Thursday, November 1, 2012

ING New York City Marathon?

With running, just like life, there are lots of things that I consider “bucket list” items.  Things that I want to do before I hop on my unicorn and fly off into the sunset. (Heaven has always sounded like a great acid trip to me.)  A few that I can rattle off rather quickly might include:

  • Qualify / run the Boston marathon – Will do that in April!
  • Visit a first growth Bordeaux vineyard – Hmm, does $4 grocery store wine count?
  • Run a naked 5K
  • Be one of those male cheerleaders that hold up girl cheerleaders by their crotch

Of course, other than Boston, there are other Bucket List race locations.  The one that is on the top is probably the ING New York City Marathon.  The only issue is that it is a lottery.  You cast your stone into the proverbial well and see if it is picked up by a subway rat and carried to NYRR headquarters.  So, that is exactly what I did.  But, in spite of 2012 being the year of the Lottery, I didn’t get in.  Bummer.  

Ah, but others DID get in! This weekend, 50,000 or so of them are planning on strapping on their orange ING hunting vests and cranking out 26.2 hilly miles while trying not to get peed on.  Unfortunately though, you might have heard about a “little” storm wreaking a “bit” of havoc on NYC.  The one that closed the stock market for the first time in like 100 years and flooding the subways?  Yep, that one.  But, The NYC Mayor said yesterday that the marathon WILL be held as planned.

As you might expect, the interwebs are a buzz asking if they should even bother with the marathon given the cleanup that is required.  In short: I do think that it is the right thing to do....maybe....Ugh... - I'm honestly really torn. And here is why:

First, economic benefit.  I just saw an article that initially there was to be a $340 million impact as part of the marathon.  A large percentage of that will go to put people who had their lives disrupted back to work.  But the reality is that not all hotels even have power to be able to support runners - or employees.... So, is there much benefit?

Also, volunteer resource availability. when I think to the people who assist with the marathon, there are few people that would actually intersect with the people who would be helping to clean up.  Also, the PD / FD can only do so much cleaning themselves.  However, I did hear that the race is going to hire private contractors to help with security, so maybe that isn't an issue anymore?

Finally, there is the "feels right" factor.  I can't quite decide if having the race "feels right" quite yet.  Either the runners will help bring even more focus on the area and will help with the recovery...or they'll get in the way. But, I can say, if I had gotten into the lottery?  I'd be there trying to run.  But, that is just me. My house isn't flooded, on fire, etc.

Those are my thoughts.  What do you think?  Yes? No?  

HOWEVER, the race is still on!!!  So, as part of an Orange Up campaign ING has a "pop up finish line" in Columbus Circle tomorrow and the ING Runners Nation On The Go truck will be there during the morning giving away freebees. Soooo, if you ARE there and racing, go check those two things out for sure.

This guy probably was just randomly walking by....

I was sent a few ING Orange Up glasses and shoe laces to give away.  Let me know if you'd like a pair!  Now, they might make everything look a bit like that episode of Seinfeld where there was a big orange neon sign outside of the apartment, but they are basically indestructible.  Seriously, I gave them to my son and he didn't break them after a LOT of trying!  So, let me know if you'd like to sport your orange and participate in the Orange Up campaign!

Sun never sets on cool

Cooking up a pot of orange


Robyn Clevenger said...

We will attempt to fly out to NYC tomorrow. I didn't get in via lottery but my husband did. I'm torn on it all too, but left the decision to go up to him since he's the one running. We will see how it goes!

thomasp22 said...

I wrote about NYC yesterday, I voted no then.

Then I watched ESPN's Outside The Lines report on decision today. The head of NYRR said the race has "cancellation insurance" and if I remember correctly could have refunded entry fees.

Add to it, 2 members of my running club were registered. They cannot contact the hotel they were going to stay at...still without power. They have taken the option to defer to next year...must still pay entry to next year's race.

I'll watch Sunday on ESPN2 to see if I'm wrong...but this seems like complete lunacy to hold the race, no?

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I'm in the no camp. It's just something off about the whole idea of doing the race while so many people are suffering there in the area. I've read some of the comments on NYRR fb page and it's not pretty at all.

I also thought today that hotels will be a hot mess. If you are homeless temporarily in NY and have been staying at a hotel most likely they would tell you that they have reservations for this weekend and they don't have a room for you anymore. That can't be good right?

I don't want people to think that I don't feel for those who have worked very hard to get to this point esp those who did the all the races last year to qualify that way to get to Sunday. It's a crap ass situation that nobody has had any control over. :( That's the part that's just as upsetting to know how hard some people have worked and to be put in the situation they are.

Plus if the NYRR has the audacity to charge folks next year full price for deferring they are buttheads.

Pat said...

I wasn't picked in the lottery, but I'm automatically in for next year, which is the last year for that rule. I don't know if I'd go run this year. With all the people differing, will there be room for me next year?

Chris said...

I'm a no. The devastation and lack of ability to get the city back on its feet for the people who LIVE there to me means the race should be canceled. I know that's letting the storm win, but it's the worst storm NYC has seen since the 1930s. The lines for people to travel to work by bus are awful. Why would you want to add to that? Why does the NYRR think it's fair to put the city through this to RUN?

