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UPDATE:  OK it's been cancelled.  However, I stand by my characterization that this was the 99% (first responders, storm victims et al...) winning a battle against the 1% (Bloomberg and the corporate sponsors).  If you are with me rec this dairy.  It's about the 1% BEING OUT OF TOUCH!
Looks like the backlash against holding this year's marathon has grown to the point that they may very well cancel it due to the protests that seem to be growing against it.  And I am writing this as a New Yorker AND a marathoner.

Why do I say it is a privilege of the 1%?  Well, first of all, this year's entry fee ballooned to $266.  $358 if you are not an American citizen.   Furthermore, the sad truth about running, especially training for marathons, is that it is a very selfish and self-centered activity.  Only full time athletes, or folks leading very comfortable, economically stable lives have both the time and resources to participate.  Only clueless 1 percenters like Mayor Bloomberg or NYRR CEO Mary ($500,000/yr) Wittenberg would insist on running it amidst NYC's current conditions.  Apparently they have given little thought to the fact that while the race starts in Staten Island, (where Sandy has claimed 20 New Yorkers), it does so with the runner's backs to the island- leaving the borough both literally and symbolically behind.

I have titled my diary because the official announcement has yet to happen but seems imminent.  Here's some of the growing opposition starting with the NYS Nurses Association:

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

We represent tens of thousands of nurses in New York City, and we are writing to you today to ask you to postpone the Marathon.

The crisis in New York City’s healthcare system is still unfolding. The situation in some hospitals is getting worse, not better...

There will be plenty of time later in the year to hold the Marathon. Now is not the time.

NYC Dept of Sanitation:
Some New York City sanitation workers who have expressed a desire to work on Staten Island and in Queens neighborhoods hit hard by Hurricane Sandy are complaining to their union about being assigned instead to clean up after the New York City Marathon, the union president said on Friday...

... “They just feel, ‘Why are they doing the marathon when they can be helping other people?’” he said. “They feel we should be focusing on this particular part of the cleanup and not the marathon.”

Mr. Nespoli  said he understood “it’s a tough call,” but he said that he, like the members of his union, believed that the residents of the Rockaways, Staten Island and other neighborhoods in distress deserved  priority when it came to the use of city resources.

“I know this administration is looking to show the public that they can perform,” he said. “The thing is, I’ve been out and the mayor’s been out there, too, and I see that people are hurting out there.”

Ultimately, the decision rests with the sponsors- in this case, the huge international banking conglomerate ING is the biggest and it is THEIR name tagged onto the race's official name.

Personally, I am torn, having run eight marathons myself, including two New Yorks, however, that was back in the 90's when I did and the entry fee was only $40!

Bottom line is, I do know that running is a low priority endeavor in the grand scheme of things.  The NYCMarathon can wait.

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Comment Preferences

  •  For some idea of the controversy (16+ / 0-)

    brewing in the serious running community, look here.

    There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

    by NYFM on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 01:53:38 PM PDT

  •  isn't southern Manhattan and all of Staten Island (4+ / 0-)

    without power and underwater?

    what the hell are these people thinking?

  •  GREED trumps Suffering. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is Bloomberg a businessman or a humanitarian?

    He's certainly not both.

    The 'dancing on the graves' begins at Sunday's start of the marathon.

    A  city sponsored memorial service would be more appropriate on Sunday.

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:05:44 PM PDT

  •  LA Times writer just tweeted that it (3+ / 0-)

    has been cancelled according to a source in the NYFD.

  •  Eh (7+ / 0-)

    the Marathon is not about the !%. I've run it. There are plenty of people for whom this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The people watching and handing out water, towels, powerbars and bananas are not the 1%. The kids high fiving me in Brooklyn, Queens and Harlem are not the sons and daughters of the 1%. This is misplaced outrage.

    •  In times of plenty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger, kate mckinnon

      it's a good thing.  This is not a time of plenty.  
      And believe me, I never knew it could be such fun until I actually ran it.  That was 1995 and 96.  My last marathon was Boston 2010.  What was interesting about that last one is that most all of Europe could not make it to the race because of Iceland's volcano.  So the BAA allowed guaranteed deferrals to the next year.  However, I continue to be outraged by the high entry fees.  A $300 plus fee is just outrageous.

      There are very few subjects which do not interest or fascinate me.

      by NYFM on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:14:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Boston allowed deferral due to heat this year (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kate mckinnon, NYFM

        NYC is allowing deferrals. I would hope, due to circumstances worse than heat, they would simply put it off, by a week, lets say. It might suck for foreign runners, but if you are that wealthy that you can afford a 5 K or so package, you can probably come back in a week, or at least deal with a deferral.

