“NY Marathon Runners come to the aid after event was canceled”

Last week I wrote about the Mayor of NY attempting to hold the New York City Marathon despite being just days after the worst natural disaster ever to hit the area.  Well something good came out of it.  With slightly more than 36 hours to go, the race was canceled or postponed and the resources that were being dispatched to hold the race were appropriately re-dispatched to help victims of the storm.

The decision hardly discouraged a group of nearly 1,300 runners from boarding the Staten Island Ferry toward the starting line. A different kind of marathon took place though with runners carrying backpacks filled with things like baby wipes and energy bars to those in need.  These runners ran their own marathon, carrying garbage bags and backpacks full of donated supplies ranging from blankets to Home Depot gift cards that they delivered to the destroyed homes of Staten Island residents.

The group was organized through Facebook and Twitter.  A longtime marathoner and sports physician Jordan Metzl stated; “As soon as it was canceled, I started emailing with friends. We created a Facebook page for runners like us who, instead of asking for money, could run on Staten Island with things that could be donated.”  Metzl’s Facebook page had more than 4,000 “likes” as of Sunday morning.

The same communications seemed to be happening all across the city for the race participants. Jaclynn Larington and Sarah Hartmann started NYCMore2012.org, a relief effort site compiling volunteer opportunities in hard-hit communities around the city. A news release on Friday called it “a central communication outlet for the various organizations that are sending their messages from a variety of sources.”

I love to see it when social media can be used for something constructive as rallying relief efforts.  Sometimes you need to see the worst to appreciate the best.  This is my reality show!  It’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it!

Bill Bartok

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