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NYC Marathon canceled after protests

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Nov. 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM   |   Comments

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Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Update (5:15 p.m.)

Officials have canceled the NYC Marathon.

The "Boycott the 2012 NYC Marathon" Facebook group has already announced plans to continue with the volunteer efforts originally announced alongside the protest.

Shortly after the cancelation announcement was made, the group posted the following message to their page:

To our supporters, we are still moving forward with our initiative on Sunday, November 4 in Staten Island. More details to follow.

The "Marathon of Relief" group made a similar announcement:

We are glad to hear the news that the City has decided to cancel the NYC marathon. Now we get to fully focus our efforts on a marathon of volunteers!

Original post follows
At least two groups of people scheduled to run the New York City Marathon Sunday are organizing protests against the city's decision to allow the marathon to go forward, despite Hurricane Sandy's devastation.

Furious over resources going to the marathon instead of to relief efforts, Penny Krakoff, a social worker, plans to take food and supplies to the Staten Island starting line before breaking off to deliver them to Sandy victims.

"I cannot start a 26.2 mile run in Staten Island—people are missing, stranded, in need of resources. Brooklyn and Queens have equal devastation," she told Gothamist. "Parts of Manhattan are without electricity, water, major hospitals are closed. The Bronx too has its own challenges. Today I will volunteer at a city evacuation shelter. Sunday morning I will catch the marathon bus to Staten Island. Not planning to run. Plan to volunteer instead and gather resources (extra clothes, bottles of water, food from runners at the start). Let's not waste resources and attention on a foot race. Who is with me?"

A Facebook group called "Marathon of Relief" with nearly 500 likes also proposes runners show up for the start of the race, and then depart to deliver aid along the route.

"Runners will show up at the starting line, but will break off en masse at different points of the city to deliver supplies to places hardest hit and without power," it says. "This will mean departing from the race, to head to various buildings, running up and down stairs delivering water and canned goods, etc."

And another, with more than 2,700 likes, called "Boycott the 2012 NYC Marathon," has a similar message:

"Due to the catastrophic events, we have decided to wear our Bib numbers on race day, BUT WILL NOT BE RUNNING. We will be volunteering and assisting those in Staten Island who need our help."

New York, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have come under significant fire for pushing forward with the marathon as planned.

The cover of the New York Post Friday, in its unique way, offered scathing criticism of the decision, splashed across a picture of generators set up to run marathon support.

At a press conference Friday, Bloomberg defended his decision to keep the marathon on as scheduled.

"It does use some resources, but it doesn't use resources that could really make a difference in recovery," he said. "We have to have a city going forward."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in NY
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One World Trade Center remains dark along with most of lower Manhattan due to a continuing massive power outage one day after Hurricane Sandy hits the north east section of the United States in Weehawken, New Jersey on October 31, 2012. The effect of the Sandy left large parts of New York City and New Jersey with out power and mass transit and officials at Consolidated Edison said it could be up to a week before power is fully restored. UPI/John Angelillo
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