With more than 40,000 participants each year, the New York Marathon is one of the best-known and most-beloved races in America.
But after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, many questioned whether the city should — or even could — host the iconic race on Sunday, Nov. 4.
With parts of the city still without power, the transit system crippled by massive flooding and Central Park, where the historic races finishes, still closed due to debris, it seemed organizers had no choice but to cancel.
On Wednesday, however, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the race would not only be held on Sunday, it would be dedicated to the victims of the disaster and their families.
A number of changes have been made to the event's pre-race festivities, including canceling the opening ceremony and Saturday 5K, but organizers are confident they will be able to stage the winds through five New York boroughs and attracts runners from around the world.
A number of stories detailing the dilemmas runners face are surfacing, including whether it's appropriate run in a city where so many are still suffering, are they supporting storm victims by bringing tourist dollars and charitable donations, and how it proves the indomitable spirit of both the city and the sport of marathon that they'd hold the race — even as the city rebuilds.
In a Time Magazine article on the subject, runners discuss why they are choosing to run. For some the investment of time and money is too significant to drop out, but for others, it's a way to show support and love.
"I thought about what I would do if the race got cancelled," says professional runner and 2012 Olympic athlete Julie Culley. "I think I would still go to Staten Island and run the full course. The past few days I've been paralyzed watching the TV. My family is from New Jersey, but I'm focused and prepared for this. After the race, I'm helping with recovery."
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