The New York Marathon and Sandy

Marathon week is always stressful for me, but Hurricane Sandy’s destruction caused an extra layer of worry. Being way out in SoCal I really have no good idea how bad the damage is and what public transportation issues mean. I wasn’t sure I was even going until I read the NYRR marathon update. IMG_8816 (600x800)

People much smarter than me decided the race will continue so I’m headed out to New York tonight! I’m nervous about the race, but I’m also pre-occupied with worries about people that have real problems to deal with like destruction of their homes or lack or water and power.

If you want to help please go to the Mayor’s Fund or Crowdwise to make a donation.

I packed on Tuesday since I knew I would be trick-or-eating last night and today would be busy. I hope I have everything!IMG_8815 (600x800)

Many of the ING New York Marathon pre-race events have been cancelled. I will be on an ING bus giving out fun loot around the city Friday and Saturday though. Follow me on twitter and the hashtag #INGClassof2012 to find out where I am and come say hello! IMG_8823 (600x800)

I love that the race slogan is – “Everything else is just a warm up” because I really did a full marathon as a long run for this race!IMG_8818 (600x800)

And, even though I PR’d in that “long run” I don’t plan on going balls out for New York. My goals for the ING NY Marathon are:

1. Have fun and enjoy every New York minute!

Working with ING as an Ambassador for the Class of 2012 has been the biggest honor and blessing. I am very lucky and know it’s all going to be over very soon. If not for this opportunity I wouldn’t have been able to afford traveling to NY and running this race. I’m going to savor every borrow, and bridge and spectator scream.

My mom and Ben are also coming with me on this adventure so I’m hoping all of us just have a good, safe time together.

See ya in NY!


  1. ESW says

    It’s bourough. And you come off as really insensitive in these posts about the marathon. It’s a disaster zone there. People can’t get to their homes and are lacking food and water. You’re going to feel good about doing something so frivolous, taking resources from a devastated city (including water)? I don’t think you should go. It says a lot about your character that you think people in the city are going to be excited to see your dumb ING bus.

    • Gretchen says

      Be nice! Write a letter to ING and NYRR – they have decided to go on with the marathon which will bring large amounts of much needed money into NYC. The situation is devestating for many people but as a fellow New Yorker it is important to remember that we are survivors and what says you are a survivor but completing a marathon! Maybe people will have something to take their minds off the ugly and do business as usual for an awesome time. Don’t hate on Monica because she is running. I applaud her efforts and inspiration!

      • Kathleen says

        I’m not sure that Monica (from California) running the marathon shows the resiliency of people in NYC. I know of VERY few people that live in NYC that want this marathon to happen. I know of even fewer that think people coming in from out of town to celebrate in the midst of utter devastation shows THEIR resiliency. It doesn’t. The hundreds of police officers, thousands of volunteers, cups of water, food, and other resources could be used SO MUCH more efficiently in the care and support of the thousands of people who are not having their basic needs met. I’m not blaming Monica–she’s not the one who decided to have the marathon, but I think there are so much more important things than setting PR or getting a paycheck for supporting a marathon. I love this blog and read all the time (and certainly don’t mean to come across as a hateful person), but as someone who has multiple friends who are suffering right now, running the equivalent of a parade in front of them and stealing their resources seems selfish, ill-advised, and, quite simply, wrong. It’s a slap in the face. Staging runners on Staten Island and kicking evacuees out of hotels–that’s wrong. I don’t know how anyone could do it.

        • Gretchen says

          Sorry if you found me offensive. I do think it is nice those that are putting on the race are donating 26.20 which another poster put up down the thread. I just think it is sad how negative people can be about what is generally a pretty positive thing. And you’re right I guess i was wrong to think that the marathon would cheer people up – my bad. I just found it discouraging when people called Monica dumb and other things because she was running. Hopefully it works out – and the race organizers follow through with their donation plans and other people donate to relief organizations over the press of the Marathon. I don’t believe anyone feels glee at what has befallen the New York Metro area. So, again, sorry if I offended you with my thoughts that the marathon might promote a positive feeling. I am not in the metro area, though many of my friends are, so I guess I was speaking out of turn and reacting to the originator of the post. I hope all those affected get back to normal as soon as possible.

