For once, I think I agree with the wingnuts. Having the NYC marathon while half the city is still underwater, without power, and barely making it is criminally irresponsible.
I have no idea what Bloomberg or, for that matter, the Marathon organizers are thinking.
*** Update ***
Looks like they came to their damned senses:
After days of intensifying pressure from runners, politicians and the general public to cancel the New York City Marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, city officials and the event’s organizers decided Friday afternoon that the race would not be held Sunday, according to a person familiar with the decision.
Bloomberg seriously lost the plot on this one.
Of course, not a peep about a football game Sunday afternoon. I guess New Jersey remains unscathed.
To be fair to the wingnuts, if Bloomberg had just endorsed their candidate they would be praising him for having such massive balls.
People bought plane tickets that would be unrefundable (sometimes international tickets). They booked accomodations. They will eat and buy things.
Businesses still need customers. Manhattan is not a hard hit area. People need something to cheer about.
Most people will not be paid unless they work so let the work.
Can we have the happy John Cole around a little longer please????
Have to laugh. Saw front page blurb on the NYTimes a few hours ago.
“Long lines. Short tempers. Marathon is still on.”
And then I realized it was about a footrace, and not early voting.
Yeah. They should postpone it. And move the Giants game to Pittsburgh.
Chris Rock is not a wingnut.
All I want to do (like every year this time) is get the fuck out of Dodge) – Yup they run me out of town.
Gin & Tonic
As luck would have it, the race course is through unaffected areas. Many thousands of people are coming into town and will spend money. I think this is a lot closer call than you do.
OT, I’m really enjoying “Cauthard.” I’m reading it slowly — it’s complex!
I suppose they think going through with the marathon is symbolic of the indomitable resolve of the city or some other shit. Given that the bulk of participants are from out of town, the marathon showcases the self centered absorption do a bunch of narcissistic athletes instead. They need to get over themselves already and run some other time and place. If they want to put there physical prowess to the test they should volunteer to help with debris removal for a few hours or run up and down stairs bringing provisions to elderly folks trapped on high floors without elevator service!
Arm The Homeless
I could care less about the damn marathon. What NYC residents should be pissed off about is the lack of redevelopment in a sustainable manner within the entire region. It’s one thing to have voices willing to admit we have a climate problem, it’s another thing to make politically tough decisions to spend skrilla on hardening infrastructure, while at the same time reclaiming waterfront areas as multi-use buffer zones.
I haz a pipe-dream.
Agree with Cole and many others.
Villago Delenda Est
Well, usually one avoids cancelling events in the face of terrorism, or at least one should, to demonstrate that the terrorist action will not intimidate us.
However, Sandy is an agent of Mother Nature, who is pissed, and does not give a damn about any gestures of defiance.
“Posted in Clown Shoes”
I saw that.
I always worry whenever I agree with someone who is crazy on other issues.
On this one, I am ambivalent but leaning pretty heavily towards running it.
I don’t understand the situation well enough to have any kind of informed opinion about whether the marathon is an unacceptable drain on city resources at this time.
If anyone wants me to have an opinion about this stupid shit, they’re gonna have to pony up some kind of reason and convince me that this isn’t just a matter of people having stupid opinions about shit they don’t know anything about just because having uninformed opinions is our national pastime.
@Gin & Tonic: Depends really on how many resources and money that could be used to help victims is being diverted for the race. Any amount sounds like too much at this point.
Also depends on whether hotels will be kicking out homeless New Yorkers to accommodate the influx of tourists.
AB. SO. F*UCKING. LUTELY!
Yes, I realize that the New York Marathon is a big tourist attraction, brings thousands of folks in from everywhere on the goddamn planet; boosts the economy, etc. etc.: but SRSLY: the City (and not just Manhattan) is smashed by a historically destructive hurricane, and they couldn’t postpone the damn race for a week? Not cancel, but just put it off until, maybe, the thousands of workers who have to keep an eye on the Marathon crowds aren’t busy with other stuff: like cleaning up the fucking City after a deadly hurricane??
Fuck the wing nuts.
As a commenter said above, if he had endorsed Romney, they’d be all for the marathon going ahead.
I’m a little tired of these symbolic cancellations which are done to soothe faux hurt fee fees more than anything else.
As the British always say…”get on with it!”
Bob In Portland
Maybe change the rules this time around, have the runners carry boxes of supplies for people in the various neighborhoods.
Heard on the news that some of the folks whose homes were destroyed and have been staying in hotels are now being forced to leave the hotel rooms because the marathon folks pre-booked the rooms. I guess that would happen eventually with whoever booked a room, but it has to sting.
Can we just agree that Bloomberg is neither a Democrat nor a liberal? Also, too, Andrew Sullivan. Tired of having these albatrosses around our necks.
The FIRST thing that had to be rebuilt in New Orleans was the fucking Superdome. Never mind the schools. I see no reason NY should be any wiser in its priorities.
agree with first poster that the football game is sacrosanct, so quibbling about the marathon is just that.
@gogol’s wife: Glad you think so. You can see why I pretty much only write fiction now….
