The Marathon Must Go On? Mayor Says Yes, Everyone Else, Noooo

NYC Mayor Bloomberg has announced that the New York City Marathon will still happen on Sunday, which is pretty gross! The Atlantic has a good roundup of the arguments against it, and Heidi N. Moore has a great column saying why it’s a horrible idea (“Local politicians there is appalled at the idea of a marathon—’a marathon is a parade,’ the borough president told one newspaper—winding its way through the scenes of waterfront devastation.”)


8 Comments / Post A Comment

Blondsak (#2,299)

I just visited the marathon’s website ( and WOW. These runners are taking a pampered 26.2 mile tour (food, water, music, entertainment) through a decimated city. It doesn’t get more disgusting than that. I have a feeling the photos from the event, if it happens, will speak volumes (all privilege in front, disaster area in back).

Blondsak (#2,299)

@LO Haha, and now I read Heidi’s article and see that she mentioned the same thing about photographs and videos at the event. What a smart lady! ; )

Morbo (#1,236)

Marathons are for the most part, an exercise in narcissism. Come watch me run!

The idea of them obliviously running through tattered neighborhoods, demanding that THEY be fed, watered, entertained seems somewhat… fitting.

iffie (#1,911)

@Morbo THIS! I have mixed feelings about marathons. Only a priveledged group of people have the luxury of time/resources to train for something for a marathon. It’s not some important endeavor.

runningpig (#1,244)

@Morbo Maybe you can point out somewhere in all this media coverage where runners were DEMANDING that they be fed. I mostly read about runners deciding to cancel and asking for supplies that had already been purchased to be donated. If the marathon was normal, unaffected, like last years event, the runners have paid an entry fee of (for NY) over $200 which pays for their being “fed, watered, entertained”.

Also, I fail to see what is narcissistic about $35 million in charity donations that runners have raised. Why is marathon running specifically narcissistic? Mike was going to go cheer for his friends running much in the same way one would go to a friend’s band performance, etc.

I don’t understand why there is all this anger at runners at not at Mayor Bloomberg and the race director who made poor decisions for everyone.

allaswan (#578)

They cancelled it, yay!

Markham (#1,862)

1) I support the decision to cancel.
2) Most marathoners are NOT privileged, if you think that then you don’t know marathoners.
3) A lot of them were here to raise money for charities, they raised $35 million, my girlfriend and her training partner raised $15k of that.
4) The route (I’m from the area and I’m here in the city btw) doesn’t go through the damaged areas, Google the route.
5) It pumps $340 million into the cities businesses.

If there isn’t enough to do both, fine, if it upsets people, fine.

But let’s not make up falsehoods about runners it doesn’t help, especially since the runners were redirecting their charity $ towards the marathon, were trying to raise more and did an S-ton of charity work today.

In fact my girlfriend and I did volunteer work in a city where runners like her were vilified, while other people who live here didn’t do anything.

If you want to be angry at Bloomberg’s initial decision fine, but don’t vilify people who were willing to volunteer and who helped raise tens of millions for charity. Better yet it’s better to research what marathons are about before assuming, it’s not a parade, pure recreation or privileged dilettantes prancing around the city.

I wonder how many of the angry people even live here or are from here, or are here right now and have gone around to various boroughs. I’m here, my family is all over the city, I’ve checked in with friends and family from all over the boroughs, and I know the route.

It’s not devastation with Runners going by, it’s not a privileged few, it’s not purely a resource suck.

It should’ve been cancelled on Tuesday, but let’s not engage in hyperbole about runners, ignore the fact that they raise money and pour a lot of money into the city. where the route goes, etc.

Final thought: Bloomberg cancelled minutes after the runners had to report in to get their racing numbers and confirm their participation in person. Meaning: everyone was here, the money runners and family will spend is already here and being spent.

Kinda messed.

Bloomberg screwed up

The road runner’s club should’ve reached out, shared resources, messaged better and sent help for hurricane victims.

But instead of vilifying the villains people are mad at runners who volunteered by the thousands today and got yelled at by citizens who weren’t affected.

Seriously, WTF.

I’m ranting, but seriously, the anger is misguided and misinformed.


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