reservations are hard to change! No way, Jose. It’s now or never.

And sure, Subways are limited right now, but they will be operational with limited service. And hey–the buses are free!

And now is a good time for us.   Think of what block parties will mean to people after a week of dealing with all this? It’ll be a chance to kick back and celebrate what this City means to all of us.  It’ll be a symbol of our vitality, our will to persevere, our indomitability.

We are the Greatest City in the World. And when we say we’re going to do a thing, we do it.

What do you think? Should the New York Marathon go on with the show?

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

45 Responses to “The Show Must Go On: I’m Glad The New York Marathon Is Moving Forward”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Clove says:

    Cinnamon, you say “don’t take this away from us,” but I think what many of us are more concerned about is taking MORE away from you – food, water, resources, emergency personnel, etc.

    I’m not a New Yorker, and I see both sides of the argument loud and clear. But I can’t lie, my heart is conflicted. Very conflicted. I don’t want to take anything from the city by denying them an event I know they’re deeply tied to – but I can’t help feeling that the timing is just wrong. All wrong. Convince me, Cinnamon. Convince me.

    • haly says:

      what planet are you living on? does nyc only consist of manhattan in your mind? take a look out in far rockaway, staten island, breezy point.

  2. I have been freakishly engaged in this social media discussion on the NYCM take place or not. My tilt was towards canceling, but the degree of vitriol on the issue is a bit out of hand. Here is an interesting link from a Staten Island official who apparently was asking bloomberg to cancel the event. http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/staten_island_bp_calling_on_ci.html

    I called the hotel I am staying at today, and asked if they have power. Their answer was: “No, we have no power, we are still in a state of emergency, call us in two days.”
    I will be there in two days, I answered. do you want to cancel, they asked?
    Nope, I’m gonna go and show up, hope that there power is restored by then, and dive into this wild situation.

  3. Sassafras says:

    Like Clove, can see both sides of it. After watching the news, I think, well, how can they have it? Yet I know how much it means to the individual runners and to the city. I know that the 2001 race was held after 9/11, but that was two months afterwards, not mere days.

    I would be worried about things beyond the running itself. The transportation, safety, staging, use of emergency resources. Yes, the race brings lots of money into the city, but it’s also a big drain on it.

    I just saw that the Mayor cancelled the NBA game tomorrow night. How is that different than the race?

  4. Cinnamon Cinnamon says:

    Well, after partying in dark dark dark Lower Manhattan this evening, and talking to a LOT of people, I can add some thoughts to my post above:

    First, I have never seen New York City look so scary! Seriously, it was DARK. There are very few people on the streets, and cars are just sort of winging it through traffic lights and stuff. The good thing is that the NYPD is rocking it. There are police vans and cruisers EVERYWHERE, and they’re showing their best, most professional faces from what I could see. Even once I left the parade and was walking back to my bike by myself I felt safe. Check this out:

    The view of Lower Manhattan from the Manhattan Bridge. That orange dot around the middle is the Empire State Building, far far away. The little red-and-white dots in the front is a car on the FDR. Everything else…is dark.

    Everyone I saw was doing fine. No one is desperate or destitute in Manhattan, which is where destination marathoners will stay and spend their time once they get here. The power is only out below 30-something…34th, by the looks of it (the Empire State Building was light up pumpkin orange for Halloween, just like normal). There are lots of taxis. People were cabbing it or walking uptown to charge their phones and take showers at friends’ apartments and pick up takeout. Some of the bars are open by candlelight, which was really fun and sweet! I met some great people who were stuck in the blacked-out parts of Manhattan, and also a guy who dealt with flooding in Red Hook, Brooklyn (staying with a friend there). They all agreed that the Marathon should go on, that canceling it now would do more harm to the City (in terms of revenue, etc.) than good. There definitely are people in these areas who need help, but let’s face it; most of Lower Manhattan* is very affluent and has the resources to get twenty blocks uptown or over a bridge to Brooklyn.

    The places I really worry about are the flooded areas (*including parts of Lower Manhattan), especially Coastal New Jersey, including Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken, which are practically New York’s 6th borough and are still pumping water. Chinatown, I understand, was hit pretty badly, and in Brooklyn, almost all coastal neighborhoods (the less affluent ones, of course), were affected by flooding from the storm surge. There is a lot of Queens that was under water (some still are, I hear), including the Rockaways, which are not only flooded, but now looting has apparently started.