Culture of Truth
“If you go back to 9-11, Rudy made the right decision in those days to run the marathon and pull people together”
“New York has to show we are here and we are going to recover …to give people something to cheer about in what has been a dismal week for a lot of people”
I disagree with Cole completely. Give people something to celebrate. Should people cancel weddings in New York City, too?
Culture of Truth
“You have to keep going and doing things,” he said, “and you can grieve, you can cry and you can laugh all at the same time. That’s what human beings are good at.”
Gin & Tonic
@Violet: At least a couple of hotel owners on Staten Island have said they’re not throwing out any locals to make room for tourists.
pseudonymous in nc
The area of Manhattan without power is home to a population equal to the size of the city of Atlanta. It includes people in high-rises who don’t or can’t evacuate, don’t have water above 6 floors, and their metropolitan steam-heating system is out of service. This is a situation that is going to get steadily, incrementally worse, which in many ways makes it more of a problem than the more obvious structural devastation that happened so quickly. (If your house got washed away or blown down, then it’s not going to get much worse than that.)
The city is asking retired NYPD officers to volunteer for the marathon so that active officers can concentrate on relief, but perhaps those retired cops could help schlep water up flights of stairs. I understand that there are sunk costs and insurance issues and the race brings a shitload of money into the city, but I don’t think it’s going to be received well.
Kind of OT butnot nearly – got this thru Wash Monthly – its how LBJ handled the initial Hurricane Betsy situation in 1965 a category 4 hurricane. I still think LBJ is one of the most underrespected US presidents(yeah, yeah, Vietnam.)
They didn’t have a FEMA at that time but LBJ had contacted the Corps of Engineers, and the Veterans Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, Agricultural Department, Small Business Administration, all the services—Army, Navy, and Air Force—the National Command Center, Department of Agriculture, Interior, Maritime, Housing and Home Finance, and Bureau of Yards and Docks and Navy, Federal Communications, Federal Aviation, Bureau of Public Roads, Treasury, Commerce, and Interstate Commerce Commission and instructed them to help within 4 days of the event.
His private conversation with the Emergency guy in LA was to do the greatest good for the greatest number because we are the greatest nation. This wasn’t speechifying, this is a private conversation with the emergency guy. In-fvcking credible. How the fvck did Texas go from LBJ to George W. Bush? I seriously don’t understand. Don’t even tell me it was the Civil Rights Acts because that I find really really depressing, if its true.
From over here in Santa Monica, it sort of looks to me like New York is still a bit of a mess. I’ve given this a moment’s thought and I’ve got some opinions about how New Yorkers ought to order their affairs. I’ll let them know when I’m ready to go back to not paying any attention and letting them run their city as they see fit.
Also, too, this. Recovery won’t get done any faster if they cancel the marathon. It’s all about the fauxtrage of people who don’t even live in the City, just like “We can’t try al Qaeda in New York!” and “No Ground Zero Mosque!”
David in NY
I will be at a funeral for a lovely 24-year-old woman killed by a falling tree and don’t give a fuck one way or the other. Life is just too sad sometimes.
What would be gained by cancelling it? A bunch of businesses losing a shot in the arm of business.
I know people are saying that hotels are kicking out people but that would happen marathon or not.
The Moar You Know
Disagree big time, they could use the tourist dollars and the damage is confined to parts of town that the marathon won’t be run in. Also, don’t you think these folks deserve some fun instead of being left to wallow in their misery?
New York didn’t stop after 9/11, and they shouldn’t stop after this, either. This was the right call.
@kerFuFFler: This parade of narcissists you’re talking about is, in reality, a world class sporting event that brings in a metric shit-ton of revenue to the city, which I am guessing they can use about now.
There’s a hell of a lot of work to do right now, but regardless of what Sully might say, it’s really not much at all like Calcutta there right now. Maybe y’all can have some car magnets made up to express your solidarity against those evil intruders in sneakers.
Not just a wingnut issue. Our exhausted cops need a rest and they’re not going to get it standing in the streets watching thousands of OCD afflicted nervous wreaks running 26 stupid miles for no other reason than to get a mylar sheet and a time that they will lie about.
Uhhhhh, the reason why is $$$$$$$
The city sorely needs to take in some revenue.
As someone said above, canceling would not be a simple call. Easier to throw spitballs on this one that actually have to make a decision that has real consequences.
Yes, it’s a real narrative — I’m going slowly so I can follow the story, but it’s very interesting poetically too. It’s hard to believe the Balloon Juice snarkmaster is the author! Thanks for the link.
@Gin & Tonic: The race starts on Staten Island which is devastated, and it’s difficult enough to move supplies across the bridge to people….and the pictures of generators for the media tent in Central Park are infuriating people.
Culture of Truth
why do there have to “thousands to keep an eye on marathon crowds” It’s a bunch of people running. I can see that anywhere.
Besides, if those volunteers want to clean up instead, they can. So can the spectators.
