New York City reels in the wake of one of the most terrible natural disasters to ever strike that virtual city-state. Hurricane Sandy destroyed homes and lives less than a week ago, also less than a week away from the NYC Marathon. Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the race will go on. People are outraged and infuriated. But why? Businesses have reopened. Wall Street has resumed trading. Yes, people in and around the city have been horribly impacted, some have even lost their lives. But why remain still? The NYC Marathon is the largest in the world. It’s big, it’s over the top, but it’s NYC folks.
Just as those homes and lives must be rebuilt, so must the spirit of New York City. The NYC Marathon is part of that spirit. Runners converge on the city from around the world – trips that at this juncture can’t be canceled. Large sums of money had already been spent on preparations, marketing, and management of the event – long before Sandy was even conceived over the Atlantic. The marathon will bring people from around the world to spend their money there and to see the city that has been called the Capital of the World. The marathon winds through each of the city’s five boroughs. The runners should take in both the marvels that are New York City, as well as the devastation that was Sandy. Let them be humbled that the greatness of New York City, New York State, and the United States of America will not be shattered by the ‘superstorm’.
Yes, the devastation from the hurricane is horrible. That doesn’t mean that we can’t move forward. People have expressed concern over the allocation of resources to the marathon and not to recovery efforts. Folks, NYPD has almost 35,000 officers. FDNY has almost 14,000 firefighters and EMTs. New York City Department of Transportation employs almost 4,500. There are plenty of resources to go around. There are recovery activities going on in the city that are also augmented by state and federal assets, as well as the private sector.
I say the NYC Marathon is good for the economy, it’s good for the image of NYC, and it should be an inspiration for recovery from Hurricane Sandy. ING, the marathon’s sponsor, has even dubbed it ‘The Race for Recovery’.