    The reality of the damages is sobering, certainly, but trust me, everyone is working hard in these parts of this area. Speaking to a couple police officers about it (who requested they not be named), the NYPD is distributing its efforts in such a way that they felt confident the Marathon would not detract from the important task of caring for and rebuilding its affected communities.

    All in all, it was a really fun night. I’m glad I went out there and got some other folks’ perspectives on the situation, especially people who were more affected than I was, having pancakes at the diner and cuddling on my couch in Brooklyn. I plan on visiting the Marathon Expo tomorrow to see if they need extra volunteer hands for a while and perhaps I’ll report back with more perspectives then.

    @Sass, I’d like to remind you that an NBA game does not take place on City streets, which are permitted and a pain in the ass to open and close. It’s much easier to reschedule. See above why we could never reschedule an event as big as the NYCM. The beginning of the race is staged in Staten Island and I believe race officials would have cleared that area before making this decision. The finish (the big part of staging) happens in Central Park, which, despite the loss of many trees, is relatively okay. NYRR stages races there almost weekly. One more is no different from any other Sunday in the Park. Subway service will be open in the parts of Manhattan that most tourists would ever go to. I don’t see any problem with the issues you mentioned.

    @Mark, if you don’t have a place to stay, get in touch with me (cinnarunner at g mail dot com). I’ll find you a place with a local runner in Manhattan or you can stay with me (although much easier to get to the SI ferry from MH right now). Dead serious here!

    @Salty, YES! Exactly – The City knows what it’s got, and it’s got the resources to do this. And trust me, the Mayor knows how valuable it is to the people of New York that we have a moment of celebration in the midst of all this stress! Dammit, Halloween was cancelled. Even the cops I talked to agree: we need something to make us smile right now!

    In the meantime, trust me, this City has the resources to put on three Marathons if it wants to! Heck, we have 22 million people in greater NYC…what’s a couple thousand more? And might I remind you, we produce around 10% of the entire nation’s wealth here. I think we’ll be alright.

    • Thanks! and I love that you gave a first person perspective of the area.

      I called this morning, and there is now power! Plus, I am bringing my child. (who was born in China, and we were very much hoping to take her to China Town, but that may be off)

  5. I am one of the registered out-of-town runners on the fence, both philosophically and from a practical point of view. Television footage from Staten Island last night was heartwrenching. Today, I will reassess train service into NYC and what it will take to revamp my transportation plans to and from start & finish. My sense is if this is a go, a totally flexible state of mind and willingness to deal with last minute changes, as well as a sense of humour will be in order. I’m preparing my mindset as I write this.

  6. mike says:

    I live in Staten Island and seeing your picture above was absolutely sickening. People were killed by trees falling on them and you put that up with a fun little quip makes you a horrible person. enjoy going to the starting line blocks away from where two children were swept out of a womans arms as she frantically tried to escape the storm…they were found dead today. Maybe you should show up a little early and view the wreckage has taken place and then you can stop acting like a selfish and spoiled little brat and see that there are more important things going on than a race that means a heck of a lot less than what is going on right now

    • Salty Salty says:

      Advocating for the continuation of the race and enjoying herself does not make Cinnamon a “horrible person” or even mean she’s insensitive. You may disagree with her and disagree with her strongly, but to say the things you’re saying about her is a bit uncalled for.

      • mike says:

        Posting that picture with the verbiage below indeed does make her a bad person a highly insesitive person as well to make light of falling trees after all that has happened confirms it

  7. Brianne says:

    THANK YOU!! I just made this same (yet abbreviated) argument on Gothamist and was attacked, called stupid, told to “get your head out of your ass” and even a nice “f*** your little race.” I’m a runner, and though I’m not running the NYC marathon, I’m seeing it from the participant’s perspective, and that doesn’t mean that I’m being insensitive to those that lost everything in the hurricane. The Gothamist comments are what led me to this website and I will definitely be visiting here again. You almost brought me to tears talking about Katrina, and I agree that we can’t forget what happened with Sandy, but we need to keep moving forward and raise people’s spirits.