@Bobby Thomson: Yes, if your wedding requires several hundred police officers, medical personnel, sanitation crews, then yes. You should cancel your wedding if it is happening this weekend. And have the caterer bring the food to the shelters. And tell the guests: too bad, things happen.
@mai naem: It won’t let me edit my comment. I forgot to mention that the hurricane hit on Sept 9 in the PM and LBJ flew down there on Sept 10. Keep in mind this is in 1965.
Well, Bush wasn’t really from Texas, for what it’s worth.
Gin & Tonic
@Jane2: It’s on Staten Island for about 100 yards.
@<a [email protected]pseudonymous in nc: ef=”#comment-3915692″>pseudonymous in nc:
OK , the area around the race path.
This is a fundraising Marathon. CNN just interviewed a woman that has $39K in pledges. Charities really need that money. This is a tough time for them.
Maybe they should challenge runners to donate pledges to a local storm related charity instead.
The race must go on or Al Queda will think we are yella.
@Gin & Tonic: That’s good news. I think it was Staten Island hotels I heard about this morning.
@pseudonymous in nc: Heard some guy say on the news that if it drops below freezing for any length of time, and the power isn’t on, the pipes in many buildings will freeze and that will be an incredible disaster.
Culture of Truth
Without volunteers to control the crowds, surely the athletes will run faster
@Villago Delenda Est: That’ll show that hurricane!
How about letting the people of New York decide? All this talk about lower barriers to communication and the democratization of information, you’d think this would be the perfect time to do it, but no one ever seems to.
@dan: Bloomberg says no recovery efforts are being diverted, and he has no incentive to do that or to lie about it. There are a lot of high rent people affected by Sandy.
My guess is that if you gave the organizers a “postpone or cancel” choice, they’d cancel. It’s too complicated a thing to just shift back a couple of weeks.
Given the city’s statements that the marathon will not be diverting resources from the recovery efforts, I think it’s practical to do it now.
So it seems mainly an emotional question: Keep calm and carry on? Or cancel something fun because it seems inappropriate?
As somebody whose will requires an open bar at the funeral, my answer is pretty easy: hold the marathon. People who want to mourn can still mourn. But there are people who need something hopeful, something vital. For them, the marathon will be that.
The Moar You Know
@mai naem: Sorry. It was 100% the Civil Rights act. And yes it is depressing, and tragic, and it’s going to take a fuckload longer than LBJ’s “a generation” before the Southerners return to their senses, if ever. FWIW I would bet on secession rather than a return to human decency as being more likely.
The Marathon brings in hundreds of millions of dollars to NYC. That seems to be why it will take place despite the PR disaster it is posing for Bloomberg.
Gin & Tonic
@Violet: It would have to be *really* cold for a really long time to freeze water pipes in a place like Stuytown, which will almost certainly have power by the weekend anyway.
@Gin & Tonic:
My understanding is that in most (all?) states they can’t kick you out of the hotel for overstaying by state law. The hotel’s entitled to charge you posted rack rate, but you’ll stay and the incoming people, reservations or not, get another room or get walked to another hotel. Sounds like a rumor got started based on someone thinking that may happen.
My feelings as well.
not going to lie, this pretty much sums up my opinion of most of the last two years.
@Gin & Tonic: How do you think they get across to Manhatten? I don’t know if you live where there are marathons, but it involves closing streets and bridges to vehicles for runners. Can you see why Staten Island residents with no power, food etc, might be a little pissy at the prospect of supplies being stopped for this? Surely to Christ they could change the start at the very least.
@kerFuFFler: The characterization of marathoners in your post is painfully ignorant. It’s not even their decision.
@mai naem: We don’t have to tell you how. LBJ predicted what would happen.
Much ado about fucking nothin’
Why not let people run the marathon? They paid for it. Oh yeah, because wingnuts haven’t run more than a mile in their fuckin lives.
I didn’t realize this was a wingut issue. All my Democratic friends in NYC are pissed about the marathon taking priority over their electricity and water being back to normal. If I still lived there I’d be pissed too, it’s not like NYC residents, as opposed to people who watch this stuff on TV, live and die by the marathon.
Unless there is a significant draw of resources needed for recovery operations, I think they should run.
Here’s the problem:
So yes, it is taking resources from efforts to get things back up and running.
Also, it’s not just people outside the city who have a problem with this. The Manhattan Borough president said, “I believe we should postpone and re-schedule the New York City Marathon in order to focus all of the City’s resources on the crucial task of helping our neighbors recover from this disaster. “
@kerFuFFler: Are you fucking serious? Bullshit judgement much?
@gogol’s wife: So many disguises, so little time.
Also, what do BG and a tootsie roll pop have in common?
Does anyone who isn’t actually running give a rat’s ass about marathons?
I suspect most of the reason I think they should cancel the marathon has more to do with what I think of people who run marathons for fun than anything else.
(And can we please stop pretending they are running “For charity?” That is the most bullshit. If you’re raising funds for breast cancer, raise funds. Running doesn’t need to enter into this equation at all. I get that some people have goals and want the motivation of charity and feeling that it isn’t a totally wasted selfish endeavor. I suppose that’s fine, but at the end of the day you achieving your running goals does not actually benefit anyone but you.)
