New York City Marathon Gets Generators While Many Sandy Victims are Cold & Starving

nyc marathonThe decision made by Mayor Bloomberg to go ahead and hold the New York City Marathon this weekend despite how much of the city is still suffering with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has already outraged many people across the country. And this morning, we woke up to the news that two huge generators have been brought to Central Park to power media tents — and they are already running around the clock to keep the electricity going. And get this one — there’s even a backup generator ready and waiting in case one of the main two fails. (OMG!)

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Wait — it gets worse. In addition to the generators, numerous cases of water were dropped off by a food service truck.

Ok, let me get this straight. There are all these people living in an absolute state of devastation in the outer boroughs of the city, like Staten Island and Coney Island, right now with no food, water, heat, homes, or any remote sense of normalcy — and somehow supplying generators and water for the marathon was deemed perfectly acceptable? If there were generators available, why aren’t they being sent to help power up the homes of all the people in need who are running out of time and options as far as being able to survive their horrific conditions goes? (Am I the only one who can’t seem to wrap my head around this concept?)

Granted, the marathon’s sponsors are putting on a sympathetic face and have “dedicated” the marathon to all of those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, even going so far as to donate money to relief efforts for every runner in the race, which will add up to at least $1 million. But if they have at least $1 million to give, then why don’t they just go ahead and donate the money and postpone the race so that no resources are taken away from the people who need them right now?

For people who are truly suffering right now, knowing that the marathon is still going on and will require police and other responders being taken away from their areas to go staff the race is one of the biggest slaps in the face they could receive at this point. And aside from that, some hurricane refugees are even being forced out of their hotel rooms in order to accommodate runners who have come in from other cities. So not only will the marathon participants get the cops, hot showers, warm beds, food, and water while running the race — they’ll also have the comfort of POWER from those lovely generators lined up in Central Park. And then they’ll get to go right back to their cozy homes and put their feet up after the race is over. (Seriously, this is so incredibly messed up, I’m finding it hard to think about anything else today.)

Of course, some of the New York City Marathon runners agree that now is not the time to be running a race, and one woman from Brooklyn is putting together a group of runners who plan on volunteering on Staten Island the day of the race instead of participating in the marathon. Along with the others who join her group, Penny Krakoff plans on distributing food, water, and clothing to residents. I think she summed things up best by saying, “Let’s not waste resources and attention on a foot race.”

Amen.

There is a petition to postpone the marathon until spring 2013 going around. (I signed it already. Will you?)

Do you think that the New York City Marathon should still go on?

Image via Saucy Salad/Flickr

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