EAST STROUDSBURG — In a city slammed by Sandy, there was controversy that the famed New York City Marathon would go on as scheduled.
Officials decided Friday to cancel the event.
“It’s extremely difficult news to share with the city and certainly with the runners from around the world,” said Mary Wittenbery, head of the New York City Road Runners, a group which organizes the marathon.
Some argued the race would be good for the city’s bottom line as nearly 50,000 runners, their family and friends would fill the city’s hotels, restaurants and shops.
Others said running a race through boroughs crippled by the recent storm would be in bad taste, not to mention would use up city resources needed to help in the recovery.
The race was scheduled to start in Staten Island, one of the hardest hit areas.
Newswatch 16 spoke with some runners in the Poconos.
“The resources have to be put elsewhere I mean this is just too fresh,” said Neil Policelli, a marathon runner from Bangor.
Darleen Mostellar of Stroudsburg has run the New York City marathon twice before.
“I feel for both sides, I’ve been watching the news and reading the comments that everyone is making. As a runner, you really want to do it, you’ve trained for it, it’s what you want to do, but I do feel for the people who have lost everything and don’t want the runners coming in,” said Mosteller.
Trish D’Imperio owns Ready, Set, Run in East Stroudsburg, a shop that caters to runners.
She said to the athletes, a cancelled race is a big deal.
“It’s a huge deal, athletes have been training for anywhere from 16 to 24 weeks preparing for this one day,” said D’Imperio.
At the end of the day, the runners we spoke with said they’re just glad they don’t have to make the decision to go to the marathon or not.