Hurricane Sandy hit New York like a bag of bricks. The aftermath resulted in over 650 homes and businesses without hydro and the entire infrastructure of the city collapsed. Major highways, transit systems, bridges and tunnels closed producing $42 billion in devastation repairs. Victims of Hurricane Sandy are still recovering today from the $19 billion of losses and some will never recover. The death toll was over 108 people and New York was at a standstill (as still as New York can be).
Here’s a great idea! Let’s put on a marathon with 47,000 runners, deplete the remaining rescue and power resources left in the city. That’s exactly what the New York City Marathon (NYCM) did.
Watching the outcome of Sandy unfold, I didn’t even consider to the New York City Marathon. It was pretty hard to forget when my PR Case Studies Instructor went through the details of the debacle. The news of the NYCM cancellation messaging flip-flopped for 3 days, distressing many.
The NYCM officials attempted pointed the finger at the Mayor’s office. I imagine city permits required to closed 5 boroughs and recruit policemen since 2012 are tougher to secure nowadays.
At one point when the marathon was “still on”, NYCM’s volunteer stations were operating 2 massive generators that could each produce enough electricity for 450 homes. This was right after NYCM officials confirmed to New Yorkers that “they wouldn’t take away any rescue relief” resources.
The runners lost their entry fee and couldn’t cancel flights. What’s worse, is that the runners that booked hotels were feeling badly about taking up valuable spaces for victims that had nowhere to go.
The Mayor’s office and NYCM botched their messaging and confused everyone. The residual resentment from the mismanagement and lack of public relation strategy still has New York citizens, runners and politicians enraged. Instead of participating in the NYCM, runners from all over the world were gliding into devastated areas bringing survival packs to victims. Gotta love a runner’s spirit, dedication and determination!