Bloomberg: Marathon Became A "Divisive Issue"
N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg "declined to say why he had waited until less than 48 hours before" the N.Y. Marathon to cancel it Friday. Bloomberg said Saturday, "What simply happened is that it became a source of dissension and we don't need that right now. ... When it became a divisive issue, I just made the decision that it should not go on." The NYRR stated that "anyone in this year's race will be guaranteed a spot next year." It has "not said whether runners will forfeit this year's entry fee and have to pay another entry fee next year" (NYTIMES.com, 11/3).
On Friday, NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg "appeared shaken, on the verge of tears" when she announced the race would be cancelled. Wittenberg: "It's crushing and really difficult" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/4).
Even though the race was canceled, "almost 2,000 runners came to Central Park on Sunday to run 26.2 miles anyway." The unofficial run was "organized on Facebook on Saturday afternoon by a couple of friends" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 11/4).
ESPN2 planned to televise the race nationally beginning at 9am ET Sunday, which would have marked the first national broadcast of the road race in nearly two decades (CABLEFAX DAILY, 11/4). The network reverted to its regular Sunday programing, including "Outside The Lines" and "SportsCenter" (THE DAILY).