Gin & Tonic
@Jane2: They get across to Brooklyn, not Manhattan, by running over the Verrazano bridge, which is closed for less than half a day. Most of what would need to come in would be coming from the other side, anyway, not from Brooklyn.
@Darkrose: And those resources were paid for by $207 entry fees (US citizens) or $298 (non-US citizens). Should we just appropriate those funds for the common good?
Michael Bloomberg is the next Michael Bilandic.
I ran the NYC marathon and none of the suffering NYers cheered me on even though I ran a personal best.
It was like Calcutta.
Culture of Truth
The obvious solution, of course, is to place the runners on a giant treadmill and generate power for those in need.
I have run the NYC marathon and nine others. Marathons take a SHITLOAD of a city’s resources to run including police, ems/medical, sanitation, and other services. I can’t for the life of me see how diverting those resources away from the citizens of NY and to the runners makes any sense. The money may be important, but just about every business involved in a race like this is insured against cancellation for weather and will get reimbursed for lost revenue. That include the race promoters, hotels, etc. And moving it back a few weeks would still bring in the dough.
Marathons have been cancelled before and it isn’t the end of the world. If I were a New Yorker still out of power and water I’d be livid.
OT speculation: When they do run this race, I wonder if they will have cops on hand to stop and/or ticket any runner who takes more than 16 ounces of Gatorade during the race.
Culture of Truth
This controversy clinches it for me. I’m not running the marathon. On principle.
@Shinobi: You don’t think it’s easier to raise funds in the context of a marathon (or similar goal oriented endeavor) for the average person? Or what about the cancer survivors (or whatever) that run to raise funds/awareness and also to celebrate their recovery?
@Culture of Truth: Great. Right after I bet Nate Silver a grand you’d win it.
Culture of Truth
@BGinCHI: That kid is biased against me.
Normally one does not ship tourists into the middle of a disaster zone. One sends in construction workers, doctors, police officers, and the like. Even if those tourists are in excellent physical condition, it is considered bad form to host a what is essentially a semi-mobile block party in the middle of a disaster zone.
I guess you don’t have to be an Entitled American Slob to be an Entitled American.
Their problem isn’t going to be money, its going to be related to the problems of a 20th century infrastructure being wracked by a storm created by 21st century climate change. Buying tourist trinkets isn’t really the thing they need.
Race promoters take out very large insurance policies so that in events like this their expenses are mitigated and venders are paid. Specifically, entrants who want their money back can get it.
I have had a marathon cancelled out from under me, and I got my entrance fee back. I did have the option of turning over to the next year and declined.
Again, as far as tragedies from Sandy go, being out a couple hundred dollars for marathon entrance fee is pretty small potatoes.
I have to agree. I live in NYC and I’m really struggling with this. Regardless of the rational pros and cons, on a visceral, emotional level it feels so wrong.
@Bobby Thomson: “Bloomberg says no recovery efforts are being diverted, and he has no incentive to do that or to lie about it.”
I like Scott Stringer and he’s a decent guy, although he’s trying to have it both ways in his statement. Namely, you can’t “reschedule” this thing, unless you want to turn it into a local fun run that brings in a sliver of the revenue. If he doesn’t think it should be run, he has to acknowledge that.
@Joel: Seriously? You honestly think that the race entry fee covers the cost of the electricity for the media tent?
@Darkrose: No, those generators were brought in by race organizers because there isn’t enough power in Central Park. Show me that anyone is trying to put generators into Staten Island and can’t because TWO WHOLE GENERATORS ARE IN CENTRAL PARK ZOMG!
@dr. bloor: I’m asking because I honestly don’t know: is it unrealistic to have something like this pushed back a couple of weeks? Do they ever reschedule marathons for weather reasons?
Gin & Tonic
@Darkrose: And do you seriously think that one of those truck-mounted generators can help people in residential buildings in any way?
Race entry fees, by the way, are in the $10M neighborhood.
They just announced they’re cancelling it
@Darkrose: Entry fees are squat. Sponsor and advertising fees, however, is a much bigger pot.
Gin & Tonic
Yeah, it does. Rental fee for the generators, cost of the gas. A couple hundred bucks times many thousands of people adds up.
@Darkrose: There it is. I think Bloomberg’s full of it if he says resources aren’t being diverted. Those hundreds of cops and other city employees, the 20 ambulances stationed along the route, etc., etc., could and probably should be in Staten Island right now.
That said, I don’t really care either way on this. If New Yorkers aren’t particularly pissed, neither am I.
Tangent, though: can we get rid of those goddamned “26.2” stickers every third car has on their bumper or back window nowadays? I greatly respect the accomplishment, don’t get me wrong. But, you know what? I don’t care that you ran a marathon and I think less of you that you feel the need to advertise it. So, congratulations, but fuck you for thinking you’re better than everyone who doesn’t have your precious little sticker. And don’t get me started on the little brother, the “13.1” stickers. Everyone’s run a fucking half marathon at this point. Finish the real thing and then get back to us. Or, better yet, don’t get back to us.
