A growing outcry against plans to stage the 2012 ING NYC Marathon as scheduled on Sunday, Nov. 4 has led Mayor Michael Bloomberg to cancel the race. While he still maintained it would not draw critical resources away from the storm recovery effort, the controversy was too divisive to ignore.
As a race director and marathon walker, I think this was the best decision at this time. The financial consequences for the race organization remain to be seen. I wonder whether they had insurance to cover being canceled by the city, and whether they will be able to offer the racers refunds or future discounts.
And what of the racers? Our Running Guide linked to a list of marathons at WalkJogRun.net they might consider as replacements. I faced my own personal situation last month when I couldn't make it to the Portland Marathon's half marathon due to a business trip. I replaced it with the walker-unfriendly Run Like Hell Half Marathon. Unsatisfied, I registered for the Columbia Gorge Half Marathon last weekend, which was excellent. There is always another race. Give NYC time to heal. Pitch in to help if you are there. If you aren't, consider giving blood or contributing to relief charities.
The Competitor Rock 'N' Roll series is offering 20% off the Las Vegas and San Antonio races to anybody who had their race canceled, and will contribute another 20% to Hurricane Sandy relief. Rock 'N' Roll Offer The San Antonio marathon has a walker-friendly time limit of seven hours. The half marathons of both races have a walker-friendly time limit of four hours. I'll be walking the Las Vegas Rock 'N' Roll half marathon.