    • John says:

      “we need to keep moving forward and raise peoples spirits” Uh no, this won’t raise people’s spirits. They are sitting in shelters and on curb sides, they are waiting for help to remove the debris from around their homes, they are waiting for food and clean water, they are waiting to bury their dead, they are waiting for transportation, they are waiting for gov and local help, they are waiting to be heard for they have experienced something that needs to be discussed and understood as best as possible, they are waiting.

      Getting that help will raise their spirits, not you running around in spandex.

      • Brianne says:

        Sorry if I offended you John. I will not be running the marathon raising spirits in spandex. I don’t really think that vision would raise spirits anyway. I know that the symbolic value of the marathon is lost on a lot of people and that it’s not going to directly restore these people’s lives. Honestly nothing will restore these people’s lives completely, we all know that. I’m very fortunate to have had very little damage from the hurricane, and I can’t speak for those that were hit the hardest, but I know when I have lost everything in the past it’s the symbolic things that help me move forward the most.

  8. Lisa says:

    Cinnamon, why aren’t you helping people on Staten Island or the Rockaways instead of climbing trees when you’re not supposed to be in city parks now? (You are aware people have died from falling tree branches, right?)

    Oh, you did your part. You went “partying in dark dark dark Lower Manhattan this evening.” Wheeee! Are you sure this isn’t a parody?

    You are aware that people have died in this storm, right? And that there are untold people in this town without power or food or gasoline or water? BTW, your Katrina example is weak. The Saints didn’t play football games in New Orleans in the season after Katrina. They went to San Antonio and Baton Rouge, because..wait for it…sporting events weren’t a good use of local resources after a hurricane! Imagine that!

  9. Lisa says:

    Thank you for writing this! As someone who’s lived in NYC for 6 years and done the marathon twice, I’m really surprised by how negatively people are reacting. I understand people are hurting right now, but I am confident that the Mayor won’t divert any critical resources. The marathon will take place over only the course of 8 or so hours (since they said they’ll be shortening the time limit) on a Sunday…when the city would honestly be quieter than normal anyway. They’re not using public transit, they’re donating money, and the runners will contribute some $300 million to the NYC economy over the course of their stay. I’m surprised people so quickly overlook those facts.

  10. John says:

    You haven’t made a good argument at all. Cancel it for the people you don’t know, haven’t heard their continuing horrific stories, haven’t been located yet, and who will continue to need help on that day. Don’t just rely on the news as they can only share so much, but not everything. Its clear the city and states are united. There’s no hip hip hooray to be gained from having the event. There is no loss of pride for doing so. The show will go on but should be on another day. Postpone it to insure those without are being helped at every level and to respect those who lost their lives, homes, jobs, assets, and memories in the form of pictures. Its just too soon.

    “my biggest worries over the last three days were making sure we had content on Salty Running and wondering whether or not Halloween was going to happen.”
    Really? How sad! I’m in CA and my concern is for the care and safety of those that need it in New York, New Jersey, and other affected states. I find that statement very insensitive that this is your biggest worry. Sad indeed!

  11. D-Mac says:

    To me there are two main questions

    1. Will having the marathon have any significant effect on the recovery of the city and the help people need?

    2. Does having an event like this disrespect the tragedies that people have suffered?

    All our answers to question 1 are gonna be subjective and not based on much factual information but most likely based on emotion. Do any of us know the number allocation of police/fire services, volunteers? Do you know if theres a shortage of any of these things in the worst affected areas? Sending 100 men/women to do the job of 20 doesnt mean its going to be done faster..in fact it could result in it being done slower.

    I definitely dont know the facts so I cant say yes or no. To me unless you know the answers to these logistical questions its unfair to criticise the decisons of those who should have the answers. Granted I dont trust politicians and whenever significant money is involved all morals and values usually go out the window. But I hope that those who have strong opinions on this issue have strong reasons for opposing the decisions of those who do have the factual information.

    On question 2. My personal opinion is that If done correctly the race can be in honour of those going through the suffering and be a celebration of the city’s resilience. Its all about how its carried out. If running the race is disrespectful then anyone doing anything social in the city is disrespectful…anyone going to a bar friday night, anyone going out to listen music etc. etc. I do however believe something as huge as the marathon absolutely must pay special respect (whether ceremoniously, through donations etc.) to all New Yorkers suffering from the storm.

    just my opinion

    • Lisa says:

      “If running the race is disrespectful then anyone doing anything social in the city is disrespectful.”

