New York City mayor Michael Bloomerg and New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg released a joint statement regarding the cancellation of the 2012 NYC marathon on Friday, according to Stride Nation. The city is currently recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, and the two thought the race would have a "cloud" over it should the marathon be held as scheduled.
The statement cited the controversy surrounding the event, and the backlash that came from the previous decision to hold it as scheduled on Sunday, as major factors in the cancellation:
"The Marathon has been an integral part of New York City's life for 40 years and is an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch. While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division. The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination. We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it. We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event -- even one as meaningful as this -- to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track. The New York Road Runners will have additional information in the days ahead for participants."
Wittenberg also held a press conference on Friday to further expand on why the race was cancelled, after Mayor Bloomberg announced it would go on as planned earlier in the week. Stride Nation's Ryan Hudson reported some of the comments via his twitter account. It appears that the city discussed altering the route, and even shortening the event:
They also considered making it a 10-mile race.— Ryan Hudson (@ry_hudson) November 2, 2012
In lieu of having al 47,000 expected participants race, the mayor's office also discussed a trimmed field of runners:
There was talk about considering an "elite-only race."— Ryan Hudson (@ry_hudson) November 2, 2012
Finally, idea of postponement was eventually dismissed, because many of the runners were already in town. Hudson also tweeted out a link where runners can donate their unused hotel rooms. He noted that runners who were registered for this year's event will be guaranteed entry next year.
With the decision made on the marathon, the city will now return its attention to the massive cleanup and rebuilding effort left by the historic storm.