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Adams County runner stuck in New York after marathon cancellation

9:08 PM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
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The mayor had previously stated that the race would go on as a way of showing solidarity, but on Friday afternoon there was a change of heart.

President and CEO of New York Road Runners, Mary Wittenberg, board chair, George Hirsch and New York City Deputy Mayor Howard Wilson made the announcement.

"It's with incredibly heavy hearts today that we share the best way to help New York City as this time is to say that we will not be conducting the 2012 ING New York City Marathon," Wittenberg said. "The marathon ceased to be about running and it was all about how best to aid New York City."

With people in storm-ravaged areas still shivering without electricity and the death toll in the US nearing 100, many New Yorkers recoiled at the prospect of police officers being assigned to protect a marathon on Sunday.

"It wasn't the marathon that we know and love if there were people pained by the running of it. The marathon is a moment of unity and happiness and joy and a celebration of everything that is New York," Wilson said. "That will obviously be difficult news for people who have trained all year, people who have come from around the world."

One of the 40,000 people who are said to be registered for the event is Matt Obernesser. He is a gym teacher in Adams County. Moments after he landed in New York, he found out the marathon was canceled.

"I had to jump through so many hoops to get here," Obermesser said. "[Bloomberg] needs to stick with his decision. Do you know how many people are landing here in Manhattan? It's ridiculous."

Obernesser understands the decision and says he can't imagine what the millions of people on the Northeast are dealing with. He only wished the decision to cancel the marathon came sooner.

"The decision should have been made within 36 hours after the hurricane. I think the late hour is just not an appropriate decision," Obernesser said.

Marathon officials say entry fees helped them generate a million dollar donation that will help aid victims of Superstorm Sandy.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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