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article imageNYC marathon runners ignore cancellation, raise money for victims

By Anne Sewell     Nov 5, 2012 in Sports
New York - The ING New York City Marathon was cancelled, due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Around 2,000 runners ignored the cancellation and held the "Run Anyway NYC Marathon 2012" to raise money for Sandy's victims.
The 2,000 runners ran approximately 26.2 miles (42.2 km), four times around Central Park – some clockwise, others counterclockwise, some running straight through the park.
The participants had spent months fundraising on a Facebook page to run for the non-profit ALS Foundation. They decided on the “Run Anyway New York City Marathon” with a multitude of runners who had come from far and wide – some from other countries – to participate.
Mary Lynn Halland, 47, of Stamford, Conn. said, "For anyone who's trained long and hard for a marathon, there's disappointment. But the next thought is, how can we help? You have all these runners sitting around with energy, anticipation and excitement. Put us to work. We want to do anything we can."
Run Anyway NYC Marathon 2012
One of the fund-raising methods used was to sell t-shirts at $20 each, in aid of Sandy's victims - pictured right.
One of the runners, 27-year-old Lance Sven, a youth pastor from Summit, NJ, who organized the grassroots run, told New York Daily News, “We don’t want to be disrespectful, or take up resources. All we intend to do is put our miles in around the park.”
"When we run for cause, we need to run anyway," he added.
“We all understand why they canceled,” said marathon runner Jack Waitz. “And we will be back and even better next year, but it is still very important to run today. We all paid substantial money to be here, and we raised money.”
The reason for the cancellation was that Hurricane Sandy, which left 100 people dead and huge areas of the city without electricity, made it difficult for the marathon to be held. Generators would have been needed to power laptops and cameras for the race, which would have taken away power from around 400 homes, according to the New York Post.
Also, the race would have started in Staten Island, which is the hardest hit borough, with 19 people dead, and would then have made its way through many of the worst storm-devastated neighborhoods in the city.
Participants were asked to donate food, clothing and money to the Sandy Relief, which made the smaller marathon a successful endeavor, which did not deprive New Yorkers of much needed power. Plus the runners themselves were happy with their decision to participate.
There was one problem, however, as it turns out that more than a dozen generators, which would have really benefited cold and hungry New Yorkers who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy, were left stranded by the city in Central Park yesterday.
On top of this, apparently, near the finish line of the cancelled marathon, there was a stash of heaters, Mylar "space" blankets, 106 crates of apples and peanuts, jackets, 22 five-gallon jugs of water, and 14 pallets of bottled water.
Michael Murphy of Staten Island told the New York Post, “We needed 100 percent of the resources here.”
“If those generators were here, we maybe could have had some light for the cleanup effort,” he said. “Those generators would really have come in handy.’’
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