I don’t see any evidence the marathon would divert any resources from the cleanup and recovery effort. For example, cops don’t do cleanup
I think it would be a good idea on an emotional level, but it’s clearly upsetting a lot of people.
Reportedly, they just canceled.
@Bobby Thomson: There’s not enough power in Central Park because the entire area has no power. So why should the reporters covering the marathon have power?
But hey, maybe I’m nuts for thinking that having a large sporting event days after a major natural disaster has left thousands of people without access to clean water and electricity is kind of stupid.
According to Reuters there will soon be an announcement that it’s been cancelled http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/report-new-york-city-marathon-canceled
BREAKING: The NYC marathon will not be held this Sunday http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/sports/new-york-city-marathon-will-not-be-held-sunday.html
@Mike Lamb: I think the charity usually comes after the running. People become runners and then they are all “Oh yeah charity booyah.”
I have only anecdata to support this, but I don’t think charity is the primary motivation for most runners. (With some survivor exceptions, but even then the motivation seems to be the ACT of running, and the achievement of finishing, not the money I am giving them.)
@Darkrose: Not this one. This attracts world-class runners who set their training and racing scehdules months, and at times years, in advance. You can have the race any time, although they’d lose a lot of the names and $. The sponsors are locked in, I suppose.
…and Bloomberg just canned it. Always next year, I suppose.
Culture of Truth
Indeed, it’s canceled. Happy NOW!!!!??!
On the one hand I totally agree with you. It is silly, even though I have taken advantage of a couple of these training programs.
But how is this different than charities raising money with large dinners at thousands of dollars a plate. Why don’t the diners just send in the money? Why do corporations promise to send millions to breast cancer research, but only a penny at a time when you buy pink crap? Why don’t they send in the money and take the write off? And walk-a-thons, and selling band candy, etc etc etc.
That’s just how fundraising is done in this country.
And the response to that is everyone involved in these mummer’s farces gets something out of the rituals over and above the money involved. Some of it may just be vanity and public recognition and some of it may be a deeper connection to the charity or a network of committed stakeholders for the charity. I won’t bore you with what I got out of my fundraising marathon training programs or what the charities got out of it, other than the money. It’s long winded, you probably wouldn’t understand, and you probably don’t care and you don’t need to.
@David in NY: I am very sorry for your loss.
Reading the thread, I think those that pointed out that insurance covers a good chunk of the losses for cancelling this type of event makes cancellation the right answer.
@dr. bloor: Ah, okay. Thanks.
@FridayNext: Fair enough. Your argument is cogent. I suppose my initial reaction is fueled by irritation by the bullshit that is spewing freely in here.
However, at some point you draw a line. When do the Knicks (and Nets) resume playing basketball? The Giants haven’t cancelled their Sunday game. Professional sporting events require shitloads of resources, too.
Oh, and I will stop saying they (we?) are doing this for charity immediately after college football Bowl Games stop saying they are in it as a charity and all those mega-corps who get one named after themselves stop taking millions in tax deductions for it. In the world of bullshit fund raising in sports, marathon runners are hardly the worst.
BREAKING–The NYC Marathon has been cancelled.
Of course, I’m certain there’s 20 people ahead of me with this.
NYC Marathon thread: come for the debate, stay for the irrational anger at distance runners.
I just looked at the course map. While the race avoids the areas hardest hit in Manhattan, it goes through area in Brooklyn and Queens which are evacuation zones and close to the East River coastline. The NY Road Runners club had to make alternative plans for getting people to Staten Island for the race start.
It was a bad decision to go through with the race. It’s an even worse decision to cancel it at 5:30 EST two days prior to the race.
This thread has been cancelled.
For refunds please Contact John Cole C/O Rosie, Bethany, WV.
Very EMO of you. As I understand it, emotions are not tolerated at Balloon Juice, unless they motivate one to vote for Barack Obama of course; or cancel marathons to soothe the plaintive cries of wing nuts expressing faux outrage at their faux hurt fee fees over the sufferings of the people…oh dear god, the people…the humanity…
Although it’s clear that if the marathon is canceled the city will be up and running in no time.
@dr. bloor: Seriously. I do my fair share of endurance events and I personally don’t like to ‘advertise’, but I’m not going to blow a gasket at the folks who do.
Jack the Second
Meh, we can do two things at once. New York City unemployment rate is 8.8%. Hire some more people and get the job done.
Yeah, Mayor Mike truly tripped on his dick over this: had he pushed the Marathon folks to cancel a day or two ago (with appropriate noises of sympathy, and, hopefully, an alternative date), he’d end up looking like a hero: as it is, this will be a major blot on an otherwise decent response to the disaster.
See comment # 18 for my still-unchanged opinion…
On a related topic, Victoria’s Secret is scheduled to hold its annual fashion show next week in NYC. As in past years, they have rented the National Guard Armory. To put on the show, they brought in some huge generators and a T1 internet line. Turns out the Guard needed to borrow them.
