Minn. marathoners confess mixed feelings over NYC race - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Minn. marathoners confess mixed feelings over NYC race

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the New York City Marathon will start on Sunday as planned despite the damage from Hurricane Sandy, but many -- including some Minnesota runners -- are wondering whether that's inspiring or inappropriate.

The marathon starts in Staten Island, where homes are still flooded and many people are waiting for relief. That has many participants pondering their emotions before heading to the Big Apple.

For many, finishing the New York City Marathon is a lifelong dream. Runners put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears during training -- but at the same time, they know the people of New York City have given up a lot more this week.

Staten Island suffered Hurricane Sandy's wrath immensely. Some homes were swept into the sea, and thousands of others were damaged. Clean-up is still in high gear, so it's hard to believe the borough will still be the starting point.

"There are tens of thousands who come from around the world," Bloomberg said. "We've decided it must go on."

K.J. Greenwood is one of those who planned to travel there this year. She's spent the past four months training, but now she's not sure this is the right time to hold the race.

"I want to say that running through the town and completing a marathon is inspirational and will help build the city back, but I don't know that less than a week after the hurricane is the right time," she said.

Other runners say as long as the course is safe, they support the decision.

"If it was my city, I would want to see people out there supporting and boosting morale," said Kristin Mehler, who also plans to race.

Many runners have had to reschedule flights, but once they arrive, they may face more problems getting around because the mass transit system is still not running at full steam.

"Course officials have been trying to give us information of where to go," said marathoner Paul Conney.

Yet, no matter how they feel about the timing, the Minnesota runners told FOX 9 News they are willing to rung as long as NewYorkers are willing to host.

"If they're holding it, I'm racing," Greenwood said. "I can't -- personal feelings aside, I can't live with myself if I'm sitting at home on Sunday and everyone else is crossing the finish line."

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