Yesterday I was suppose to toe the line against arguably the strongest 5k field ever assembled on US soil. The race was the New York Road Runner’s Dash to the Finish, an exhibition race before the New York City Marathon to help showcase the sport and kickstart the running weekend. After racing in the inaugural race last year, I was excited to make the trek back to the Big Apple and take part in the running festivities. Unfortunately, the universe had different plans. In the tragic wake of Hurricane Sandy and the complete destruction of New York, the Dash to the Finish was cancelled. Luckily, I was notified before I boarded my flight and stayed in New Hampshire to watch as the NYRR frantically attempted to keep the marathon a possibility. Then came the announcement on Friday afternoon of the marathon’s eventual cancellation. While I fully understand and support NYRR’s decision not to hold the marathon in such a devastating time for the city, I can’t help but feel bad for those athletes who have worked so hard and have so much at stake in this race. Personally, while the 5k was going to be a fun race to run, it was going to bring financial gains in forms of appearance fees and contractual bonuses, monies that will now be lost. For those racing the marathon, these financial incentives were larger, representing half a year’s salary or more- not including the potential for further sponsorship deals and exposure. Toppled by the months spent training for one race, with all the sacrifices made and missed opportunities, the marathon’s absence made a substantial impact on many. Don’t get me wrong, the cancellation of the marathon in the wake of Sandy was the correct decision. New York and the surrounding areas have been hit hard with lives lost and devastation beyond belief. But the cancellation of the marathon has its own ramifications. It must have been a difficult decision for all those involved. I hope those athletes who were preparing to compete in today’s marathon are able to find another race to run so their training is for not, but in the mean time, the images of tens of thousands of would-be marathoners rolling up their selves and aiding those in need are heartwarming and depicts the essence of humanity. Hopefully through the help of those around, everyone affected by the storm will be able to rise up and repair, stronger than before and greet next year’s race with warmth and excitement.
Until next time,