MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The New York City Marathon is now canceled. On Friday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg canceled the race after criticism surged that this was not the time for a race while the area is recovering from superstorm Sandy.
“I think it’s the right decision,” said K.J. Greenwood of Minneapolis.
Greenwood is one of nearly 40,000 runners from around the world that were expecting to run the 26.2 mile event. She flew out of Minneapolis Friday morning and landed in New York in the afternoon.
“A smart person would’ve used common sense and canceled it Tuesday or Wednesday,” Greenwood said. “You can’t pull off something this big after a hurricane has been through your city.”
The race had been scheduled to start in Staten Island, one of the hardest-hit areas.
Greenwood got the news from her mother who saw the cancellation on TV. She was standing with others runners at a Marathon expo when word began to circulate. They quickly pulled out their smartphones to gather more information. Some runners broke into tears, others were angry, but for the most part many were frustrated because they couldn’t get a clear answer.
Mary Wittenberg, president of New York Road Runners (NYRR), which organizes the marathon, said at the press conference that officials and organizers talked about a modified race or postponing the event, but decided it was best to cancel it this year. All the supplies — including generators, food and water — will be redeployed to people who need it.
Greenwood said she personally struggled with the decision about coming.
“It didn’t feel right,” she said. “I’m having a hard time making peace with the fact that I came out here. I wasted a resource by taking a hotel away from someone that might need it because they don’t have a home.”
Greenwood, like many runners, raised money for New York Road Runners and their charities. She now wants to use the money to help hurricane victims.
This is Greenwood’s second attempt at running the marathon. She said last year she trained for four months and got injured.
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