Tuesday, 6 November 2012


  The cancellation of the NEW YORK marathon was hardly a surprise was it? What was unexpected was how late the decision was made with thousands of the 20,000 overseas runners already in New York or on the way.  Many had even queued for hours to register and be given their race "bib".   Less than 48 hours before they were to start the 2012 IMG New York City Marathon, thousands of runners on Friday received news the race was cancelled.  It was the lateness of the decision that seemed to be the main complaint as,  of course,  the majority recognised their disappointment and inconvenience was little compared to the suffering of New Yorkers  as the hurricane struck. The marathon became a source of controversy  when Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to go forward with the race, which was scheduled despite massive devastation from Hurricane Sandy. Anti-marathon sentiment grew as the race approached and that opposition ultimately prevailed it would appear.
It reminded me of a trip Pat and I made with a group of runners out to Spain for the MALAGA marathon in the '80s.  There were whispers about a possible cancellation,  due to traffic issues,  on the journey out and this was confirmed shortly after we arrived.  I don't recall the disappointed being personally too immense; probably because I was tending to run several marathons per year at that time.  So one less was no big deal. But a few in the party were somewhat  annoyed and vowed to run the route whatever on the Sunday morning.  
 In much the same way as thousands of runners flooded into Central Park as soon as it was opened ....

The following ,giving more detail about the NYC marathon cancellation is from  RUNNERS WORLD U.S. ...................
The day after the 2012 New York City Marathon was cancelled, runners were still processing the unprecedented news and trying to figure out their next steps regarding running and relief efforts.
Central Park, which had been closed since October 28, reopened Saturday morning at 8. Runners immediately flooded the 6-mile perimeter road as well as the reservoir path and bridle path. Large groups of international runners, who make up close to half of the race's field, ran together in national colours. Many runners had on the race numbers they would have worn on Sunday.
The marathon's finish line structure remained in place, but bleachers, flags and sponsor placards along the marathon's last quarter-mile were removed by mid Saturday morning. The large tent that had been the pre-race media center adjoining the finish was converted into a base of operations for workers deconstructing race-related structures.
Registrants did not receive official notice of the race's cancellation until just before noon Saturday, via an e-mail from the New York Road Runners. The notice contained no information on compensation for registrants because of the cancellation. At Friday evening's press conference, NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg said that 2012 registrants will be given automatic entry into next year's marathon or the NYC Half, a half-marathon in March. It remains unclear whether this year's registrants will be required to pay the full entry fees for those events.
An 11 a.m. meeting for elite athletes did not clarify whether the race would pay the runners' full appearance fees.
"The meeting didn't give many details," Ryan Vail told Runner's World. "They are giving themselves a week to try to put together funds to pay us something. They did not say what percentage. The meeting talked about the Fukuoka Marathon and their efforts to compensate us." Japan's Fukuoka Marathon, scheduled for December 2, is a likely replacement race for men in the elite field. The women-only Yokohoma Marathon in Japan on November 18 is being discussed as an option for the elite women.
The mood Saturday afternoon at the Health and Fitness Expo at the Jacob Javits Center was surprisingly upbeat. Crowds of runners, albeit smaller crowds than usual, milled around clutching plastic gear check bags, mugging for photos, and munching free samples of SunChips.
Half-price race gear in the sprawling Asics section may have contributed to the positive vibe—lines 40 deep formed as runners snatched up discounted jackets, gloves, and bags emblazoned with the NYC Marathon logo.Meantime, a voice echoed over the expo's PA system: "The 2012 ING New York City Marathon has been cancelled."

I'm sure many were just pleased that they could at least enjoy a break in New York in much the same way as Pat and I did in Malaga; although I must say that Torromelinos would not have been our holiday destination of choice.

1 comment:

  1. I ran the NYC marathon in 2001. About 6 weeks before the event I sat at home watching the twin towers disaster unfold. Naturally I assumed the race would be cancelled, but was amazed - and delighted - that it went ahead.