          • says

            I can tell you as a former New Yorker, with plenty of family and friends there still, a bunch of people from out of town racing isn’t going to cheer anybody up right now. Yes, in 2011, after September 11 it did — but remember, the race happened a couple months after that tragedy, and they didn’t have the starting line at Ground Zero. Starting in Staten Island, one of the hardest-hit areas, is pretty tone deaf. I can’t see how a pack of runners is going to cheer up the many elderly and families who lived there and are now homeless.

        • Claire says

          Kicking evacuees out of hotels so that people who paid for them can stay there isn’t wrong. If I pay for a hotel room and then don’t receive it when I arrive, then I’D have nowhere to stay. If you pay for something, you have priority and can CHOOSE to give up your room to someone in need, but that choice shouldn’t be forced upon you.

    • Andrea says

      I think Monica is a kind and good person, but that’s my read of this situation as well. Really Mayor Bloomberg, is this the best use of the cities resources?? Get real: Cancel the marathon, and use those generators to heat the thousands that are homeless. Give that water to all the old women on the 60th floor of their apartment complexes that have none. And for heaven’s sake, do NOT start some race on Staten Island, where two small children’s dead bodies were found just three days ago! This reflects a TOTAL LOSS OF SANITY.

  2. Alison says

    As a New Yorker who has been displaced by Sandy, it is hard for me to think about the marathon on Sunday. Many New Yorkers (south of 34th street) will not have power until late Saturday evening. I do understand your excitement to complete a goal, to do something you have been training your tail off for. I wish you luck, enjoy yourself…but be prepared for the state of NYC.

  3. suz says

    Actually, it’s borough. If you’re gonna hate on spelling, get your spelling right.

    I can see both sides. I don’t envy Mary Wittenberg her decision, and as an attorney who has advised public bodies, I completely understand their decision to go with Mayor Bloomberg’s call. He is in favor of the marathon going forward because the city must go on.

  4. ADC says

    Setting aside whether the NYC Marathon should happen or not (I’m very much of the opinion that it should), I just want to point out that you are REPEATEDLY using the wrong name. It is not the New York marathon, but rather the New York City Marathon. I don’t care if you use ING or not (although, I am sure that ING does); but as an ambassador of the marathon, I would think you should be using the correct name. Yes, this may seem petty (especially in light of all that has happened) but it’s like calling the Chicago Marathon the Illinois Marathon, or saying that you PR’d at the California Marathon. Best of luck on Sunday, it’s a wonderful city to be in and run through.

    • sally stilwell says

      Jaime! You might have very well said the most wonderful thing to Monica. I just had a day of unbelievable angst with friends turning against me because i am choosing not to boycott or defer. I LIVE here on Staten Island! I’ve run so many long runs along the areas that are now destroyed and have taken lives. I’m so utterly distraught and sad and feeling quite alone. Ugh! And Monica, I really hope to see you there. I’ve enjoyed your humor and posts for months now. Safe travels and praying that we can focus on the positive.

  5. Brittany says

    I’ve been feeling really troubled by your NYC marathon posts. I love reading your blog, and I know you’re silly and lighthearted. That’s what I love. At the same time, I feel like you’ve been preoccupied with the effects that Sandy will have on you. I also live in Orange County, and realize we are in a bit of a bubble and quite far from the devastation. But people have lost their lives, their homes, their sense of security and so much more. Your concerns about the public transit while you’re visiting for the marathon… that upsets me to the core. I know it’s not your responsibility as a blogger to be sensitive to every issue or to make your blog a serious place, but I want to give my two cents. This isn’t sitting well with me at all.

