We’ll Run This Race Together

marathon-4_3_r560Photo Credit: Allison Joyce (Getty Images)

As you all know, the 2012 ING New York City Marathon did not occur this year.  Instead, we saw thousands of New Yorkers and visitors from abroad lending a hand to those less fortunate. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many folks are trading their running shoes for work boots and shipping out to Long Island, Staten Island, New Jersey and The Rockaways to provide aid for citizens who were chased from their homes by the massive storm surge.

After watching my roommate Jeff run the marathon last year, and in watching his preparation this year, I can tell you that the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to cross that finish line is impressive to say the least. Of course, athletes like Jeff who prepared to run were…well, still prepared to run in the aftermath. However, upon learning of the cancellation, many of them quickly shifted their energy to a different type of marathon: the recovery effort.

In the days following the storm, Jeff and I put together a small troop of friends and set out to lend a hand as volunteers. What we saw when we arrived at the scene was staggering. It was literally a sea of people. People from all walks of life bundled up, waiting in lines for their turn to lend a helping hand. Heaps of clean clothes, canned foods and rows of cars (dubbed transports) all being selflessly provided in the midst of gas shortages, power outages, floods and severely limited subway transportation.

In that moment, I learned that runners and New Yorkers have one thing in common. Resolve. Whether you’re a trained athlete or an ordinary city dweller just trying to pick up the pieces in the wake of the storm, you know what it takes to make it to the finish line. We’ve been here before, and as we’ve shown again and again, this city never gives up. Like the runner who raises his arms in celebration as he takes his final stride, we too will triumph through the storm, and we will do it together. Because that’s what New Yorkers do. That’s what we’ve always done, and that’s what makes us the greatest city in the world.

Written by: Andrew Canlon

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November 9th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

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