NYC Marathon 2012 Weekend Recap

Well, it's been a wild and crazy week. Hurricane Sandy ravaged our NJ and NY coast causing damage to lives, homes, property and left us without power.I was fortunate to only lose power for 5 days and escaped without any personal damage.

I was still excited, yet with mixed emotions, after Mayor Bloomberg confirmed that the NYC Marathon would indeed be held. Over the next 24 hours, my brother along with thousands of other eager marathon participants, would fly in from all parts of the world only to learn that the marathon was cancelled after because too much controversy and negativity surrounded the race.

While I was in favor of running the marathon (after he initially said it would go on), I agreed with the decision to cancel it even though it should have happened  earlier. With the decision final, I was ready to use my energy for good.

After learning about a couple volunteer opportunities through New York Runners in Support of Staten Island and Renaissance Church, my brother and I packed up our supplies and went to Staten Island. Seeing the homes devastated by the storm, streets filled with garbage, boats blown inland, downed trees and people scrabbling for basic necessities was a true reality check.

It was humbling working alongside individuals who had lost practically everything. We met up with other NYC runners and pitched in where we could; unloading supplies off trucks; carrying supplies to people's homes; organizing relief items as they came in; cleaning garbage out of homes and just being there for those who had lost so much.

We were received with great appreciation and were thanked more than we deserved.  While volunteering, I was interviewed by ABC News:

View Video Clip of My ABC News Interview on Sunday 

But the true "marathoners" are the people who have lost everything and those who have been helping others clean and survive for the countless hours since the storm on Tuesday.

So, you might be wondering if I was disappointed about not running the marathon.....of course....and I think that's ok. I dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to training. So, yes it was disappointing not running.

However, what I witnessed in Staten Island is what life is really about: people coming together and helping each other regardless of their differences.

Here's to runners and our great state of NJ coming together!

Should We Run NYC Marathon 2012?

Thousands of us have trained for what feels like an eternity in preparation for the NYC Marathon....and then, nature strikes. Hurricane Sandy devastates the Jersey Shore and surrounding NYC area. As a resident of NJ in the NYC metro area, this is extremely saddening. I'm extremely blessed in that my family is safe and my home suffered no damage. Although my home is without power, I'm grateful to have an office which does, serving as a place of warmth, entertainment and recharging (literally).

There has been significant controversy on whether to have the NYC Marathon or not. I can understand the argument regarding the devastation the city has faced, the loss of the life that has occurred and any possible resources that may be taken away from the recovery process. I have a heavy heart for those who lost loved ones and  those whose homes were destroyed. There are no words to comfort these individuals, only time will heal. However, NYC is an amazingly resilient place filled with people who've persevered through times. So, should we participate in the marathon?

I say yes.

I say yes to lift the spirit of the Big Apple, even if only for a day.

I say yes because I believe bringing more people into the area will open up more hearts, more pockets and more motivation to help with the recovery process.

I say yes because new charitable opportunities are being created surrounding the continued life of the race, thus bringing more money to recovery efforts.

I say yes because saying no means Sandy got the best of us.

I say yes because as a runner and marathon participant, I feel impassioned and a sense of purpose to run this special race more than ever.



So I also ask you to support runners on Sunday. As individuals, we do NOT make decisions about this race and are saddened that people want to direct their anger towards us.

Say yes. See you Sunday.