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,NYC Dept of Sanitation:
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.
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...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.
... “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.”
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.