Hurricane Sandy is pummeling the eastern seaboard of the United States with a storm whose scope has little to no precedence in modern times. A population base of over 50 million is and will be directly effected, including the modest thousands who have signed on to this coming weekend’s ING New York City Marathon.
Whether this storm is yet another in a long line of evidentiary notices indicating a shift in global weather patterns is of little concern amidst the lashing currently at hand.
What we do know for sure is that the New York Road Runners, organizers of the NYC Marathon, have begun to reconfigure their schedule for this marathon week in light of Sandy’s dire presence. At present, however, the marathon, itself, seems safe. This message was just received:
We want to alert you of changes to the ING New York City Marathon Race Week Media Events Schedule due to the weather. Below are a few important changes, but please stay tuned as changes are very fluid. We thank you for your understanding, and look forward to seeing you this week!
(Well, I won’t actually be there this year, having been replaced on the new ESPN broadcast. Notwithstanding…)
· Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 30, our media session and credential distribution is cancelled.
· Media credential distribution will resume on Wednesday, October 31 at the accreditation trailer (Central Park West at 69th Street). **Location subject to change
· Wednesday’s media session will be held at the (New York) Hilton. This space will also be a functioning workroom for media. (1335 Avenue of the Americas/West 53rd-West 54th Streets, Concourse C down one level from the lobby)
· We are hoping to return to the ING New York City Marathon Media Center at West Drive and 67th Street inside Central Park beginning on Thursday, November 1.
The marathon, even in the best of conditions, is a test of our human capacity to persevere and overcome. The very same is true for those organizations tasked with staging the events. That those who sign up to run these civic extravaganzas are ushered to and through the many miles not originally designed to be covered on foot en masse is a glowing testament to the men and women whose charge it is to create the illusion of normalcy in the face of overwhelming technical challenges.
Add in a freak nor’eater storm like the one experienced in Boston the weekend of the marathon in 2007, or the heat wave in Boston this year or experienced by Chicago in 2007, and the strain on organizers and city services becomes all but inconceivable.
Last year New York had a close call with a Halloween nor’easter that wreaked havoc in Central Park the Monday before the race. But under the current circumstances, that storm seems little more than a Halloween trick or treat compared to the full-on fright show Sandy is staging.
More as the story develops…
Peter Gambaccini supplies this update via Runner’s World