      D-Mac, are you aware how hard it is to travel around Staten Island, with all the lights out due to the lack of power? How the ferry isn’t running, or the railroad? How there is a severe gasoline shortage? And looting? Not to mention the people without power or water or heat or food? And you don’t see a problem with 50k runners being shuttled into the borough and clogging up traffic and resources and first responders when so many people on Staten Island are still trying to get their lives together? If you really cannot understand how offensive and outrageous this is, then I feel sorry for you.

      • D-Mac says:

        Of course I see a problem with it….only if all those people needing help, food, power gas are gonna be negatively affected by the marathon. Do you know if they are gonna be affected or are you just assuming? Do you know if food/water will be reaching them any slower? If there’s a shortage of volunteers, police, fire fighters? I’m also pretty sure NYRR said they are using private security and other contractors to mitigate against taking from the city. Do you know if the progress of electric company workers will be slowed down by the marathon?

        I’m willing to bet you don’t know the answers to these questions. If you do good for you. If you don’t and are assuming then don’t be too quick to judge or “feel sorry” for me

  12. Chuck says:

    I don’t, your post seems all too selfish. Took me a couple hours to get to work this morning and all I saw was chaotic scenes on the roads and subways, basically walked to work. I don’t think a marathon was on anyone’s mind just trying to get back to a normal routine. Found out a little while ago that gas stations in Brooklyn are out of fuel so that will compound everyone’s frustrations. I work in tv film television and this storm cost me and my fellow coworkers money, some have even lost their homes which really hits all of us hard. People are in desperate need of resources that an event no matter how rewarding it is to the individual runner will take away from the people that really need it most..

    By the way the picture of you playing on downed tree in off limits park is dumb and insensitive, thanking the storm that wrecked and killed people was outright stupid.

  13. Cilantro Cilantro says:

    This is definitely a divisive issue, and one that I do not feel qualified to make a decision about because I am not running it, nor do I have all of the facts. However, I think one this is clear. Regardless of whether you agree with Cinnamon or not, the personal attacks were completely out of line and uncalled for. Cinnamon was not being heartless, thoughtless and certainly does care about New York and New Yorkers. A tragedy happened and is happening – but discontinuing life does not honor those who have lost their life. My uncle and cousin died tragically last month (in a plane crash) and we were devastated. But we still joked around. Laughed. Ate. We even celebrated a birthday. Was having a good time at the birthday party disrepectful to my uncle and cousin’s memory? I don’t think so. And I don’t think they would have thought so either. Running celebrates life and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate yet another survival of one of the greatest cities in the world.
    For me, the biggest concern is whether or not this will put additional stress on the city’s workers who are needed to run a marathon of this size. If these are resources that could be assisting those in need or preparing the city to be ready for a new workweek, then I argue that the marathon should not happen. But if the resources are available and it is safe to run – then I think Cinnamon is exactly right. The extra income that comes into the city for an event like this might be exactly what the economy needs and cancelling it might cause additional economic distress for those already suffering for the events of the last week.
    Thank you, Cinnamon, for being willing to make your argument.

    • mike says:

      Do you not see a problem with the tree picture? Would you be ok with people having a laugh crawling around a crashed plane?

    • Lisa says:

      “Running celebrates life and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate yet another survival of one of the greatest cities in the world.”

      Then why don’t you celebrate life and run over to Staten Island to help your fellow New Yorkers?

  14. joerhino says:

    Cinnamon,

    While I understand the underlying desire to keep things moving forward and create a return to normalcy, your arguments make you sound completely self-centered (early 20s?) and blinkered. You talk about partying and how affluent everyone in Manhattan you see is. What about the people you don’t see? The immigrants who can’t afford a drink with lavender bitters, the parents in the dark with sick kids who are certainly not out partying. You have a self-selected and selfish worldview that reinforces itself.

    I’m sorry about your Katrina experience, but then you blame it for “pushing you back into a bad relationship”? Grow up.

