On the Cancellation of the NYC Marathon

Dear readers, NYC residents & our friends & neighbors,

I think cancelling the marathon was the right call, for a multitude of reasons. But it should be borne in mind that people trained for astounding amounts of time in many cases; raised steep amounts of money in many cases; mobilized friends and family and rearranged their lives in many cases…for an event, once-in-a-lifetime for many, that now might never happen. Don’t get me wrong–I’m far from a marathon enthusiast, in fact I think it’s borderline crazy for many people to attempt, just to say they did it. But I can understand people being upset, even crushed, by the race being cancelled. People come from literally all over the world for it, and all ‘races’ and most ethnicities are represented. Moreover, a lot of people run for charity and/or loved ones, and there are also the para/quadriplegics for whom the race is a much more legitimate ‘big deal.’ Again–I’m generally ambivalent about marathons in general, and I do think that canceling it was the right call, for reasons related to sensitivity, resources and safety. But it’s not as cut & dry a situation as a lot of people are making it out to be, and I do feel sorry for many of the participants, for whom this might have been their only shot and who might have sacrificed and mobilized an awful lot to have to just go back home. Yes, at least they have a home to go back to. But still, I think it’s worth thinking about in a more nuanced way.

Congratulations to the East Village & LES for the restoration of power; I hope it sticks, and I hope it’s complete. Best wishes to the outlying areas whose situations are still dire…


Thanks for reading,



About Paul West

Paul West offers thoughtful analysis of on-field and off-field sports topics via PDub's sports Hub, and for years was a core staff writer for Through The Fence Baseball. A recurrent guest on Fox Sports Radio New Mexico, Paul is available for radio and other media appearances. To follow Paul on @firstcausenyc on Twitter, visit http://twitter.com/firstcausenyc View all posts by Paul West

3 responses to “On the Cancellation of the NYC Marathon

  • Mandi M. Lynch, author

    It should also be kept in mind that this should have happened sooner. People and businesses are underwater and worrying about a tourist event first before the good of your city is just wrong – in many cases, people who desperately needed a hotel were turned away because Marathoners *might* still plan to check in. How many people would have already been on flights by the time they canceled it? The money raised can be held until next year – but for now, the city needs to be rebuilt.

    • firstcauseproject

      Totally. In fact, some of the runners are speaking out and saying he shouldn’t have waited until people were here (or almost here) to cancel the event.

      • Mandi M. Lynch, author

        There have been several photos surfacing of runners doing volunteer work because they got here and no race. It’s really sad that this was supposed to be the race of their lifetime and they’re picking up soggy wet trash.

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