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Open Letter to the Runners of the NYC Marathon

by Steve Mona on Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:49 AM

Dear Marathon Runners,

Normally we love the NYC Marathon. We don't mind the road closures and other inconveniences. We are inspired by your dedication and in awe of your athleticism. We watch strangers from across this great country and countries all over the globe; we watch family members, friends, wounded warriors and others. We really do love the marathon.

But not this year. There are parts of the city, mostly where many of you from out of town are likely staying, that give the appearance of business as usual. Those areas, Upper Manhattan for one, do look normal on the surface. You'd have to have a really keen eye to notice any difference from your previous marathon visits. You won't notice little things like the work being done at places like Lenox Hill Hospital as they struggle to get enough doctors, nurses and other staff in to handle the patients they've accepted from closed facilities such as Bellevue and New York University Hospital. You won't see the look of fatigue on the faces of the NYPD Traffic Agents as they move traffic along nor the same fatigue on the faces of cops; firemen; utility workers and so many others as they work yet another 12+ hour tour.

What you won't see, unless you read a newspaper or watch TV, is the devastation in places like Staten Island where your race begins. On the island rescue & recovery workers are still finding bodies. You won't see the Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens where some 120 homes were burnt to the ground. In Upper Manhattan you won't see the long lines at the few gas stations with fuel nor the frayed nerves and desperation of those searching for food, fuel and shelter. Shelter, another interesting item. In a widely circulated news story yesterday a Staten Island motel owner refused to tell people left homeless by the hurricane that they had to vacate their rooms for marathoners with reservations but he is in the minority. Many other reports tell of people told to leave in order to accommodate some of your fellow runners. How does that make you feel?

Here's an idea. Don't run, but if you're already here do something else instead. Put your marathon number plate on your coat and find some volunteer work to do. Help us as we try to dig out from this tragedy. People will see you alongside them and know that you put them, and their city, above a sporting event that you trained all year to participate in. Do that, and I promise you that me and my fellow NY'ers will be on the sidelines cheering you on louder than ever in 2013.


by Bill & Lois Farina on Sat, Nov 3 2012 4:22 PM
Our sentiments exactly and most everyone we spoke to around Fla.
Thank you Steve for spreading the word and we hope your suggestions
become a reality.
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Steve (NK Slider) Mona

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