Sandy Part 2

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Events:

3rd Annual Marathon Quest 250 Run / Walk

  • Monday December 31st 2012

  • 9.00pm to 3.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

Hockey Quest 500 (Quest #6)

  • Saturday January 19th 2013

  • 8.00am to 5.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

On November 2nd, as Sue, Sarah and I headed over to the New York City race expo I was feeling a bit concerned. The papers were very anti the race going ahead. At Friday lunchtime, the Mayor, Michael Bloomberg was insisting that the race would be good for the city, lift people's spirits and must go on. The press were quite vitriolic in their condemnation, referring to the generators laying idle in Central Park, that would be used to heat the media tents, the blankets, food and water stacked up for the runners and the food for the hot meal that they would have the night before the race. Not to mention the police and volunteers who could otherwise be helping the needy.

All this, when people in Staten Island and the Rockaways had no power, no heat, no hot food. Many houses had been completely destroyed by the storm or fires and people were having to gut their houses, because all their belongings had been ruined by water. We were hearing some truly heartbreaking stories. We could perfectly understand why some people were so angry. By 5.30pm, the race had been cancelled. Good call. Obviously, many runners were disappointed; thousands had traveled long distances and spent a lot of time and money investing in the race. But we didn't meet one person who didn't agree it was the right thing to do - but all felt that the Mayor should have made the decision days earlier.

By Saturday, it was clear that we weren't going to be able to get to many places unless we walked. The transit/ subway were limited and the buses and trains that were running were so crowded that the police had to provide crowd control. We met up with Sarah and started making enquiries about ways we could help.

Sunday morning, a group of 170 Irish runners met in the lobby of the hotel, with the intention of going to Central Park and running. Many wore their marathon shirts and race bibs. I decided to join them, as did many others from the hotel. We walked to the park and I headed off on a 10km loop of Central Park. What I encountered was something I'll never forget. Literally thousands of runners from all nations, some carrying flags or messages, had turned up to run. So too had supporters. The noise at times was deafening. The whole atmosphere was over whelming. I know runners will get it when I talk about the spirit of running together for a cause - and they all had a cause. Afterwards, we went to the South end of the park and donated money and clothing. Back at the hotel I found a website that directed me to a location in Brooklyn where I could help. Monday would be a time for action.

Quote of the Day

"If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work."

Beryl Markham, "West With The Night"

Donations of clothes and money in Central Park, given by runners, for the folks affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy Part 2

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