The New York City Marathon is scheduled to take place in two days. I am participating for the third time. But in the midst of all of the controversy around it, I had to write something.
YES, there are neighborhoods that are devastated right now.
YES, there are thousands of people who need help.
But people are talking about the marathon like it is a just a foot race. It isn’t. It is the culmination of months of training and dedication, thousands of hours of work and commitment and sacrifice. To me, the marathon showcases humanity at it’s best: thousands of people doing an incredibly difficult thing, while millions more cheer them on.
Never in my life did I think I’d ever get backlash for participating in a marathon. I’ve had hundreds of people thank me for inspiring them to run, and making a difference for them. I am scared and excited and nervous and terrified to run 26.2 miles, and I’ve already done it. Twice. Now I also have to deal with millions of people thinking I am selfish?
The marathon will generate over $300 million for the city of New York. The NYRR, which puts on the marathon ever year, has already pledged $1 Million (TWICE AS MUCH AS THE YANKEES GAVE), with millions more coming in from sponsors, and several millions MORE from the participants. Money that wouldn’t be coming in at all if the race was cancelled.
Will we be using police, water, and energy resources? Absolutely. But do not for one second think that those things are being wasted, or taken for granted. It is a privilege and an honor to participate in the NYC Marathon every year. I have raised thousands of dollars to run for Team Reeve, a cause that is incredibly close to my heart. I run to make a difference, I run to make people proud.
When we run on Sunday, do not think we are doing it for selfish reasons. We are doing it to complete something bigger than ourselves. The world could use more of that, I think.
I love this city. I am hurting for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
And my number for the 2012 NYC Marathon is 27540.
See you at the finish line.
For all of those who have feelings, both good and bad. Take it from the perspective of someone who is running it this coming Sunday.
Not running it just to run for running’s sake, but running it for bigger reasons that impact so many who need that spotlight. That during the first Sunday every November, he and thousands of others out there can help shed a light & raise some needed funds for those less fortunate and need our help.