New York City Marathon Is On Sunday Despite Sandy

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Sandy 31 Oct 2012 Queens NY tree car 2
Trees felled by Hurricane Sandy caused damage throughout the New York metropolitan area, including this damage in the borough of Queens, New York City.

Though Hurricane Sandy wrecked much of the New York City area, shutting down the subway system and leaving millions in the region without power, the organizers of the New York City Marathon say the race will go on Sunday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg personally confirmed that the race, which has become a New York tradition, will take place Sunday in spite of damage from Hurricane Sandy.

"There are lots of people who have come here," he said to CNN. "It's a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you've got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind."

Bloomberg also added that "an awful lot of small businesses" rely on the annual race to boost income.

Lower Manhattan was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Sandy, leaving virtually every block below 34th Street without power, save for the few businesses with their own backup generators.

Fortunately, the New York City Marathon route avoids that part of the city. Runners  begin in Staten Island and cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn. From Brooklyn, racers will run up into Queens and cross the 59th Street Bridge into Manhattan, later ending the race in the Bronx. 

“The marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this city," New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg said in a statement.

Before the storm, organizers were expecting up to 50,000 runners. However, it is unknown how many will show up after the damage to New York, or will be able to get there. 

"We will keep all options open with regard to making any accommodations and adjustments necessary to race day and race weekend events," Wittenberg said.

Travel may be a hurdle for many of the runners in the marathon. While New York’s subway system will begin offering limited service on Thursday, it is unknown how long it will take until the subways are once again fully operational. 

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