It’s been a few days since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast and I still feel like every time I turn on the TV and see the images I’m shocked by what I’m seeing.
Before the storm we stocked up on snacks, batteries, bottled water and candles assuming that at some point we’d lose power (I’m pretty sure if you sneeze to hard in the direction of our power lines they go down…) and Sunday night we hunkered down in front of the Weather Channel and waited for Sandy to come our way.
The power flashed a few times Sunday night and Monday morning as the wind picked up and finally went out by 3pm on Monday. We actually didn’t end up getting much rain where I am on Long Island, but the wind did plenty of damage on its own in my area (these pictures were taken Tuesday once it was safe to go out):
On Wednesday once it was clear we weren’t getting power back anytime soon and my yoga teacher classes were cancelled for the rest of the week Jason and I decided to drive up to Massachusetts to my moms house for a few days of electricity and heat. It wasn’t until we got to Massachusetts and we were able to see the news did we have a real understanding of what was going on in New Jersey, Staten Island and other parts of New York.
I was especially shocked at the images from the Breezy Point fire and was upset to hear that former NY firefighter Matt Long (whose book The Long Run I just LOVE and find incredibly inspirational) and his family lost everything – in 2005 he was hit by a bus and was given less than a 1% chance to live…I mean how much can one person take!
UPDATE: About an hour after I originally posted this the New York City Marathon was canceled so the rest of this post is pretty much irrelevant!
One of the biggest controversies right now in the aftermath of this storm is the New York City Marathon.
Mayor Bloomberg and the New York Road Runners Club have made the decision to hold the race this Sunday as scheduled. The backlash has been incredible with people outraged that the marathon will be taking much needed resources such as manpower (NYPD), generators, hotel rooms, bottled water & food, etc. that could be going towards the disaster relief effort, and on top of that the race will be starting on Staten Island, one of the hardest hit areas.
A good friend of mine who is supposed to run on Sunday (her 1st marathon) called me earlier today upset and confused about whether she should run or not. My advice to her was run.
While I don’t necessarily agree with the decision to hold the marathon on Sunday amid this devastation, the decision is made (and I’m sure it’s not a decision that was made lightly) and the race is going to go on whether she runs or not. She has put in months and countless miles of training and worked hard to raise money for a great cause. This is something she has looked forward to and should be excited about. If she decides NOT to run on Sunday and defer her entry until next year, at this point the race is still going to happen and it’s going to be taking place just blocks form her apartment, where she would be sitting on Sunday thinking about how she is not running the marathon…
I think the decision to still have the marathon on Sunday put the runners is a very difficult situation and many are being criticized and made to feel guilty for their decision to run. As I said, I don’t necessarily agree with the marathon being held on Sunday, but I do plan on heading back to New York tomorrow and being there to support my friend. She’s worked hard and deserves the support she would have gotten from her family and friends, storm or not. So, I’ll be heading into New York City on Sunday to cheer her on.
My thoughts are with everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy. I feel fortunate to only have lost power, I certainly can not complain about that compared to what so many are dealing with right now.
P.S. – I should mention that my friend running the marathon on Sunday has signed up to spend tomorrow (the day before the marathon) helping to clean up storm debris in a NYC park and plans on making a donation to the Red Cross…maybe if all the runners give back a little it’ll help lessen the controversy over the race!
loved this blog… I was with Gib this weekend when someone complained bitterly about the electric and heat ! They commented bitterly ….”all I want is lights and hot water,” , to which Gib commented, “all I want is to be able to scratch my nose.” As you know, both of Gibs arms are permanently paralysed …. really puts things into perspective!!!
It really does put things into perspective, I can’t tell you how frustrated I was getting reading people’s Facebook updates complaining about not having power and hot water…I’d gladly take a cold shower and know that my family and home are safe!
I think this post is brilliant. I was incredibly conflicted and I wasn’t even running in it! But, as a “runner” and as a NYer I could completely empathize with it. I knew someone who was running in it and felt like this. Just wish if Bloomberg was going to cancel it, he had done so sooner than he actually did.
I’m actually experiencing guilt, although obviously not the same situation, about running in the W&D on Saturday. Although the run is not through the devastated streets of NY, I do feel guilty for abandoning my home in need to go to Disney World.
I agree, I think the mistake was not canceling the marathon on Tuesday, or even Wednesday, so that people who were coming in from out of town would have the opportunity to change their plans.
I feel the same way about going down to Florida for W&D this weekend too…part of me feels like I should stay in NY and find more ways to volunteer and help…
If it wasn’t for my father (whom I convinced he could do this) and his training for so long for this race, I’d be a lot more quick to just stay here. However, he has worked so hard, I can’t do that to him. So, what I’m trying to do, although I’m still guilt ridden, is now affiliate myself with a charity to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy relief.
What a great idea! I’ve also decided I really want to make volunteering something I do more regularly, the past week or so has me thinking that organizations need support ALL the time, not just during disasters.
Good luck to both you and your dad this weekend! I’m hoping we all make it down there (and safely!) with this bad weather!