@Shinobi: When I was a runner, my motivation to run races was to a) stay motivated in my fitness goals and b) gawk at lovely lady runners.
Actually, a) and b) were pretty inter-related as well.
So it’s cancelled.
Score another win for the wing nuts.
As per always.
@Mike Lamb: Yeah, if they were going to cancel it, they should have made that decision right away. People have now flown to NY to run the marathon, organizers are moving things into place, etc. Huge waste of resources and people’s energy that could be used to help those affect by the storms. And the airplane seats that marathoners used could have been taken by passengers stranded elsewhere that are trying to get home.
BALLOON JUICE TEAHADIST CANCELS NEW YORK MARATHON.
On account of John Cole incessant whinning soooooo much the NY Marathon is canceled.
John has invited all participants and spectators to his house for dinner instead.
What about being out a few more hundred dollars for plane fare? It’s not like this is a locals-only event. People actually fly in for it, and the airline is going to say, “Tough shit, shouldn’t have bought a non-refundable ticket.”
Yes. Takes a lot to put an event like this together, I’m on the committee for a half-marathon with about 2000 runners, and there’s no way we could pull that off.
1. Permits to block off streets need to be arranged, and venues for start and finish need to be reserved…and may already be reserved for other events. Presumably law enforcement and ambulance personnel need to be on hand, and scheduled, as well
2. Volunteers. Our event uses hundreds, NYC probably has thousands. “OK everybody, just shelve whatever you had planned two weeks from now and show up to work the marathon!” Ain’t happening.
3. Lodging. Sure, NYC’s a big place, but we’re talking about booking thousands of rooms for two or three weeks from now. Might be possible, might not, depending on their vacancy rate.
Might not be impossible, but I’m awful glad I’m not on that committee.
I agree with canceling. Just want to put in a word about the city. Took two and a half hours to get from my place in Prospect Heights to 53rd and Lexington. I basically did a walking-subway-bus tour of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan in an attempt to get across the river via subway and avoid the morning disaster on the Brooklyn bridges. The number of people involved in getting things back to normal and dealing with the interim is astonishing. You basically cannot look in any direction without seeing some public worker doing something.
And, the people working on the ground are doing a really great job. Cops at every intersection and all over the river crossings dealing with just catastrophic amounts of traffic. MTA people all over Third and Lexington Avenue directing people to the buses back over the Manhattan Bridge or down in the tunnels showing people how to navigate the lines that are running. More of both at the Barclay Center dealing with the scads of people there. National Guard people tromping around in the more devastated areas in Brooklyn pumping water and checking buildings.
With the exception of one bus driver who was doing the B45 route and who was incredibly snarly to this old man who was freezing cold and waiting forever for a not full bus, all the many many city workers I dealt with yesterday were super calm, decent to the public and knew what they were talking about.
@Mnemosyne: Actually, I’d be interested to see how far the ‘act of God’ consideration would trickle down in terms of a refund on a plane ticket.
Ed in NJ
I’m not sure most of the idiots posting that cancelling was a bad idea realize how far out of the mainstream they are.
Almost without exception, all anyone has been talking about today here in the NY metro area has been what an fucking ridiculous idea having this was. No one cares if runners feelings are hurt. No one who is not a fucking moron thinks this is a wingnut issue.
Thank FSM good judgement prevailed.
I don’t know…I think sometimes a rapid return to normalcy can have a benefit.
Unlike Rmoney’s canned food drive sham, I think they could have turned it into a memorial event of some sort. I did an LA Marathon Bike Ride in the rain (Yes I know that’s not the same as a post-hurricane devastation) and found it a unique view of my city. Maybe foregoing prizes (matched or donated instead), times, corporate whoring and the like and just viewing the the scene from ground level like that up close and personal could have some sort of long-term motivational/preparatory/prevention value.
It’s not quite the same thing as Bush post-9/11 “go shopping” proclamation, but the city is getting clobbered economically in a myriad of ways already.
I’d run/ride it.
Fuggetaboutit. Travelers will cancel and get airline credit minus rebooking fee. The airlines’ job is to get you to NYC and back and that’s now doable, so if you don’t have anything to do there that’s not their fault. Maybe the hotels will be nice about it and refund nonrefundable bookings, but not the airlines. I don’t think travel insurance will kick in either, unless it has some “trip in vain” clause.
@Ed in NJ: Canceling today is a bad idea. It should’ve been canceled as of the day after the storm. Canceling at the last second just creates a bigger cluster fuck.
@Mike Lamb: Bygones.
@Ed in NJ:
I’d bet this was a ways down the list in terms of factors they considered.
Another Halocene Human
@Arm The Homeless: while at the same time reclaiming waterfront areas as multi-use buffer zones.
Word–to da muthafucking word.
I’ve run some marathons myself, and I agree with the decision to not run the race now. I had the experience of trying to run a race in the face of a hurricane, the 2008 Lewis and Clark Marathon (St. Charles, MO) in the face of the remnants of Hurricane Ike.
Not a good idea.
