The New York Marathon has (finally) been cancelled. Twitter can relax now.
The Internet has been lit up like a bonfire of outrage all day over plans to go ahead with the marathon when so many New Yorkers are still without power and unable to return to their homes. Stories of people being turned out of hotels to make way for runners fueled the fires, as did the starting line being in ravaged Staten Island.
Now we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief as Bloomberg has done the right thing and cancelled this year’s race. It’s a historic move, says the NYT. The race has been run every year since 1970.
The race may be great for morale in theory, but what NYC needs now is not an influx of tourists and runners. It needs time and space to heal after the devastation of the storm. I mean, I am guessing from a very great distance what NYC needs. Judging from all the rage on Twitter and Facebook today, though, very few people felt that what the city needed was a marathon.
“While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event – even one as meaningful as this – to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track. “
It seems like he’s kind of talking in circles there, but at least he made the right call.
I wonder if we’re seeing some of the power of social media here: people were able to make their voices heard on this in a big way, and very quickly, in a way that would have been hard to do in the days before Twitter.
What do you think? Are you breathing easier knowing the marathon is cancelled? Did Bloomberg make the right call?