Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Should the ING NYC marathon be cancelled because of Sandy?

I wanted to get in soooo bad. no dice

It's Tuesday October 30th and I am posting from a hotel room in Orlando, Fl. 

I got an invitation of a lifetime to go on a Disney Cruise, my whole family, paid for -- I do some health blogs for a company and they generously included me on their company trip. Of course I was thrilled. My family could never afford such a trip. 

The ship: The Disney Dream.

The dream quickly turned into a nightmare as we went to sea when Hurricane Sandy was tearing up the Caribbean and we headed into it anyway. All of our ports were cancelled and the boat faced 25 ft. swells and two solid days at sea. The pools were closed as was most of the outdoor stuff. It was cold, it was windy. But we made the best of it. And we were glad to return to port and head home. We were weary. The last night on board was as if you were sleeping on a ride that just propelled you high up into the sky and dropped you. All night long.  The trip was to last from Thursday - Sunday. We were expecting to be home in Jersey by this past Sunday night.

We soon learned that all flights home were cancelled. We were rescheduled until Wednesday (tomorrow)...  So we booked ourselves at the All-Star resort at Disney. 

Now, with the airport still closed, we were rescheduled once again for a Saturday flight. Our three night cruise has turned into a 9 day affair. And it hasn't been easy. Our five year old, who has autism is having a very tough time and is out of sorts -- we are all feeling a little frazzled and this "free" trip has become quite costly of funds we don't really have. 

Still, with all of this, I am extremely lucky and very grateful.

I have power (in this very expensive side-trip/stranded situation) I have my health, my family and safety. I have no idea what I'm going home to but I'm hoping for the best. A neighbor says that all looks Ok from their vantage point.

Other friends and family back in NJ and NYC are not so lucky. Over 100 houses in Queens burned to the ground, friends all over NJ lost their homes to devastating floods - no one I know has power and the subway system is in dissaray. All over NYC people are displaced and powerless.

QUEENS after the fire photo credit

So should the NYC marathon carry on? Sorry. But in my opinion, HELL NO.  

As a runner, I can empathize and sympathize with people's sense of loss with the event being cancelled.  I can appreciate those who say, "we're not going to let Sandy stop us!" Or "Americans are strong! We can face any adversity!" But we are still dealing with a city that is still in the dark, it's central infrastructure of the subway system disabled. It's total devastation. 

Yes, if I was lucky enough to get into this highly competitive race and train for months and months only to have it be cancelled I would be devastated, pissed and aggravated by the loss - this is my DREAM RACE - I would bemoan my "bad luck" and be as disappointed as they come - but would understand, ultimately people need to come first.

The city has an obligation to put its people in top priority, help those in need and get its city back on  their feet. With so many suffering loss right now and homeless, it just doesn't seem right to me. And PS I don't see how they can logistically pull this off. I mean with no trains or subways, and with every borough hit like it was - how people will get around and all is beyond me.  

NYC subway platform
Maybe I feel this strongly because it literally hits so close to home for me.

What do you think? 

On a way smaller level, I am disappointed that I won't be able to run the Central Park 5K dash (its finish line is the same as the marathon's) that I registered for on Saturday and I was planning to spectate the race this year.


PS: The Simple Hydration giveaway is now closed -- I will pick a winner and announce within the next few days.

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