Right about now I should be shivering on Staten Island. I should have deposited my bag of warm clothes on the baggage bus. I should be nervously pacing about waiting for the start of the New York City Marathon in 2012.
Instead on Staten Island, residents are shivering. Some because they have lost power, others because the have lost possessions and some because they have lost everything. However it is a decision I disagree with. What made it more annoying was Mayor Bloomberg saying it was on earlier in the week.
As is my way, I look for the silver lining. And there are many. Well three.
1. I get to come back to NYC next year to run again.
2. I have a purpose for the next twelve months, I have to keep going no matter how much I hate the long distances.
3. I got to experience an amazing atmosphere in Central Park this morning.
Karen and I ran for an hour around Central Park. With 10,000 other people. How did I arrive at 10,000? I counted the number of legs I saw and divided by two. It was stowed and a magical experience. People running on Marathon Sunday, people from all over the world. It was a party atmosphere with a respectful undercurrent. Everybody brought spare clothes and donations to the Park to donate to the communities destroyed by Sandy.
NYC have missed an opportunity for 47,000 people to run through the five boroughs, 20,000 from overseas, to show that this city is unbeatable. It wouldn’t have taken resource away away from the rescue efforts; electricians and tipper truck drivers are not natural marshals of marathons, and we could all have carried messages of support, or collected or distributed as we ran. People’s times would have been irrelevant. The power of positive action would have shone through.
Today I’m going to watch the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden. It was a toss up between that and the Giants playing American Football in New Jersey, a state which suffered even more devastation than New York. It’s ironic that the New York Road Runners, the marathon organisers, an organisation which promotes health and longevity, are criticised as being disrespectful for wanting the marathon to go ahead yet spectator sports, where you get fed fat in various guises in your seat, are going ahead.