    •  But who makes the money from this? (0+ / 0-)

      Certainly not you, the people watching or handing out cups of water (water they could be handing out in Staten Island), or the kids high-fiving.

      In another of time, I have no problem with marathons, but this Marylander is looking at NY very strangely today.

  •  I heard that some runners are using (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    their credentials to get on Staten Island, but then are going to volunteer with the clean up.

    It doesn't have to be cancelled- just postponed a few weeks.  Thanksgiving weekend would be my choice.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:11:47 PM PDT

  •  Running's a 99% activity. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Dr Swig Mcjigger

    Bloomberg's running a corporate event at the expense of hurricane victims.  That has nothing to do with running's potential to lift people out of depression.  Nothing selfish about actual self-compassion.

  •  Yes it can (3+ / 0-)

    And I am a 3:18 marathmoner ( or was it 4:18?  Same thing right?  /Ryan.  It was 4:18).  And I think that delay is the right thing to do not so sure marathoning is so selfish.   I've got a good running club, and I started to lose weight so I'd live for a while to see my grand kids grow up (the kids are 9 and 11 but I have my hopes).  

    Taking away police fire and sanitation workers away right now is a terrible idea.    It should wait

    This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

    by Mindful Nature on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:17:01 PM PDT

  •  Sad, but likely a good decision (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger, Dutch Doctor

    I have run 1 marathon.  It took literally years for me to build up to this.   NYC Marathon involves people traveling from all over the world.  Postponing it for 2 weeks or whatever throws everyone's training into the toilet.  Many would not be able to run the marathon if it was on any other day but this weekend.  I agree with the decision, but it is a big disappointment for a whole lot of people.

    Republicans - they measure our national success by corporate profit margin, not the well being of the citizens.

    by egarratt on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:18:10 PM PDT

  •  I am torn (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Dave the pro

    I am in it and want to run, all things being equal. Of course, they are not equal now. Of course, things are never equal. If it's wrong to run a marathon now, with people without shelter, food and water, is it not wrong to eat at places like Smith & Wollensky, Shop at Bloomingdale's, go to see the Lion King, stay at the Waldorf Astoria and ride in a limo when there are people who every day lack the basics of life? It's a tough call. Are we all going to forgo our Thanksgiving dinners and our Christmas and Hanukkah gifts because there are others less fortunate? To me this is a tough call. I am likely to end up not running this year, but does not foregoing other pleasures make me a hypocrite? Is this just about feeling good about  when people who generally have it good have problems but ignoring the suffering of those who have these problems, in a less dramatic way, all the time?

  •  Marathon Runner boycotts race (3+ / 0-)

    Marathon runner, Penny Krakoff, is urging other runners to boycott the NYC marathon and donate time and energy to relief work if possible.  As a marathon runner myself, these races are expensive and for elite runners, especially from places like Kenya and Ethopia, they are econmic life-lines too.  One marathon runner will be donating her time on Staten Island and NOT running.  She is urging other runners to do the same.

    Let us not forget that running is for many a ticket out of war especially for runners internationally. Let's applaud the many runners who won't be running and instead will do what Penny's doing donating her time and endurance to the people of Staten Island where this race is suppost to start.

  •  I'm not sure I'd call it a 1% activity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger, Dutch Doctor

    $266 is not a lot - certainly not 1% territory. I could afford that, a flight to NY and hotel and I am by no means a 1%er. Granted, my fat ass couldn't run a marathon if the definition of a marathon was running up the street to the McDonalds.

    I'd be okay with it running this weekend if the entry fees get donated to victims of Sandy and relief efforts and not in the pockets of some person or corporate entity.

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 02:19:51 PM PDT

    •  It's not a 1% activity (0+ / 0-)

      I am an NYRR member and 3 time marathon runner. Running is pretty egalitarian. All you need is a pair of decent running shoes, shorts and a t shirt. It's not like you have to rent "Road time" to run or take expensive lessons. I see all types at races, all ages, races, sexes, and income levels.

  •  WNBC and MSNBC report (2+ / 0-)

    that the marathon was cancelled

  •  Living in New Orleans through Katrina, Rita, Isaac (4+ / 0-)

    I can tell you that a return to normalcy - even if it is plainly forced and premature - is a welcome respite from the brutal reality.  I actually thought it was great to see New Yorkers trying to carry on with this event despite the horrific circumstances.  It showed spirit and a desire to jump back up when knocked down.  

    The 1% comment also seemed unnecessary due to a $266 fee.  

    I dunno, man.  I'm all for getting riled up and pushing for positive change, but I can't get behind attacks against the NYC Marathon for trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy.  

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