New York City Marathon canceled - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

New York City Marathon canceled

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The New York City marathon was canceled on Friday night.

The news came hours after Mayor Bloomberg defended the controversial decision to allow the marathon to go forward.

The mayor issued a statement Friday evening saying:

"The Marathon has been an integral part of New York City's life for 40 years and is an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch. While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division. The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination. We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it. We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event - even one as meaningful as this - to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track. The New York Road Runners will have additional information in the days ahead for participants."

New York City had been gearing up to welcome thousands of runners amid destruction and power outages in portions of the Big Apple.

Several New Yorkers Good Day New York spoke with on Friday said they were outraged at the thought of people living in the dark for days after Hurricane Sandy while generators run for the marathon.

"The mayor has made that decision. The runners I've talked to and the ones we're hearing from on our website are agonizing over the decision. NYRR has set up a Race to Recover fund encouraging our runners to go there. People running can make donations themselves or set up a donation on," Runner's World Editor-in-Chief David Wiley told Good Day New York.

Hours before the cancellation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the organization would donate $1million to relief efforts and was asking each participant to donate at least $26.20 (one dollar per mile run) to the relief effort.

City Council member Domenic Recchia Jr. had called plans to hold the race "just wrong" in light of the ongoing misery among residents with no food, shelter or electricity.

Runner's World magazine had converted its annual pre-marathon party Friday into a free meal for anybody still displaced by the storm. NYRR had already canceled Friday's opening ceremony and a 5-kilometer run Saturday.

The marathon brings an estimated $340 million into the city.

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