Athletics

Runners stage own NY race

2012-11-04 19:56
Runners (AP)

New York -Thousands of frustrated marathon runners from around the world descended on New York's Central Park on Sunday to take part in improvised races after the famed event fell victim to superstorm Sandy.

Many put on the race numbers they would have worn in the marathon, a huge earner for the city, which was called off for the first time in its 42-year history.

Under a crystal blue sky, more than 3 000 runners started the Run Anyway NYC Marathon. Similar numbers took part in other races intended to ease the sporting anger at the cancellation.

Many of the 47 000 competitors were angered at the last-minute decision to call off the race on Friday when most runners were already in New York.

The organisers have still not announced whether or when they will refund entry fees for the race, which generates an estimated $340m a year for the city.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg had wanted to carry on with the race, but gave in to protests over resources being devoted to the marathon while thousands still suffer from Sandy in New York.

Runners came from the four corners of the world to take part: Chileans, Croats, Canadians and Kazakhs. Many came from Europe.

Carlos Sanchez Rodriguez, a Spaniard, went to Central Park because he could think of nothing else to do on the big day. It would have been his sixth marathon.

"I'll go for a run and try and make it in my average time, but you have to be motivated," said Sanchez. "It is going to be difficult."

"It is very disappointing," commented Christophe Pujade from Carcassone in France. "This is a pilgrimage for us. We want to feel the sensation of the marathon and the atmosphere."

Beatrice Rochette de Lempdes from Montreal in Canada said all the disappointed runners were in Central Park to show solidarity with each other.

"We are there together, we have a common passion, so it is good to be together today," she said.

"It is a community thing," added Matt Flaherty, a member of the NY Road Runners, organisers of the marathon which now faces some agonizing decisions along with the city.

While many runners say they understand why the race had to be called off, there have been high-profile complaints about the way the cancellation was handled.

"I find it incredible that they let participants think this event was going to take place," wrote former French tennis star Amelie Mauresmo on Facebook.

One runner took Bloomberg to task. He ran in New York streets with a shirt bearing the slogan: "I love incompetent billionaires."

The marathon generates a lot of money for the local economy with 20 000 overseas runners in hotels and restaurants and some two million people lining the streets to watch the race.

Some runners paid up to $347 for their place in the race and the organizers also get large amounts of money in television rights and other fees.

"We will have additional information in the days ahead, and we thank you for your dedication to the spirit of this race," said a statement on the Road Runners' website.

Read more on:    new york marathon  |  athletics
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Mbalula to meet with Union

2014-04-16 19:07

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.