    • Julie says

      I agree- I used to like reading your blog, but your enthusiasm and excitement over a race while there are thousands who are now homeless and dead bodies still floating up to the shores is making me sick. I hope you enjoy riding around in your ING bus while people who live here have to wait 5 hours just to get on a bus so that they can get from their home to work. I hope you enjoy your nice and warm hotel room while they kick out first responder victims who were staying there to make room for you marathon runners. I also hope you enjoy drinking the water handed out on the course while others still have no water to their homes and have to wait in lines to get some.

      • Sam says

        100% agreed! And why did it take you so long to address this? You posted about falling down earlier (and were pretty damn dramatic about it) but it took you all week to compose this weak attempt at addressing how devastating it is in NYC and the surrounding areas? And honestly, you don’t seem THAT concerned about the people and the impact this race will have on them short and long term.

  6. Srob says

    Everyone needs to relax- Monica trained for a marathon and its being held so she’s running it- if she did not it wouldn’t change the fact it’s being held- and for you short sighted people- why don’t you think about the money something of this magnitude brings into a city — none of this is her fault- she’s rolling with the punches- what exactly are each of you doing that is saving NYC right now

    • Sam says

      I’m not saying in a hotel room that would otherwise house a displaced person. I am not clogging up their jammed transit system. There are plenty more examples but I hope you get my point…

  7. says

    Although NJ is still a post-Sandy War zone and a good chunk of lower Manhattan is still out of Power currently, I hear that the city will still be completely ready for the Marathon!

  8. Wow says

    I don’t think you’ll enjoy one minute of the NYC Marathon. NY is a mess and you should stay home along with all the other runners. I’m a runner and get it but to live here and see what is gone and what happened; I’m sorry you’re all f*cken nuts for coming and they mayor is a giant douche for allowing this to go on.

  9. meredith says

    I wish you luck in the marathon. I live right here in New York and this race is causing a ton of commotion for not being canceled. i have mixed emotions about it considering the destruction that has taken place which perhaps isn’t fully understood until you see if for yourself. I am one of the lucky ones, but plenty of people I know have lost homes, have major damage, have no power, running water or food. Halloween basically didn’t exist here for the kids, the schools have been shut all week and who knows if they will even reopen on Monday. Please be prepared for the mixed emotions you will see, receive and experience. Although I don’t know how one prepares for that. I am still in disbelief being here. Even though I have power, you can’t go very far from your home since there is a gas shortage and trees still down and traffic lights out. As a runner I so understand the preparation for races and I also like when we try to keep a sense of normalcy. Good luck.

  10. says

    I just wanted to warn you. You will more than likely get a lot of negative attention for participating in the marathon this weekend. I know you are not in anyway intentionally hurting anyone and just enjoying a race you prepared for and have been looking forward to, but the situation up there is nowhere near appropriate for the race to be held. I am from NJ and my husband is from Staten Island (we both live in ga right now) they are literally still pulling bodies from the water in the streets and people are still being heard yelling for help from the homes they are stuck in. The temperatures will be in the 30s this weekend and the death toll is sure to rise. I’m not saying this to make you feel bad…I’m just saying it to prepare you. Staten Island is JUST starting to receive help three days later and even the help they are getting is minimal. This marathon is going to take away extremely crucial help from police and EMS who will need to be present for the runners. It will take away much needed attention from the media. There are a lot of (normally positive) negative issues surrounding the continuation of the race and I just wanted to prepare you so you know what you’re going in to….the people affected by the storm are completely bewildered and angry that this marathon is continuing. With that said, since you are still running, GOOD LUCK

  11. says

    Have fun….can’t wait to hear all about it…I am sure you will have a lot more to say/talk about than just the marathon once you get back. Also, nice to hear you have family with you…that always makes it a little easier and less stressful.

  12. says

    This NYC Marathon is all anyone is talking about on the East Coast. I think it’s definitely going to be one of the most memorable races they’ve ever had. Good luck love and safe travels! :) <3

    • Joe says

      Um…no your wrong. It’s not ALL anyone is talking about here. It’s caused a stir, yes, because people are pissed it’s happening but there are other things going on as well, like, gee I don’t know, people trying to find water, gas, food, shelter,etc. And it’s going to end up being the most memorable races for the wrong reason. People in New York don’t need a bunch of out of state runners showing up to “help them recover” by running around the freaking city in a circle for a few hours.