    They are closing bridges, displacing people and diverting resources for a running race that most New Yorkers I know could take or leave. I’m sorry, the way you make your arguments (I agree the tree pic is immature and narcissistic, though it doesn’t make you a “bad person”) leaves me wanting to cancel the race even more.

    • Nutmeg says:

      Cinnamon didn’t blame Katrina for pushing her back into a bad relationship. You have been fortunate if you have not experienced a life event so traumatic as to rock your entire world of kilter. Getting back in a bad relationship in a time of chaos is not a sign of immaturity. It is more likely that it had to do with familiarity which may seem comforting when all around you is crumbling…even if that familiarity is something negative. A bad relationship may seem better because you know what to expect than dealing with so much unknown. Cinnamon is not the first or the last person have made poor choices in time of upheaval and that has nothing to do with maturity levels.

  15. Mint says:

    I like the inspirational intentions of this post (we must go on!) but I completely disagree that the race should go on. Sure – it should go on and will go on – but 6 days after this massive storm is WAY TOO SOON. They should cancel the race and come back stronger than ever next year.

    I do not live in NYC, but I have talked to many who do and have read extensively about the storm and its aftermath. It is a complete mess down there. Maybe not for everyone, but it is for a lot of people. The subways are under water, it is talking residents 2-3 hours to get to work, there is no gas, many are without power, people are displaced and doctors and nurses (and many others) are working around the clock. But that is just the inconvenient part. Add to that those who have lost their lives, loved ones, homes…. It is still way too chaotic and tragic to try to pull off an event of this magnitude without disrespecting so many people who are still struggling.

    NYC’s first responders are completely over-taxed. We should not pull them from their work to corral 47k runners. We just shouldn’t.

    Also, I think the $$ argument (e.g. the race is a huge boon to the city economy) is completely flawed. Sure, the race historically brings in a ton of money to local business. But that isn’t going to happen this year when those local businesses have no power and it will be difficult for people to get into the city.

    I am not registered for NYC, but I can unequivocally tell you that if I was, there is no way I’d be trying to get on a plane right now to get there to run the NYC Marathon. And if you’ve read any of my posts or know me, you know that is saying a lot because I am a self-admitted all-in crazy marathon runner.

    If I was the race director, I’d be corralling the thousands of volunteers I have scheduled for the weekend and be talking with the mayor as to how I could best utilize them to help those truly in need. They could even wear their spiffy NYCM Volunteer shirts and spread real goodwill for this world class race.

  16. Darren says:

    Given the way this discussion has turned nasty there should be a rule that only NYC residents and their families/friends can comment on this, as they’re the ones affected and are actually connected to the tragedy.

    Everyone else (including me), your opinion is what? Just an opinion. Formed from what you see on cable news or similar. Not formed from actually being there and knowing first hand.

    So please temper your nastiness to those who actually do live there and are trying to make the best of a bad situation. Give them the right to speak about their own city, even if you disagree.

    • Mint says:

      I disagree that only people in NYC should be able to comment since people come from all over the world to compete/run in this race. This isn’t a local 10k – this a one of the world marathon majors.

      That said, I wholeheartedly agree with you (and many others) on the nastiness. It just isn’t necessary or well placed. Cinnamon is a good seed with a strong opinion to keep something she cares about going. That isn’t something to attack, but to appreciate. Join the conversation – don’t spew vitriol.

    • D-Mac says:

      I kinda agree with Darren here, people being so passionate and attacking one another over their interpretation of what’s going on based on what they see on CNN makes no sense. Unless people are basically willing to say I think the Mayor and the NYRR are incompetent and not capable of assessing whether or not they will affect the city’s recovery efforts.

      It’s stated very clearly on the Marathon website that they are ensuring that they will not be negatively affecting any restoration efforts in NYC. Its really the main premise for continuing on with the marathon.I guess it’s really a personal decision whether or not you believe them but note that your assessment from your couch watching TV news is different from those on the ground in 9 hour logistic meetings and site visits in the city making the assessment on whether or not its possible.

      The question I would love to have answered is how valued this marathon is to New Yorkers. How is it actually viewed in the eyes of the people. Is it seen as a galvanizing event representing the spirit of the city or is it just seen as just another big commercial event. That should weigh in heavily on the actual effort to see this thing through. With over 2 million spectators on the road every year tho I tend to believe the former.