That said, this is a huge disappointment for the runners for a few reasons.
1) If you aren’t an active member of the New York Road Runners club, it’s difficult to get in. For guaranteed entry, you must have a qualifying time faster than even Boston (for example, a 50-year old man needs a 3:06 for guaranteed entry to NY vs. a 3:10 for guaranteed entry to Boston). Failing that you have to enter a lottery where the success rate has been getting lower and lower over the years.
2) Marathon training is keyed to running the race on a certain day. You typically peak you training 3-4 weeks before the race, and then lighten the load in the weeks leading up to the event. Moving the race to a date say two weeks later will mess up people’s training schedules.
3) People may have gotten non-refundable plane tickets, hotel reservations, Broadway tickets, etc. This is probably the least-defensible reason since it’s really no different than any other vacation being cancelled due to natural disasters.
I think if I had qualified and were registered, I probably would not have gone. It would have been an incredibly selfish thing to do. I just don’t see how they’ll be able to postpone it. It’s going to be another casualty of Sandy.
I’m hoping this was just snark that fell a little flat.
Umm, Manhattan was hard hit. Lights are still out south of 39th IIRC. People are lining up hundreds deep to take the few buses which don’t meet the capacity of the subways to move people.
My brother works at Rockefeller Center and my SIL works at the Met. He’s using vacation days to avoid walking from Brooklyn Heights to work ~ about 1.5 hours each way. They usually take the A-train to work, but it’s too full of sea water right now. My SIL’s supervisor got stuck out of town and so she’s having to fill in. On Wednesday, she took the East River Ferry to City Hall and then got in to work somehow in a reasonable time. However, on her trip back, she had to wait 2 hours to catch the ferry back.
@FridayNext: I would argue that all of those things are equally as stupid as running. (Though running a marathon constitutes a major physical and mental effort on the part of many individuals, and I have to wonder what they could accomplish if they weren’t spending hours every day running “For charity.”)
I don’t know that this really makes any particular argument but I found this RSA Animate video about how charitable giving works in our current context very interesting when I watched it forever ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpAMbpQ8J7g
Another Halocene Human
Believe it or not, not every charity is, in fact, run this way. But the tax code smiles alike on charities which spend two thirds of their budget every year on administration and “fundraising” and “outreach” and on lean, mean charities that spend 80% or more on program services.
Another Halocene Human
Because running, walking, or riding your bike (really) for charity is part of the refined art of the HumbleBrag(TM). You solicit all family/friends for “pledges”, putting social pressure on them because you were “out there”, doing to tough work of both fundraising AND performing this physical feat to raise awareness, thus turning their annoyance at your solicitation into that ugly pit of guilt which can only be expiated by a check… but not too small, you don’t want to be the smallest amount on the pledge sheet. In return, they’ve let everybody know what a great runner/charity lover/bike nut they are.
Another Halocene Human
Bloomberg is an idjit. Methinks he’s had a touch of denial. Like telling a bunch of hospitals and nursing homes not to evacuate. WTF.
No, just because you didn’t get blown to flinders like the Jersey Shore does NOT mean everything is motherfucking okay, OKAY?
Having the Marathon was not morale boosting, it was going to be non-stop “Let ’em eat cake” TV. Until, heaven forbid, someone was injured. And the exhausted first responders couldn’t get through the traffic to help. And again, heaven forbid it happened near a closed hospital.
People on Staten Island are flattened. MSNBC & NBC are trying hard to make Staten Island neglect someone’s Katrina, while getting the borough help.
While I am not in NYC, many of my clients are. And we’re working on an annual event happening in another state that is crucial to them. Event is still happening in a week. And clients are decimated. People without power, people who can’t get anywhere, people whose lives are a wreck.
The only morale boost people in the NYC area want right now are power and transportation.
Cancelling was the only right decision.
@Another Halocene Human: Agreed.
Another Halocene Human
It could be the driver’s just a jerk but it might be that he’d heard, “Why are you late?” for the 37th time and he was fresh out of suffering fools today.
You never think when you’re a passenger about the fact that the bus driver has heard the same thoughtless comments 100x already today. In my salad days I asked a bus driver in a blizzard why she was late after she rolled out of stop-and-go highway traffic. At a loss for words she just threw her hands up. I suddenly realized how idiotic I had been and shuffled, cheeks aflame, to the back of the bus.
Freezing cold that day, too.
That makes a lot of sense…probably why I’m not in charge.
Posting more blog comments? I mean shit, whatever you think of marathons, dude, we’re not exactly saving the world here ourselves.
@Another Halocene Human:
Of course you are right. I know not all fund raising is done this way. In fact, in my non-profit field 80% of all donations come from large donations from wealthy people who just want their ass’s kissed and don’t need any event with a “thon” at the end. But an awful lot of grassroots charity is done this way for some very vain and some very sensible reasons.
@Another Halocene Human: Or maybe a particular event–marathon, biking century, triathlon, whatever–is on someone’s bucket list and they genuinely want to get a two-fer by helping a charity while they meet a goal. Then, once they achieve said goal, go on their merry way never to discuss it again.
