For the past few days, I’ve been hearing about how the New York Marathon should be canceled this weekend. The New York Marathon is a wonderful institution that’s been held for 32 years. If you live in New York, you probably know someone who has run it, and you might have gone out to cheer for them. Hell, you might have run it yourself! It’s one of those nice traditions that brings people in the city together.
And when I first heard that people were calling for it to be canceled, I bridled a bit. I think that is was drummed into my head as a teenager that if you stop behaving as planned in any way “the terrorists win.” In this case the terrorist was… weather. The terrorist was God, apparently. I believe this was my insane justification for needing a Coach purse as a teenager, and it seemed like a fine reason to just keep running, just the way we would normally. It would be proof that nothing can stop us! New Yorkers would be just like the British, all stiff upper lips in the wake of horrors, but with more sinewy muscles!
No. I’m an idiot. Sorry. I was confused. I stopped being confused after I actually read something on the subject.
There’s no way in hell they should be holding the marathon. That is insane. It is absolutely nuts.
During an address today, Michael Bloomberg mentioned that the marathon raised $10 million for the city. That’s fine. Running it – and allocating resources towards it – is still nuts.
In theory, it’s a wonderful idea. It’s something that should show the indomitable spirit of New Yorkers. But you have to understand what an egregious misuse of resources this is, right now.
The New York Marathon – which, again, I do love – starts in Staten Island. It’s one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Sandy. There is no power. There is no electricity. It is awful. The generators being used for the New York City Marathon could power 400 homes in Staten Island. Oh. And there’s a back-up generator that’s sitting idle just in case power fails.
Marathon runners are also given additional clothes to keep them warm, which seems absurd when so many people have been forced out of their homes. Those clothes – like the power – could be going to those really in need, not people who.. want to run.
And there’s also very little chance that Staten Island is going to be in any shape to hold the Marathon.
Staten Island’s Representative Michael Grimm said, “[Holding the marathon] is complete and utter lunacy. We are still taking people out of the water and we’re supposed to spruce up the parks for a race?”
Quite aside from the fact that this is an immoral use of resources, it’s just not sensible for anyone running. ”We can’t bring thousands of people who don’t need to be here into a disaster area,” said Assemblyman Lou Tobacco.