New York marathon cancelled after storm backlash
New York City is cancelling its annual marathon, scheduled for tomorrow, after a backlash against plans to hold the race in the wake of hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last night.
Bloomberg had earlier sought to allow the race to go ahead, but a chorus of opposition grew in the days after Sandy hit the area, with local politicians, media and even runners calling for the event to be canceled or postponed.
And in a statement late yesterday, he acknowledged that the race had “become a source of controversy and division,” and said it would not proceed.
“The marathon has been an integral part of New York City’s life for 40 years and is an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch,” he said.
“The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination. We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it.”
It was not immediately clear if the organisers of the race, which draws around 45,000 runners, would seek to reschedule it. Some had called for a new spring 2013 date.
Earlier yesterday, Bloom-berg had sounded a confident tone about the race, insisting it would not deflect attention away from those still struggling in the aftermath of Sandy, which smashed into the city on Monday.