I am so thankful that the disappointment I faced was just a canceled marathon. In the scheme of life, this is so trivial. I want to be so careful writing this blog because there have been so many emotions tied to the NYC marathon and its runners. I am actually nervous as I write- hoping my words are not taken as insensitive or inconsiderate. I would like to share with you my week leading up to this weekend's marathon and the emotional roller coaster that went with it.
Sunday- With one week to go, Hurricane Sandy had already passed Florida's coast and was on its way to the Northeast. The Marine Corps marathon was running that morning- a friend's boss was participating in this race. At this point in the week, we had no idea if this storm would be the Super Storm the media was predicting.
Monday- Weather is Florida had turned cold due to the hurricane system. Monday morning's run was a good indication for me as to how I would feel running in the colder weather. As the day went on, I watched the news, hoping and praying for the people and places that were in this storm's path. A good friend from high school was preparing her family on the coast of Connecticut. Many people in Maryland were unsure if they would also have storm damage. There were a lot of unknowns.
Tuesday- As I got up to another cold brisk Florida morning, new reports about Hurricane Sandy and its storm damage had started to emerge. My parents were originally scheduled to fly in on Tuesday afternoon but had changed their flight to Wednesday which proved to be a wise decision. Most of the East Coast airports were shut down that day- accessing damage to their run-ways. News started to surface about the extensive damage to the Jersey shore and its residents. The pictures were heartbreaking.
Wednesday- Halloween Day! With my parents flying to Florida and Halloween night approaching, Glenn and I were still unsure about the marathon. One thing we did know is that the airport we were flying into was indefinitely closed- LaGuardia Airport. After spending a good hour on hold with Jet Blue, we were told to wait to cancel our flight that it would probably be canceled. The news came out that Mayor Bloomberg wanted the marathon to go on- that it would be a race to bring the city together. So based on the mayor's announcement, Glenn and I decided to fly to Baltimore and catch a ride with my friend who was also running the marathon. I had mixed emotions about going and running the race but we knew that we would regret not going after putting in months of hard work.
Thursday- On Thursday morning, LaGuardia Airport reopened and flights from Jet Blue were flying into JFK. So we rethought about flight to Baltimore and decided we would keep our original flights to NY. More new started to surface about the devastation on Staten Island and parts of Long Island. But still, the mayor stood behind his original statement that the marathon would go as planned. So with a heavy and conflicted heart, we packed.
Friday- We left for the airport that morning, knowing that the marathon and its participants were receiving a lot of negative press. Our flight into LaGuardia was fine and we were able to get into the city. The taxi line was huge but we shared a cab with another couple in for the marathon and a woman who lives in NYC. The ride into NY was a challenge because of the HOV restrictions that were in place. We also drove through parts of Manhattan that were still without power so the street traffic was a little scary. Around 4 pm we made it to our hotel room in Midtown Manhattan. My friend, Wendy and her husband had arrived by train a hour earlier. We had unpacked our stuff and turned on the tv- just then Breaking News- the marathon was canceled. We couldn't believe it! We were able to catch an exclusive interview with the New York Road Runner's (NYRR) CEO Mary Wittenburg on ABC- she said that the resources for the race were in place, that they would not take away from the relief efforts but there was too much negative feedback to allow the race to go on. So that was that- no race on Sunday.
My thoughts on the marathon being canceled-
- It was the right decision, just way too late. By canceling the marathon on Friday, the mayor and the NYRR now had 2 sides upset with them. The people who thought it was wrong to run in the first place and the runners who had traveled to NYC for the race. There are about 20,000 international runners that run in the NYC marathon. These people spent lots of money to come and only came because Bloomberg said it was a go. I am sure that if we all were told by Wednesday that there would be no race- most runners would have understood.
- There was also a lot of press about port-a-potties and generators sitting on Staten Island at the race start- that these could be used to power homes on the Island. These generators are not your normal home generator- they could not be hooked up to homes to supply power. They would fry the wiring and be a hazard. But this is not the fault of the runners- these is the fault of the mayor and the NYRR who did not make a wise decision in the first place.
- Also I think it is unfair to criticize the runners when the Knicks basketball team played on Thursday night in NYC and the Giants played on Sunday in the Meadowlands, New Jersery. Obviously there were a lot of people attending these events and tailgating. I am glad that we didn't run because I wouldn't have wanted to disrespect the people who are suffering because of Hurricane Sandy.
- I honestly have mixed emotions about running next year because what I experienced while in the Big Apple was unsettling. While the runners were vilified for even showing up to run the NYC marathon, lots of New Yorkers were busy on Friday and Saturday- shopping and dining like it was a usual weekend. I am sure there were lots of New Yorkers that were helping their fellow man with volunteering their time and support to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I just think the media could have cut the runners a break- we were trying to do our best and follow the recommendations of Mayor Bloomberg and NYRR. There were many runners who were able to stay on Sunday to volunteer their time in Staten Island and Brooklyn. That is great- what a blessing!
We left early Sunday morning to get back home- Glenn and I found out some news about a family situation that will be our own personal marathon for the next month or so. We thought it was best to get back to Florida. On Saturday we did pick up our race packet- Asics had a huge inventory of 2012 NYC marathon clothing that was 50% off and all proceeds went to the Red Cross. We were not able to physically help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Overall, I am glad I spent the last 4 months training to run a marathon. I was able to spend time listening to sermons I might not have listened to, getting back into good, solid running shape, cleaning up my diet and proving that I can stay commitment to a long grueling schedule.
So what's next?
- I am signed up to run the Princess Half Marathon in February. Originally I thought I would just run it for fun but now I plan on trying to run it in 1:50 which would be a PR half for me.
- Glenn is running the Tough Mudder again this year in December. He will probably sign up for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in St Pete.
- We will decide on our entry into next's year NYC marathon. We are in if we want to be- we don't know if we get our 2012 entry fee back- probably not. Also we don't know if we will have to repay for 2013- probably will.
- I will do a marathon in 2013.
- I am closing up my blog. I enjoyed the time I spent writing about this journey. One day I can tell my grandkids that I was suppose to run the NYC 2012 marathon- the year Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc on the East Coast. I appreciate you stopping by and reading my blog. I feel that my time would be better served in other ways. I also don't take enough pictures to make my blog exciting!
Pictures from the weekend:
|Taxi Cab line at LaGuardia Airport|
|At the Finish Line- maybe next year!|
|Rockefeller Center- Set up for Election Day|
|Spending a little time at Athleta (Glenn caught up on emails)|