3 Reasons The New York City Marathon Should Be Cancelled

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is facing bitter criticism over his decision to hold the New York City Marathon as scheduled on Sunday, just days after Hurricane Sandy devastated much of Gotham. Nowhere was the outrage more palpable than in Staten Island. That’s the borough where the massive, world-famous race will start, and it’s also the part of the city that took the brunt of the superstorm’s fury. Residents — many of whom have lost their homes and businesses and gone days without electricity and water — are complaining that they’re being forgotten. Staten Island Councilman James Oddo said it was “idiotic” to stage the ING Marathon while people still need to be rescued in the hard-hit South Shore area. He’s urging Bloomberg to cancel the marathon. The mayor says going ahead with the race is critical to the economy, and will show the city’s resilience without sapping resources needed for the recovery. Here, three reasons he might want to change his mind and call off the event…

1. The race will divert resources that could save lives. Bloomberg is right about a lot of things, says Ben Cosgrove at TIME. A sporting contest like this can lift spirits, and, in a normal year, the marathon would pump a much-needed $340 million into the city’s economy. Still, “inviting tens of thousands of people, many from out of town, to run through the streets of New York less than a week after the biggest Atlantic storm in history” is a “profound and irresponsible error in judgment.” Read more…

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