      We are all entitled to our personal opinions….me? I don’t feel particularly strongly towards either side because I don’t have all the info. That being said its always safer to cancel the event I dont think I buy the benefit of small businesses argument too much. Especially with it being so hard for consumers to travel around the city currently. Who knows that may change by Saturday morning.

  17. Vanilla says:

    This is a difficult argument with two very strong sides. I have to believe that if the marathon was cancelled, there would still be two very strong points of view. I also have to believe that Mayor Bloomberg and Ms. Wittenberg clearly weighed all options and available resources to move forward. Plus, I have to think that if safety was compromised, the marathon would be cancelled.

    Personally, I see both sides to the issue, and I don’t have a strong opinion on the issue. As a runner who has done NY, in previous years, I would be disappointed if it was cancelled, but I would understand that decision. As an outsider only seeing pictures and hearing/reading the news, I can”t imagine how it will go on successfully. My heart goes out to everyone who experienced difficulties,pain and suffering. And then the finance/business side of my brain speaks up and goes, economy, commerce, revenue! Now that I’ve re-read what I’ve typed, I guess I’m certainly glad that I didn’t have to make the tough decision. Not everyone would be happy… (i.e. this entire comment thread).

    Regardless of our individual views, we all have to respect everyone’s opinion and the right to express their opinions. That’s the beauty of our country….however, the insults and direct personal attacks expressed towards some throughout this thread are unnecessary and just plain rude. If the tone of this post was mis-perceived by some, I’m sure it was completely unintended. Remember, this is just one person’s opinion.

    I wish the very best for NY during this difficult time.

  18. Rosemary says:

    I love all the passion and strong opinions represented here. Two things that shape my opinion. 1- life must go on. Whether this means running/supporting the marathon or helping a neighbor in need. The only way to start putting your life back together is to START putting it back together. Maybe the energy of the marathon won’t do that for You, but maybe it WILL for someone else. 2- forgive me for using a phrase often used with children (it is how I spend 40 hr/wk, afterall)… But if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. If you’re offended, that’s fine. You’re allowed to feel offended. But your feeling/response to this post is not in anyway related to Cinnamon’s character. The meanness that has emerged as a result of the the yes vs no of the NYC marathon is what I find most offensive.

    • Brianne says:

      Rosemary, that was so very well said. Point 1 was right on. And thanks to all of your for reinforcing that golden rule. Honestly, though some remarks in this section have been harsh, I saw some even worse elsewhere and it amazes me how people will hide behind the internet to say such horrible things. As of right now, the marathon is on and I sincerely hope it does not interfere with the assistance being provided to the city, and I believe that it won’t. If I could find a way from Kew Gardens to Staten Island or Breezy Point or the Rockaways or anywhere else that needs help, I would. But I would much rather that first responders be there (and from what I’ve read they will not be pulled from there to work the marathon) because they know what they’re doing and I don’t. All I can do as a citizen of New York right now is send good thoughts and prayers, donate what I can and try to bring some sense of “normal life” back here.

      • Lisa says:

        “If I could find a way from Kew Gardens to Staten Island or Breezy Point or the Rockaways or anywhere else that needs help, I would.”

        Hmmmm. Maybe you could, oh I don’t know, RUN to one of those places? Just a thought!

        • Brianne says:

          “But I would much rather that first responders be there (and from what I’ve read they will not be pulled from there to work the marathon) because they know what they’re doing and I don’t.”

          Lisa, me running there would result in an exhausted volunteer. I’m a runner, but not a great one. Most runners run their races for charity, so I’m willing to bet that a lot who come into the city for the marathon will extend their stay to give what they can.

    • Lisa says:

      Well, I think it’s “mean” to put marathon runners’ desires above those New Yorkers who don’t have water, or housing, or electricity, or heat, or food. And for somebody to have such complete lack of comprehension or compassion for what others are going through. Cinnamon is all about her needs, and her interests, and her desires. Not the least bit of concern for the real-life New Yorkers who are in a bad way these days. You may not think *that* is “mean. Well, I sure as heck do.

