Damn, Sandy, you’re a real bitch! I didn’t realize it at first, but now I see loud and clear the damage you’ve done and the pain you’ve caused. Fuck you and your annoying Nor’easter girlfriend, Athena.
I wrote my previous post on Thursday of last week early in the morning, a couple days after Sandy’s landfall. At that time, I knew that she had done a significant amount of damage, primarily on the coastal areas of New Jersey, Long Island and Staten Island but I didn’t fully understand the severity of it. My world, given there’s no public transportation, which there wasn’t, consists of a 5-mile radius of Brooklyn, and it seemed to be unaffected in a way. Our public parks and schools were closed, some services, like Fresh Direct were suspended, and fallen trees and debris were on the sidewalks, but that was about it.
At some point later that day, I stumbled upon a Facebook page “Cancel the NYC Marathon”. It had 50,000 “likes”. My heart sank.
Mayor Bloomberg announced the previous night, Wednesday, that the marathon would go on as scheduled, unite the city and help get us back up and running again. At that time, I agreed with and was relieved with that decision. I thought there was no way they would cancel it, but I also thought, there would be no reason to, either. I thought the city would be well on it’s way back to normal by Sunday. I was so wrong. Bloomberg was so wrong.
All day Friday, I stayed glued to media coverage, Facebook, Twitter, the NYC ING Marathon website. The more informed I became, the more I knew that it needed to be cancelled or postponed. It seemed, that no one wanted this race to be run. Who want’s to run the NYC marathon without the city cheering you on, or even worse, booing at you? Who wants get bussed to Staten Island, the race start, to shed excess running gear onto the ground while people in that very community have no heat, hot water, or expendable money to buy warmer clothes? Who wants to use up resources like food, water and medical supplies for an athletic event, when others need it survival? No one. The cries to cancel the event grew louder and louder and late Friday afternoon I saw a post on Facebook announcing just that; NYC Marathon is cancelled. I confirmed it on NBC 4 News for New York and Twitter lit up simultaneously. Shortly after Jeff and I received e-mails for New York Road Runners, the organizing foundation.
As much as I knew it had to be done, and agreed that it should be cancelled. I couldn’t believe it. I was sad. I was in shock. I was relieved. I called my Mom and Sister, shared the news and told them not to come to the city, as scheduled. Jeff and I needed to let it sink in and think about what we were going to do next. We did so, over a bottle of wine and sushi.
I read that some marathoners were going to spend their time volunteering on Staten Island and that others were going to run a marathon in Central Park on Sunday, what was to be the race day. Neither of those options seemed appealing to us. We decided to shift gears alltogether and go to the Bronx Zoo. Animals always make people feel better, we’ve been talking about going for a while, and now we had an opportunity. Unfortunately, there were hardly any exhibits open, and the ones that were featured sleeping animals. Too make matters worse; it was a perfect day for a run, 50 degrees, light breeze, and clear skies.
|Fennec Fox - The smallest fox. We found it in the zoo Mouse House.|
After we returned home from the zoo, had dinner and put Colette to bed we started researching other fall marathons that we might be able to run. Sarasota, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Harrisburg, Palm Beach…. the lame list of cities I have no connecton to went on and on. Logistically, emotionally and financially nothing made sense. We wanted to run a marathon in our city, not any city. Then, I suggested that we could just run 26.2 miles on our own, together this weekend, in the city. Jeff seemed on board, but not thrilled with the idea. As this weekend neared, Jeff questioned me on why we needed to do this. Was it to prove it to ourselves? We knew we could do it. Was it to prove it to others? No one cares whether we do or don’t run. To have fun? It’s not fun. The more I thought about it, the more it became clear that running a self-created marathon seemed more like punishment than a reward. So, we nixed that idea. But still, I felt the need to have some closure around this marathon.
Today Jeff, Colette and I are going to run a celebratory 3-mile loop around our beloved Prospect Park. We will acknowledge the dedication and commitment we put into our training, mourn the loss of a great experience that never was and move on to creating the next one.
Manchester Road Race, here we come!
PS – The aftermath of hurricane Sandy is unreal. I am blown away by how severely some areas have been impacted. It will take years to recover. We’ve donated money, supplies, volunteer time and the opportunities to do more are never-ending. If you want to contribute in some way, but don’t know what to do, let me know and I can point you in the right direction.
|Volunteering in Rockaway|