An inner athlete's manifesto.

Friday, November 2, 2012

To Run or Not to Run--2012 NYC Marathon

  • (Taken from my Facebook status update hours ago. The response I got was so overwhelmed, I had to blog it. Thank you to everyone who supports me--I am more than grateful).

    I have never felt so torn and heartbroken in my life. I have my bib, my chip, and my t-shirt. Right now I am undecided on whether or not I am running this Sunday. I want to clarify a few things with the general public before I make my decision, as I've seen a lot of people chiming in here and there now that the everyone is fully aware of destruction Sandy has caused. The first thing I want to shed a little light on is this obnoxious status that keeps asking runners to "run here, run there", implying that we have no idea what's going on. WE ARE WELL AWARE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS WHO NEED HELP. We're not living in a bubble like a bunch of asshats with running shoes. As we speak, there are a group of runners who plan on bringing bottled water, food, and clothes to the start on Staten Island. (By the way, pretty much the only way to get there right now is via a marathon shuttle bus--if it even has gas). That's why as soon as the announcement was made that the Marathon was a go, hundreds of us who weren't running for charity IMMEDIATELY started fundraising on Crowdrise for Sandy victims and those in need. As of right now, we have not been given the option to donate our entry fees to charity. There are runners both from NY and out-of-town who want to volunteer their time before and after the Marathon to help those in need. Runners are a group of people who are used to raising money for charity and volunteering on a regular basis, and we do so for many different causes. To offer another perspective, one of the restaurants in the neighborhood I work in was criticized for shutting down their kitchen on Monday night so they could let their staff go home to their families, though it was one of the few places around that was even open. As soon as it dried up on Tuesday, the bars were packed--no one was going to volunteer, or donate blood. Instead, people were enjoying themselves and having a good time. I HAVE A GOOD TIME RUNNING FOR FOUR HOURS, FOR CHARITY, nonetheless, and you want to criticize me? No one planned for this, even though we were all warned. We are ALL to blame for not taking this more seriously, so stop pointing fingers at people who still want to enjoy a marathon they worked hard to train for. I say that with anger and a heavy heart, as the JOY of running this year's race has been taken from me. After a 21 mile training run in the pouring rain with Nichole Whitney, I thought that nothing would ever make me quit, and other runners will understand this feeling. It is not easy to back out of something I've worked so hard for and something that represents so much for me, BECAUSE IT FEELS LIKE GIVING UP. But, as expressed recently to another friend, will running this year's race change the NYC Marathon forever? I think it will. People are hurting and angry all around. I don't need generators for TV crews, and I bring my own food to the race. BUT I DO need the support of my city, and that support is being drowned by negativity. My closing words are, if I do not run on Sunday, I expect all you Marathon naysayers to drop off a load of supplies and clothes to my house to take to Staten Island, because that's where I'll be starting my day regardless of what I decide.
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