HURRICANE SANDY

Sandy 2012: Local runners divided over running New York City Marathon

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Friday evening, New York City officials decided to cancel the New York City Marathon scheduled for Sunday.

A security guard, left, stands by two power generators adjacent to the New York City Marathon facility in Central Park, Friday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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The earlier decision to run the New York City Marathon in a city racing to restore basic services to thousands was controversial. It also raised conflict for some local runners who had planned to participate.

Local runners have been gearing up at stores such as Pacers for weeks in preparation for New York's marathon. But since Superstorm Sandy hit the city so hard, some questioned whether the race should go on.

A lot of New Yorkers still are struggling to get back on their feet after Sandy.

But 40,000 runners were expected to hit New York City's streets Sunday for the marathon.

Earlier today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had defended his decision to give the marathon a go ahead just days after the devastating storm.

"We have the resources to help people and give people something to cheer about in what's been a very dismal week for a lot of people," Bloomberg said.

But the mayor was taking heat from critics who believed the marathon would divert resources and police from helping those still in the dark and without heat or water.

"I love to run in any condition, but I think it would be great to see New York support the people who don't have water, power, and other resources," says Mairead Sauter, a marathon runner.

Steve Hallinan was getting ready to head to New York for the marathon.

"You have volunteers handing out water to runners where you have people who have no home and no water to drink," he says.

Hallinan trains with District resident and Olympic runner Julie Culley, who's already in the Big Apple.

"Training has been great," she says.

Hallinan agreed with Bloomberg that the marathon will give New Yorkers something to cheer about. .

"Holding the race so soon after a devastating storm will show the resourcefulness, resilience, and strong New Yorkers," Hallinan says. "Lift the spirit, lift the moral of that city, and give those people an opportunity to forget what's going on there, and really get captivated in all that positive energy."

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