Fuck me running, but the cynicism/criticism being leveled at people that both want to do endurance events and use it as an opportunity to help a charity is very surprising to me.
@Shinobi: Who the fuck are you to decide/judge what else someone could accomplish if they weren’t wasting their time running “for charity”?
pseudonymous in nc
Yeah, Kitchen Implement, those Manhattanite Obama supporters currently without power are “wing nuts”.
Let’s just pretend that they ran it, then. It’s not like the charities get docked a dollar for every second the runners go over their personal best.
@Another Halocene Human: I hear you. And I agree. The takeaway from yesterday was the opposite of that one lady — they threw a hell of a lot of people at the problem and those people are a huge help.
There’s not enough power on a good day to feed the reporters, which is why these were ordered well in advance. And feeding the reporters with electricity makes them cover the event, which brings in sponsor money. Regardless, it’s an academic point now, so you’ll have to content yourself with guilting people for eating turkey with their families on Thanksgiving.
Haters are gonna hate.
What kind of public event would be acceptable? What other kinds of public events would not be acceptable?
@Another Halocene Human:
Yes, that’s why my friend at work is doing the Fight for Air Climb in honor of her Uncle Mark, who died a few months ago after a long struggle with lung disease — because she’s an asshole who didn’t really care about him or his disease, she just wants to aggrandize herself.
Also, fuck you.
it’s crazy at the stadium isn’t it? walked by there the other day and the line for the shuttle bus to midtown went around the stadium twice. that shit is wack.
I nominate MazeDancer for King (or Queen) of the Thread.
Here is a thoughtful piece on why holding the marathon under these circumstances would have been the opposite of a morale booster http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/11/marathon-is-cancelled-finally.html
There is some shopping I want to do but I know that the buses will be very crowded, so I’m staying home. I’m lucky I can do this.
@David in NY:
How sad. I’m very sorry. Would that be the woman who was walking her dog with a (male) friend and both were killed by the tree? Heard the man’s mother interviewed on NPR this evening. Very very tragic.
Sounds like somebody who hasn’t given to one of these.
When friends are out doing something impressive, like a marathon or a multi-day bike ride, I am more likely to kick in money to their chosen charity than if they just say, “Oh, hey, please give money to this thing I like.”
It may be irrational, but it definitely works.
@chopper: It is. I avoided on the way in because people were tweeting 2 hour waits and then 40 minutes not moving BEFORE the Manhattan Bridge. On the way back, I got the bus on Lexington and was home in an hour and 15 mins — granted, at 3 pm.
What seems to be missed here is that there are a lot of small businesses, shops, restaurants, etc., who have been closed for 5 days and could have used the revenue from this influx of tourists to jump start their business. Now that has been taken away from them.
Unfortunately, this short term, emotional decision is going to have long term consequences, reverberating through the economy when these places close permanently. Those thrown out of work will be mostly working class people.
@Laertes: You should have stayed in France. Meanwhile, your sister Ophelia is floating down the Hudson River.
The issue is simple: the NY Marathon, like the Boston and London marathons are major international events that require major security. It’s unfortunate that Sandy intervened like a deus ex machina in this play but it did and the Marathon would be a huge F..up if it were attempted right now.
@dantoujours: What seems to be missed here is that there are a lot of small businesses, shops, restaurants, etc., who have been closed for 5 days and could have used the revenue from this influx of tourists to jump start their business. Now that has been taken away from them.
Based on my knowledge of the city (having lived here for 50+ years), the areas in Manhattan where these little shops are, are not the areas where the runners/tourists would be going this weekend. There is no power, the food stores/eateries can’t get deliveries, there’s little to no transportation. Yes, Mid-town can still use the tourists and will have them. I guess people who flew in for the Marathon will have stay anyway until their flights home. And they have finally opened LaGuardia Airport but with limited service.
NYC’s current web site for Sandy information
The marathon goes through every borough and starts in Staten Island for Christ’s sake. How would you even get everyone to the starting line. Football game is totally fluffs rent, it’s centralized, easy to secure, accessible by functioning transportation.
Pfft. If this was the Super Bowl, people would be telling them they would be insensitive if they were thinking about cancelling it. But since it’s some little running thing, then sure. Silliness.
I have to agree with you there.
The race was seen as a distraction and a pain in the ass most years, but this year they finally have a reason to hate it more. Knowing people would watch to boo it made the organizers scared, so they backed off.
Next year there might be a big storm near St. Patrick’s Day… or Puerto Rican Pride Day… or if they’re really lucky: Thanksgiving! Some people just want to be able to go from one side of town to the other without experiencing something horrible.
I love the marathon, truly. But I’m sitting less than 35 miles away in New Brunswick, my neighbors don’t have heat or power and we don’t have TV or a net connection in our homes, so we’re not going to see it and be cheered up.
We’re expecting a badass storm on Wednesday. Thank Flying Spaghetti Monster the marathon’s canceled. Diverting resources from cleanup and restoration is the dumbest shit ever.