Why I Will Run the NYC Marathon Post-Sandy

I, like many runners, have been torn about whether to run the marathon. Whether we like it or not, this race is happening with or without us.

I mean no disrespect to those who are still dealing with the aftermath of Sandy. If anything, I pray for you and our city and have already sought opportunities to volunteer in the coming weeks.

While I am originally from Virginia, I consider myself a New Yorker. I always have been and always will be. I was here the weekend after 9-11 and I remember witnessing the resiliency, strength, and community that New Yorkers shared and I wanted a part. I cheered for the Yankees in the 2001 World Series because the city needed a reason to cheer (I have been rooting for the Yankees ever since). For the record, Hurricane Sandy is not 9-11; however, the people and their hearts are the same.

To quote Bart Yasso from My Life On the Runpg 184:

“We had started the journey as Russians, Germans, Canadians, French, Americans, Irish, and Inuit, but we ended as athletes. Running does that to people. It brings unlikely folks together and fosters a fellowship like no other sport.” 

That is exactly what the Marathon does. Those who are normally divided by borough, race, economic status, neighborhood, street, creed, etc. are one on Marathon Day. And isn’t that what we all need in this time of distress? A little unity. There is no other day when you’ll see a kid from the projects hi-five an old Hasidic Jew. It’s one day where people put aside their differences to support and cheer for another human being. It’s a glimpse of Heaven.

The conditions aren’t perfect and I wish the circumstances were different, but I support New York City and will run for it this Sunday.

Today I am asking friends, family, and any other good Samaritans:

-OR-

  • If you cannot donate $, please donate blood or volunteer your time to one of the many great organizations working to help families affected by Sandy.

In exchange for your donation, I will mail you a cut of my heatsheet (it’s the aluminum thing marathoners get wrapped in after a race), will etch your name on my race day shirt, and sing your praises on my LeanGirlsClub blog. For one day, we can all be marathoners and New Yorkers.

This race is not about me, never has been. It’s for New York.

 

Sandy

They say that Sunday’s marathon is still happening. Sure, New Yorkers are resilient and the show must go on. On one hand the race brings over $350 million to the city, especially during a time when small businesses need it. On the other, it also seems wrong to shut down the city and take medical professionals and rescue officials away from recovery and rebuilding efforts. I’m conflicted.

I am one of the lucky ones to have power, heat, food, my home and no personal damage done. If I run on Sunday, I will run with a greater purpose. I will run for my great city.

I couldn’t get to Manhattan but here are some shots of the Sandy aftermath from Astoria.

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