Lost mojo, prelude to NYC marathon- Hurricane Sandy, controversy

Posted: November 2, 2012 in Running
Tags: ,

Before I try to sort out this tangled mess of thoughts in my head, I’ll start with this:

No problem or circumstance I face, or turmoil I experience compares or rises to the significance of those lost during the storm, left homeless, or left with countless difficulties in the wake of Sandy.

There, one complete thought in order.

Like many of my fellow marathoners, I started training over 16 weeks ago. To be specific, I started a week post Ironman Syracuse. Many miles, just now into my third pair of running shoes. Many solitary 2-4 hour runs with all the customary power bars and GU gels.

Since my return to running/ triathlons, I put the NYC Marathon back on my bucket list. Not to set a PR, but to run in an epic event. The largest in the world. This would be my 10th marathon Like many, I felt personally violated and affected by 9/11. I comment on it every anniversary. In my own way I feel connected to the big apple. I got in for the 2002 NYC marathon, but withdrew due to a month with the flu that September. Lost my mojo after that and stopped running until 2010.

With that said, I certainly feel for the storm victims. I am not indifferent nor uncaring. Over the years I donated to help in natural disasters. Yet I read over and over again how selfish we runners are, and that we should boycott the event. The haters and negative speech are out in full force.

The week leading up to today as I ride the bus for the next four hours had been nothing else other than stressful (please refer to opening thought for perspective). Granted not as stressful as dying or watching my home be destroyed. Never the less, everything was up in the air until yesterday afternoon.

Running the largest marathon in the world in the greatest city on the planet is not cheap. Keep in mind all of this is not refundable, not deferrable, nor redirected to charity, etc. A hotel anywhere near the race -big bucks. $700 for my stay in city. $255 race fee. Big deal on deferring to next year, I would have to cough up another $255. Seriously, $510 to run a marathon? I did get credited on train tickets to buy nonrefundable bus tickets.

The mayor has made the decision to go ahead, and yet as a paying participant I/we are made to feel unwelcome in your city, that we are selfish. No problem taking my money or dismissing the fact many of us view this as a life event, not just a run. It is estimated that 300 to 350 million dollars pour into the city for the marathon and through those running it as charity fund raising teams. NYRR is coordinating a fund with 26.2 million dollar goal for the relief effort. Does this not help the relief effort, the victims?

As I ride towards the city, I have great difficulty enjoying our mini vacation. Up until now the entire racing season has been one memorable event after another. Very uplifting and mojo was at a all time high. Right now, no mojo. I hope This perspective changes before I cross the bridge Sunday morning.

For the first time this season, I am over stressed, conflicted and not well rested for what is for me, a life bucket list item and was to be a highlight of a wonderful season. I am certain that I did the work and earned my spot on the start line, not so certain where my heart will be.

  1. Carrie says:

    Tough break, Mike. I’ve been doing my best to follow the coverage–I just got power back about two hours ago–and although I agree with the decision to cancel the marathon, as a runner, I really feel for everyone who trained hard and logged the miles. Do you know of another local 26.2 you can run? Don’t lose your mojo!

  2. mbevivino says:

    First let me say that I understand your disappointment. Although I am not a dedicated runner, I can understand how disappointing it can be to work so hard for something only to see it go unfulfilled.

    People here aren’t upset at the runners. They are upset with the runners who don’t understand why the race needed to be cancelled. Every bottle of water, every generator, every drop of fas, every officer and every hotel room is needed here. There are people who are outside freezing who have lost everything and have spent their life savings just to stay warm. I think the race organizers were doing a good job in trying to raise money for those effected but your point of money raised by the event itself is insignificant compared to the amount of money the city generates by itself. It’s resources that the city needs right now.

    Bloomberg made a mistake only in waiting so long to cancel the event so that runners such as yourself could try to get refunds for hotels and transportation. Almost every business in the area has been accommodating, and not penalizing for those wishing to do so. The race should refund entrance fees as well.

    The race is an amazing event. Something that has always united this city literally and figuratively. This year it would not be a unifying event. This is not a criticism of you or of the runners that have worked so hard to get here, but a plea for understanding over sympathy. From the prlerspective of those who have been effected here, holding the race would have been a slap in the face.

    Keep up the training, it’s the journey not the destination that counts. Best of luck with your mojo!

    • marie w says:

      Well put, mbevivino. I couldn’t believe that Bloomberg didn’t cancel the race immediately either. It shows how disconnected politicians are from the rest of us. They have heat, food & transportation, while their people are freezing & starving & dying. He could learn a lot from Gov. Christie in Jersey.
      Sure the runners were disappointed but they would have understood if he had canceled at once instead of letting them spend millions on tickets & hotels & hours of travel only to cancel it then. They showed a lot of spirit by helping with the relief effort & even setting up their own mini runs. Most people are good. The Haters are mostly lazy people who do nothing but have a lot to say.

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