Hurricane Sandy relief – ING NYC Marathon
UPDATE: This article was written before the ING NYC Marathon was cancelled
You don’t have to look hard online to find the devastation that has rocked much of New York City this week, particularly Staten Island. I’ve been hearing the stories of homes being wiped out, people being electrocuted, ships being washed up a mile on shore, large train containers being blown or washed away and found miles a way, tunnels and subways flooded. The line ups at the gas station have wait times that are over 2 hours long, many homes are without water or power.. A crane is hanging by a thread a few blocks from where I am staying.
However it is the people who have been effected by hurricane Sandy which make it the worst. One particularly heartbreaking story about a mother and her two children being stranded in the ditch, and then the mother watched has her two young boys were blown from her arms.. after a man denied them shelter in his home..
There has been devastation.
There are other places you would never know anything happened.
After deliberation, the Mayor announced that the marathon would still be on.
In general I have found the negative media response surrounding the marathon shocking. The media does love controversy. But the awareness is good, as the help is greatly needed. There is a lot of recovery still needing to take place. Police are being used for the marathon, and other resources are being used for the 40,000 running the race on Sunday. The race starts on the edge of Staten Island, where things are the worst. Some feel it is disrespectful, running past tragedy. Others feel it is making the situation worse.
I would not be surprised if they cancelled the marathon. I also feel completely and truly heartbroken for the many families and their losses.
I am also not surprised that they are going on with it. New Yorkers are clearly fighters, and there is still a tremendously positive vibe on the streets by many who look forward to this symbolic event of resiliency and determination.
If anything, I am most surprised by the time it is taking to get so many people assistance in the effected areas. The controversy surrounding the four generators set up in Central Park for the Marathon and media is honestly a drop in an empty bucket compared to what is needed here.
For myself, coming into the city made the situation more real and the victims are now more prominently on my mind and in my heart. I feel others coming into the city will experience the same thing.
The city needs the NYC Marathon for both morale and for the economy more than ever. I have learned through experience that the number one way to overcome obstacles is to keep moving forward. The Marathon isn’t ignoring the tragedy, it is giving it attention. This city needs the $350 M in revenue brought in to local businesses as a result of the event. As I mentioned, those coming in to New York will also feel a much more real pain for the loss so many have experienced, and I am sure will be more apt to help or donate. The New York Road Runners are donating $1M to the “Road to Recover” Fund which they just announced, and if every runner was to donate $26.20, that would add another $1M. The Rudin Family donated $1.1M, and the ING Foundation donated $500K… much more coming in. This is millions of dollars that this city needs, and would not have been here otherwise.
The controversy is good, because it is bringing more awareness to the situation.
Hopefully the media starts to focus on the positive this is bringing. And advertise this fund more than stirring up a story.
Everyone should help out to donate whatever they can – racetorecover.nyrr.org