Race officials and Mayor Bloomberg have insisted that the New York City Marathon will take place as scheduled on Sunday, but the city’s residents aren’t sure they want it to.
The case for: The marathon brings in around $340 million in revenue for the city and also raises $34 million for charities. Tens of thousands have trained for the November 4 race date. And Mayor Bloomberg maintains that the city needs the morale boost: “This is a city where we have to go on.”
The case against: There are still thousands of New Yorkers without food, shelter, or power. The 40,000-plus runners, 700-person staff, 10,000 volunteers, and millions of spectators could devote their time to restoring the city—not to mention the hundreds of police and other city officials needed for the race to run. Then there’s all the water and the food given to runners, which isn’t a good look with so much of the city is still without either. The generators being used for the race could supply electricity to 400 power-less homes. Plus, who knows if the city can handle the added traffic and congestion at this point?
In response to the opposition, marathon organizers have created “The Race to Recover,” a $1 million Sandy relief fund. But the initiative hasn't quelled a petition to postpone the race until the spring, which has nearly 14,000 signatures. The race is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. with the men’s wheelchair division.
Via Mother Jones