Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Should the Show Really Go On?

That is the question I am struggling with and it seems that I am not the only one. 

I'm referring of course to the NYC Marathon that I'm supposed to run this Sunday.  I have been glued to twitter and various news sites as well as the official ING New York Marathon site and the NYRR site, looking for some kind of answer as to exactly what is going on.  It's still a little unclear although the latest reports suggest that it will go ahead as scheduled. What is clear is the fact that many folks are struggling with the whole idea of hosting such a huge event mere days after the biggest natural disaster they've seen in a long time. 

The selfish part of me hopes that the show does go on.  I've paid all sorts of money to be there and I've booked the time off.  If I cancel things now, there is a good chance I will lose pretty much everything I've laid out dollar wise.  I will lose my $357 entry fee but I am guaranteed a spot in next years race.  I will then have to pay another entry fee.  I realize that is a small price to pay compared to all the folks affected by Sandy but it is something to consider.   I am not the only one in this boat.  There are an estimated 20,000 runners that come from out of town or overseas.

On the flip side, it seems so trivial to hold an event like this when there are thousands of people that need help.  They need basic things like food and shelter.  The marathon will take away the ability to provide those resources.  It will close roads and prohibit people from perhaps getting more food and water.  Or even getting to a place that actually has power.  How is that fair to the residents of New York and surrounding areas?  It's not.  Relief efforts should be focused on getting the city back up and running and helping the locals get back on their feet.  

All that being said, I am still going to make my way to the Big Apple in case the show does go on.  If it doesn't, well then it doesn't.  There is always next year.  Either way I will be in New York on Sunday.  If the race happens, I'll pin on bib number 13117 and be ready to face the day, whatever it may bring.  If I'm not running, I will do my best to spend my tourist dollars and give what I can back to into the economy. 

What are your thoughts on this situation?

Would you cancel or would you go?


Katrin Faridani said...

I think if I lived in NYC I wouldn't want people to stay away. I'd want the cry to return to normal ASAP. I know that wont be possible immediately, but avoiding the place will hurt them in a different way.

Phaedra Kennedy said...

Yeah, I agree. The NYRR have hired more private contractors to work on helping them set up for the race vs. using City staff and they've also set up 2 charity drives that give runners the opportunity to donate. The CEO of the NYRR said that they have actually been overwhelmed with the outpouring of people that want to volunteer for the race. That to me is simply amazing.

JoggingJawa said...

I am so torn on this. As a NYer I so desperately want to say "The Show Must Go On" but looking around me I really wonder if it's actively irresponsible to shoulder another burden so soon. Especially one which will directly pull so many necessary resources. As nice as it is that people want to boost things with their money, we can't even get the access to resources with OUR money.

It's BAD, and now with the VERY rapidly descending gas shortage...

I recommend having a look at this page, there are some very compelling statements here.

Phaedra Kennedy said...

I completely respect where you are coming from and I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through. I just heard about the potential gas shortage. Geez. I'll check out that page, thank you for sharing it.

JoggingJawa said...

Wow, I guess this post this really got me thinking. I've written an expanded post based on my thoughts above.

Whatever you end up doing I hope it's a great experience!

Kate said...

I really feel for you and everyone who was supposed to be running. In the end, the right call was made, but the whole situation was awful. Had it gone ahead, it probably would have boosted morale too. Thinking of everyone affected x

Phaedra Kennedy said...

Thanks Kate. I've slowly been putting thoughts down in a post. They totally made the right call. We've been enjoying ourselves here though. This really is an amazing city filled with fantastic people. I'm looking forward to coming back next year!