New York - New York City Marathon organisers said on Monday they expect the race on Sunday to go ahead with little impact from Hurricane Sandy, which was bearing down on the region on Monday.
"We're extraordinarily lucky the marathon is not today," New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said in a conference call, adding that organisers "have time on our side" in making adjustments to competitors' travel plans and in any clean-up to the course that may be necessary.
The storm, which has already killed at least 66 people in the Caribbean, was expected to make landfall near the evacuated gambling haven of Atlantic City, New Jersey, around midnight on Monday.
The route through New York City's five boroughs largely avoids areas considered at high risk for flooding.
The biggest concerns will be getting entrants their numbers and getting them all to the starting line on Staten Island.
If the worst predictions materialise, the storm could well cause damage in Central Park, where the marathon finishes.
However, Wittenberg noted that the city was able to clear the park in time for last year's race a week after a freak snowstorm.
"We've been through close to it all," Wittenberg said. "We remain extremely confident we will have an amazing weekend."