The 2012 ING New York City Marathon: An Alternative Finish Line
Instead of running through the five boroughs, cheered on by robust and vocal spectators, runners defined their own finish lines on Marathon Sunday.
A Life-Altering Storm's Effects
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Far Rockaway, Queens, photo by Andrea Baumgarten
Hurricane Sandy flooded several coastal and low-lying areas in New York and New Jersey, destroying numerous buildings, displacing residents, and leaving thousands without power for a week or more.
The Most Damaging Hurricane Ever in the U.S.?
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photo by Andrea Baumgarten
The total death toll and exact cost of damage remained unknown as of November 6, a week after the storm; however, media reports counted 113 deaths in the tri-state area, over 7.5 million power outages, and approximately $50 billion worth of losses to the area.
New York Runners in Support of Staten Island
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The night before the marathon was cancelled, it was reported that event protestors screamed complaints at workers and looted the start village at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island. Two days later, a social media and email campaign was launched to encourage marathoners to volunteer on Staten Island.
Run for a Cause
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Hundreds of runners took the ferry to Staten Island, backpacks filled with supplies, and ran or walked anywhere from six to 14 miles to distribute goods at various drop-off points. Athletes moved destroyed furniture out of homes, and cleared debris and soggy marsh out of yards.
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Although unsure of the reception they might receive, runners hit the streets of Staten Island anyway. They were met with honks, cheers, claps and messages of thanks from residents.
Recycle Your Race Bag
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Many runners used their race bags to transport necessities such as batteries, toiletries, food and medicine to those in need.
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Runners who spent the day volunteering in storm-ravaged areas displayed their marathon pride by affixing race bibs to their backpacks, and wearing their bright orange marathon finisher shirts.
An Enduring Heart
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This two-time Ironman finisher eagerly awaited her chance to run her first New York City Marathon after being rejected from the entrance lottery three times. She took her family, who came to watch her race, to Staten Island to distribute a suitcase and three backpacks worth of baby formula and other supplies to storm victims.
Race Staff Lends a Hand
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Current and former staff of New York Road Runners, the nonprofit that organizes the marathon, paused their event wrap-up duties to contribute to the volunteer effort on Staten Island.
Aid for the Relief Effort
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Race-day food and supplies were bagged and rerouted to areas in need. Here, a member of the National Guard distributed a marathon food bag to a young girl.
Protein to the Rescue
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photo by Andrea Baumgarten
Race organizers delivered race-day food supplied by event sponsors to neighborhoods in need.
A Run of Solidarity
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photo by brightroom
Thousands of runners blanketed Central Park on Marathon Sunday to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles, and any distances in between. Runners organized themselves shoulder to shoulder on the road near the finish line, which remained erect for them.?
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A singlet tied to a tree in Central Park near the marathon finish line read: "The marathon was for you. Millions [of] people should call your name, but we also respect the victims of Sandy. We [will] never forget Deggie, our soul mate."
Fred Lebow Watches Over the Marathon Finish
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Every year during race week, the bronze statue of Fred Lebow, co-founder of the NYC Marathon, is moved from Engineer's Gate in Central Park to the marathon finish line. "The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can't dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon."—Fred Lebow
What's Your Next Race?
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No matter how each runner defined his or her finish line on Marathon Sunday, one sentiment dominated: runners' passionate devotion to their sport is alive and well.