  19. Salty Salty says:

    One thing we at Salty Running value is differing opinions. We have 16 bloggers and we don’t always agree, but we believe that’s what makes this site great. I understand that this is a sensitive topic that many of us feel very passionately about, but seriously, the personal attacks, incredible logical leaps to pass judgment, etc. are really uncalled for. There is plenty to say on this topic without attacking anyone and frankly, you’d help your position by staying civil.

    That being said, based on everything I’ve heard from Cinnamon, my other friends and family in NYC and NJ and read in the news, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here. I do believe that it’s at least plausible that there are enough first responders and other resources to both help the storm victims and put on the marathon. I am not saying there is, because I really don’t know. Just that it’s possible in a city as huge and full of resources as NYC is. I would assume the mayor has considered these things and knows a bit more than I do to make the best decision for the city. Maybe not – he’s a human being and a politician human being at that! :) I agree with Cinnamon that delaying the race is probably not an option and like Mint says, if anything they’d have to cancel the 2012 race all together. As I said to Clove above, if you do go and race in NY this weekend GIVE! Perhaps stay with friends and give your hotel room to a family who is still without power. Make sure to tip extra well and be kind at a very minimum!!!

  20. Cinnamon Cinnamon says:

    Wow, I spend one day volunteering and looks what happens!

    Hey look, it’s my experience that when tragedy strikes, and it will, things will never be the same. The work will always be there, the stress will always be there. And it’s my opinion that it’s okay to take some time for the other stuff. I understand many people do not agree. I’m okay with you disagreeing.

    I’d like to note that I did not write the caption for the tree photo, and probably wouldn’t have written that. Otherwise I feel no need to defend myself against any attacks.

    Tuesday, when I climbed that tree, there were people all over Prospect Park playing and having a great time. Parents were letting their kids climb the downed trees; are they bad people? Are their kids then bad people too? Are the people who took their kids trick-or-treating bad people? Is it bad to have fun? Are we not allowed right now? Can we be allowed to have fun tomorrow? What about next week? Next month?

    I had a lot of fun while working at a volunteer center today. A lot of folks I talked to there agreed and were glad the marathon is happening Sunday. Some disagreed too, and we discussed it like grownups. We all agreed that it was going to happen regardless of our opinions.

    If you want to contribute to the volunteer effort I’ve joined I encourage you to check out Recover.org for a list of individual sites for community relief centers or http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/ to find out where you can donate supplies, money or time.

    • Lisa says:

      “Tuesday, when I climbed that tree, there were people all over Prospect Park playing and having a great time. Parents were letting their kids climb the downed trees; are they bad people?”

      What part of The Parks Were Closed Due to Hurricane Sandy did you not understand? And did you miss hearing about the people who died because a tree branch fell on them? Why do you think you are above the law?

      ” Is it bad to have fun? Are we not allowed right now? Can we be allowed to have fun tomorrow? What about next week? Next month?”

      How do you not understand that your “fun” takes away first responders and sanitation workers from helping people get the basic things, like food and water and electricity and cleared streets?

      And please, I hope you don’t strain anything from all the patting on the back you are doing. Of course, you don’t tell us which “volunteer center:” you worked at.

  21. D-Mac says:

    This is really nice :) and I a great gesture just what I was thinking of when I said its how you keep the event that will determine whether it’s disrespectful or not.

    http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/the-2012-ing-new-york-city-marathon/race-to-recover

  22. Cinnamon Cinnamon says:

    Actually, one last thing before I finally have all my work done and can go to sleep… My bike wheel died today, so tomorrow I am actually running to the relief center, as someone above so kindly suggested. I run-commute on the regular, so it’s not really a big deal for me, but it got me thinking:

    If anyone can devise a plan for me to safely run a reasonable distance for my current state of injury recovery (let’s say 13 miles or less) to Staten Island from Brooklyn to help the Staten Island Recovers center that opened today, I would be more than glad to do it, and to try and organize other runners to come with me! Unfortunately there is no footpath over the Verrazano Bridge.

  23. NYer says:

    What you don’t hear about, is the spike in crime in lower manhattan. Robbery, rape and violence is happening all over the place. You state you were partying. Others are freezing, hungry and in despair – not to mention having loss of loved ones from the hurricane (check Staten Island). Take your marathon and shove it. If I had time, I’ll go wait by the marathon path and leave my footprint on your sorry butt.