If there's one thing runners don't like to do it's sit around. We're an active bunch and when you tell us not to run that only makes us want to run that much more. That has certainly been evident since Friday.
As you already know from my Sunday post (not to mention about a million other bloggers, running magazines, and traditional media), runners in town for the New York City Marathon didn't let the race cancellation stop them. Instead they created impromptu marathon courses, gathered in Central Park with donations in toe, or headed to places like Staten Island and Red Hook with shovels, canned goods, water, and a host of other needed items to aid in relief and recovery.
In addition to these events many runners also looked for alternate marathons. A small number managed to get to one of the other races held this past weekend (a big shout-out to my teammates Kirby and Sarah, both of whom ran their first marathons on Sunday), while others looked for ones in the coming weeks. A lot of small town races have seen a boost with Richmond and Harrisburg (both this coming weekend) setting record participant levels.
Something else really cool is happening too. Other races are taking this opportunity to help NYCM registrants and the victims of hurricane Sandy: The Soldier Marathon in Columbus, Georgia is offering FREE entry to NYC runners; the San Antonia Marathon is offering NYC runners a 20% discount and donating 20% of their registration fees to hurricane relief; the Malibu Marathon is offering NYC runners their early bird rate and donating 25% of their registration fees to AmeriCares; and the Myles Standish Marathon in Plymouth, Mass. is donating half of its registration fees to food banks helping with Hurricane Sandy relief. These are just a few of the races taking big strides to help runners and hurricane victims.
So now you're probably wondering what I'm doing. Well, I've decided to run the Philadelphia Marathon for Covenant House's Home Team. Covenant House is the largest privately funded organization in the U.S. dedicated to helping homeless youth. These kids are at the margins of society in good times and so when natural disaster strikes it's more important than ever to make sure they're not forgotten. I'm really excited that I have the opportunity to do some good with this run.
If you're interested in helping me meet and surpass my fundraising goal, there's a link at the right side of the page. If not, I still encourage you to get involved somehow. If you live in the tri-state area, there are still plenty of people in need of assistance and the Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations.
I can't wait for some things to return to normal (like the L train and the heat in my office), but I hope this sense of community and togetherness that we've discovered over the past few days (as long as we ignore all of yesterday) doesn't go away.