It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that the 2012 ING New York City Marathon has been canceled.
The decision was made after it became increasingly apparent that the people of our city and the surrounding tri-state area were still struggling to recover from the damage wrought by the recent extreme weather conditions. That struggle, fueled by the resulting extensive and growing media coverage antagonistic to the marathon and its participants, created conditions that raised concern for the safety of both those working to produce the event and its participants. While holding the race would not have required diverting resources from the recovery effort, it became clear that the apparent widespread perception to the contrary had become the source of controversy and division.
This letter from NYRR is causing — quite rightly — a lot of controversy. Blaming the media, while never using the words “hurricane” or “Sandy” — not smart.
And then the grammarian in me can’t help but point out that if you read this literally, it says that the struggle of New Yorkers to recover from Sandy was “fueled by the resulting extensive and growing media coverage antagonistic to the marathon and its participants” — in other words, that the media coverage wasn’t just hurting the reputation, it was also hurting the New Yorkers most badly hit by the hurricane. I suspect that’s not what NYRR meant, but it’s what they said. And when you’re putting out a letter which is going to be as closely scrutinized as this one, it really does behoove you not to say such things.