The New York City Marathon, the largest marathon in the world, is scheduled for Sunday, just a few days after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area. There’s some division over whether this major sports event should still take place or should be postponed.
There are a number of supporters, including Mayor Bloomberg, who say that the thousands of visitors to the area will help boost their economy, especially helping small businesses hurting after the storm.
According to an article on MSNBC:
The New York Road Runners, which organizes the marathon, said the event will bring $340 million to the city. The club also announced on Thursday that it will donate at least $1 million, or $26.20 for each of the more than 40,000 runners expected to participate, to aid New Yorkers affected by Sandy.
The Rudin Family, one of the founding members of the marathon, said it would donate $1.1 million and the ING Foundation said it would give $500,000.
On the flip side, some city officials are worried that first responders helping residents with restoration efforts may be diverted to cover the marathon. "If they take one first responder from Staten Island to cover this marathon, I will scream," New York City Councilman James Oddo said on his Twitter account. "We have people with no homes and no hope right now."
There’s even a Facebook page called “Cancel the 2012 NYC Marathon.” The same MSNBC article states:
A Facebook page called “Cancel the 2012 NYC Marathon” had more than 27,000 likes and growing on Friday morning. Claiming to be started by a New York City resident, the page says, “The last thing NYC needs at this time is an extra 100,000 people or so flooding our already devastated streets. Things are not back to normal. Our city is working hard enough to recover please do not complicate things with a race.”
One commenter suggested Bloomberg should “postpone [the race] for a month or so and then use the race as a perfect platform to showcase how ALL 5 BOROUGHS have recovered. That shows resilience, and RESPECT for the citizens who have suffered, without foregoing the economic benefits of the race.”
While the offer of proceeds from the marathon going to help residents is generous, in my humble opinion, postponing the event would be the right thing to do. And where all these runners from outside New York staying? Do most of the hotels in the city and outlying areas have power? Are some operating on generators?
What are your thoughts? Move ahead in an effort to bring prosperity back to the area? Or postpone out of respect to those recovering from the storm and continued clean-up taking place?
Images from race-kred.com and Pinterest