Resurrecting a damaged image, by Toni Reavis, note by Larry Eder

The week that was October 29-November 4, 2012. A crushing reminder from Mother Nature to the Mid-Atlantic, insuring that many along the Mid-Atlantic would remember the week as a time that they were a) without power, b) had water in their basements, c) had their homes destroyed d) lost loved ones.

 that was the week that was, 11/04/12, ING NYC, 
photo by

Some marathoners ran in Central Park on Sunday, November 4, 2012. By my counts, 10-15,000 ran several laps or more. Other marathoners showed up on Staten Island, delivering food, and helping with the clean up. As the George Hirsch Journalism award winner, Kenny Moore, put it so eloquently, " 40,000 runners would run through their grief". 

The cancellation of the ING New  York City marathon, and the story around it, continues to be told as some try to learn from it and some try to forget it...

Here is Toni Reavis's commentary on the race and where the running community goes from here...


by Toni Reavis


      Superstorm Sandy was one of those freak storms (we hope) formed by three separate weather systems merging into a sum-bitch beyond its parts.  As a category 1 Atlantic hurricane came barreling up the eastern seaboard, a fast moving cold front whipped east from the northern plains just as an occluding front to the north east blocked and turned Hurricane Sandy inland along the New Jersey-New York coastline. Together those systems merged into the super-storm which left untold destruction in its path.

Well, the response to the storm by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYRR President and CEO Mary Wittenberg also combined to create its own super-storm of criticism and anger which blew hard against the ING New York City Marathon, leaving the grand institution battered, shaken, and eventually cancelled for 2012.  And now, like those parts of the metro area still digging out of the ruins, the long term effect on the marathon will take time to assess.

A billionaire entrepreneur with an engineer's mind wired for detail and fact, Mayor Bloomberg surveyed the situation in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and saw 'back to normal' as his guiding principle, not a Clinton-esque, 'I feel your pain'.

NYRR Prez and CEO Mary Wittenberg faced the crisis with all her Catholic school-girl earnestness, driven by the transformative power of running, an ideal which has guided her own life and her direction of the NYRR.  She had witnessed the nurturing power of the marathon in the aftermath of 9/11, and been schooled on how the inaugural five-borough marathon had been born in response to the city's deep fiscal crisis of 1976.  The marathon as a redemptive force was not just a personal metaphor, it carried societal implications.

Thus, the willfulness to make the great marathon the healing tool for a stricken city was, to her, a compelling charge for action. Unfortunately, that very willfulness which had served her so well in her own marathon career, that wakes all who run on chilly pre-dawn mornings to train, and then sustains us in the closing miles of the race when the body is wracked with pain and depleted of energy,  had become a liability.

She so wanted the marathon to be the healing mechanism that it deafened her to the pleas of New Yorkers who were still caught in the immediacy of the tragedy, and were in no mood for a metaphoric expression of overcoming odds when they were experiencing it first-hand for themselves. Read more of this post

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