“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss
The last thing I thought I’d be writing about two weeks before what could possibly be my final marathon is the weather. Had I not been at the Jersey Shore with friends last weekend, I never would have been Running From Sandy, and if I would have had electricity when I returned home to Bucks County, PA, I wouldn’t have been Run Over by Sandy. Now that the New York City Marathon has been cancelled, I am compelled to write Running With Sandy.
An estimated 47,500 runners were scheduled to run the New York City marathon this weekend, 30,000 from out of town, many from foreign countries. Over the years I’d traveled to Boston and Bermuda to run marathons. I trained my ass off and spent a lot of money on airfare and hotel rooms. But when I got to my destination the towns weren’t ravaged by disaster. There was no loss of life and resident’s lives weren’t devastated, losing homes and possessions that had taken a lifetime to accumulate. Under such conditions, is impossible to imagine being disappointed not to be able to run a race.
There is a story about a group of marathoners who traveled to NYC from Italy and one of the Italian runners said that he’d like to donate his registration fee to the disaster relief effort. In the wake of the disaster, that is the spirit that sponsors of the marathon should adopt. A race as huge as the NYC Marathon is a logistical challenge that takes an incredible amount of resources to execute, but at $196 a pop it would a small gesture of gratitude to the city who has hosted the marathon for the forty years to donate a sizable portion of the registration fees to the disaster relief effort.
And since runners in the areas affected by the disaster will have a void in their schedule this weekend, I’d urge them to volunteer their time to the many disaster relief efforts. To donate money or volunteer your time you can begin at RedCross.org, or look for local organizations such as churches and media outlets who are coordinating relief efforts.
What better way to thank the City of New York than to help its people, as well as the people of New Jersey whose lives have been devastated, than donate money or volunteer, rather than Run With Sandy?