While power has returned to New York City residents in hard-hit areas like the Lower East Side of Manhattan, many locals are also cheering the cancellation of the city’s marathon. On Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Sunday’s annual race would not go on because the event seemed to be dividing the city instead of uniting it, reports CNN.
In a Friday evening press conference, Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson elaborated on the cancellation of an event he said is traditionally “one of the very best days in the city, a moment of unity … and joy.” Yet the growing criticism of the race weighed on officials, including the sense that some New Yorkers “found the marathon — the very idea of it — to be painful.”
“It was clear that this was not going to be a celebration of New York. It was going to be a divisive, difficult day,” Wolfson said. “That’s not what anybody wanted.”
Mary Wittenberg, the CEO of the New York Road Runners, said one factor in the decision to nix this year’s race was what she saw as an emerging “animosity toward the runners.”
The New York City Marathon began in 1970 and was expected to host 40,000 runners this year. In addition, Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang was assumed to be the 2012 front-runner.
Read more at CNN.