I'm not a great runner. My furthest distance is 13.1 miles. I get the excitement of race day, the anticipation the weeks leading up to it. But, it's a RACE. It's not life. I have a friend who does not have power and is showering at his gym. How can you say that having a race is more important that getting his power back on so he can just take a shower?

I read a comment from someone yesterday who said would the people of NOLA consider running the New Orleans Marathon the Sunday after Katrina hit? Yea. It seems preposterous that one would even suggest it, but to the people who live in NYC this is their Katrina. Have some respect.

Mark Matthews said...

I felt it would have been the right thing to cancel, but as it is, I am packed and flying out tomorrow to run on Sunday. With some of the
strongly worded messages I have read across social media today, such as; "throw water bottles at the runners" "dont' come to our city" "give them flood water," it may be the first time the runners are booed. It is going to feel strange on Staten Island where the two lost children were recently found (deceased). I am runing for a charity who provide for homeless teens and young adults, which makes my slightly upset stomach a little less so.

Sue's Ramblings said...

I don't know; I'm just as torn as you. I know how much of both an economic and morale boost the run is but I also know it doesn't seem fair to divert resources for a relatively amount of runner (vis-a-vis the affected population).

Hmm...can I have the shades? Really could use with a boost what with the injury I'm dealing with.

The Banter said...

NYC has a strong history of rising up to greatness despite the odds. I'd put my trust in that. Plus, whenever there is tragedy, it feels good to get back to normalcy. Why add more misery and heartbreak? I suspect that the people are ready for something fun, positive, and uplifting.

Just Jen said...

I am torn about the race and whether it should be happening. On one hand I know the race is about perseverance and a part of NYC but on the other hand I think all the people coming to the area could help with clean up or volunteer for some help there.I see pros and cons either way.

I would love a pair of the orange shades and laces.
Right now nursing a broken ankle but hope to be up and moving in 4-5 weeks

Medal Guy said...

I ran it twice and last year, I have been in two lottery's. You just never know I guess. Next year is a different story, the odds are even less with so many deffering, I'd do the same and run a local marathon instead if I had been entered this year. You need a dependable transportation system and lodging and flights that are dependable. I could possibly see anyone flying cross country into this. Even the Pittsburgh Steelers do not have a hotel on Sunday and have to fly out after the game. Their medals are not even getting votes in the annual Top 25 medal contest. I am one of the unlucky ones who got their 40 medal! It's a great, great race, and those who brave the storm this year and hit the finish line are true marathoners!

Carolyn said...

As someone currently living without power or heat I am very against this! They are using generators to power tents for the runners when there are people running low on food and water, and are freezing in their own homes. Gas right now is very hard to get. I waited on line for an hour this morning to just fill up my car. It's really bad here and they can be using all this effort toward people who need this!

Randy Coffee said...

I am in the YES camp. Having spent a fair amount of time in New York, the one thing I know about the citizens there...they are NOT victims. They are tough, gritty, and enjoy the feeling they get by thumbing their nose at circumstance and pulling themselves out of their situations. I think most of them would see it as a giant FU to the hurricane..and to show the rest of the world that they can literally survive anything.

Anywhere else, I'd say cancel it...but in the city that never sleeps? No way. The show must go on.

Atha said...

As someone who has been through more hurricanes than I can count, I'm also on the fence. I agree that normalcy needs to resume as quick as possible but I'm also concerned about the influx of people in the city hindering those efforts. That being said, if I had gotten in I would run it but that's just me.

Jen said...

I vote no too thought I can see both sides. I have friends and family who are still in the dark (and I'm still stranded in Fl. Finally going home to asses my own damage tomorrow). I know people who have lost their homes. People are having fist fights over gas - with lines being three hours long. People are without food and heat.

I don't know how I would feel if I got in. I have written no less than ten blogs about how this is my dream race. I even went to the city for "lottery" opening day ceremonies. Still, I am pretty positive that while I would be bitterly disappointed by the situation I would still feel it best to cancel.

Jill said...

I can definitely see both sides and am also torn. But the decision wasn't mine and I hope that the city accepts and cheers for those who are running...this wasn't their war, they are just there to do a job the governor granted them to do.

btw, you can QUALIFY to run NYC too!! :)

James Ford said...

I would vote just due to the volunteers being needed elsewhere. LE has been working long hours already, no need for this to tax them more, plus, this is a hobby for the majority of people, not something that has too happen!

Redhead Running said...

I'm just as torn, I read both sides and agree with both sides but personally, if I were registered? I really don't know what I would be thinking or doing.

Oh and those shades, they seem smallish? Are they? Cuz if so, I would love a pair! :)

Runners Fuel said...

I have that exact tile in my kitchen!

Shelley said...

Love the orange glasses and shoe strings!

It would be a hard call on if its right to have it or not. I can see the points on both sides. Will be interesting to see how it plays out. I agree its money for the city that needs it but with so many lacking power and subways not being all back up and going it will make things veryhard to navigate.

iJuls said...

While I get the economic standpoint of keeping with the race-must-go-on standpoint, I too am torn. My Aunt and Uncle are without power still and I have to wonder if this is the best use of resources. We all have a sense of what a HUGE effort putting a marathon must be. One of the size of the NY city marathon is far beyond my comprehension.

Didn’t it go on after 911 as well? That one boggled my mind even more so.

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

You can qualify at NYC with your time.

My Boring Triathlon Blog said...

race cancelled

problem solved