    • Sam says

      People are talking about the reace because it shouldn’t be happening! Because in the midst of people losing their lives, their homes, their belongings, there will be a race that will drain resources. People on the East Coast are concerned, upset and disappointed about that race. Don’t confuse that with postive hype.

    • Julia says

      Seriously what a ridiculous comment. This response is even more offensive than Monica not even mentioning the hurricane until the finl hour. You HlBs have developed a poor reputation for yourselves for good reason.

      • Emily says

        People around me are talking about the tragedy of the mom who had her two little boys ripped out of her arms as the flood waters rose and how they just found their bodies yesterday. That’s what we are talking about on the East Coast. Not some damn marathon.

        • sasha says

          amongst all the devastation on the east coast, you are trying to return to normalcy, no? i mean, you’re using the scant electrical power to read blogs. the resources the nyc marathon uses were paid for by the race registrations, not coughed up by the city. everyone stop blaming the runners themselves.

  13. says

    I have to say that I was extremely disappointed with the decision to hold the marathon, so disappointed that I electively deferred even though this would be my third consecutive year running it. I work at one of the hospitals that had to evacuate because of the storm and, after seeing the third-world conditions and immense human suffering, cannot imagine competing in an athletic event. There are still shelters in desperate need of volunteers, food shortages and massive amounts of traffic. Adding additional people to the city will only further worsen these problems and detract funds from the areas that really need them. That said, I also think the event could have a unifying impact on the city and wish you a good race, there really is no marathon like NYC!

  14. Whitney says

    I have to agree with some of the other commenters above. Your marathon posts are coming off very insensitive to what has happened. I hope you are able to run the marathon guilt-free because I know I wouldn’t be able to. I am a runner and understand the rigorous training but this needs to be put into perspective.

  15. says

    Good luck for the race, but like everyone else said be prepared. I live in Connecticut and we got it a quarter of what New York did. People are living in horrible conditions and are very upset the race is even being held. Again I hope you have a good race it isnt your fault it is still being held, but it will be an emotional experience for sure!

  16. Gina says

    I was supposed to run, but half of my town is in the Atlantic Ocean, and I’m not even sure I have a house to go home to.

  17. says

    What a tricky subject. My boyfriend and I were talking about it this morning. What’s a runner to do in this situation? It’s not the runner’s fault if the race isn’t canceled. The entry fee is so expensive too, and nonrefundable. So are most plane tickets and hotel rooms. However, the outrage the runners will face on the course is scary. While it should be directed at the race directors, the runners will bare the brunt of it. I wonder how many of them even know what kind of disaster they’ll be in for.

    Personally, I would find another race to run, and beg NYRR to use my registration fee as a donation towards the cause. Easy for me to say in South Jersey. I have a full understanding of the destruction, and the travel expenses are minimal compared to those flying in from the West Coast or overseas. But if I was flying in from California, and all I really knew is that the city was claiming it was okay enough to host a marathon, I might think differently…

    Sorry, I have a lot of feelings.

  18. Teresa says

    I’m blown away by all these comments. Living in the Midwest, I had no idea just how bad it was in NYC and NJ until reading the comments from the folks in those areas. My thoughts and prayers are with all you. I’m going to make a donation to the Red Cross in your honor.

  19. Meredith says

    Why doesn’t the ING bus with “loot” rolling around the city this weekend lend a hand, donate food instead of “loot” and try to save some face in this? I am pretty disappointed with ING for continuing with some of their festivities in the wake of all this. Why don’t you volunteer for the day instead so you don’t seem so disaffected to the rest of the country?

  20. March Rhodus says

    I understand that you are being paid by ING to run this race and promote it, so most likely it’s not up to you to defer or simply not run it. but it does come across as insensitive that you are going to hand out “fun loot” when so many in the city don’t have power, water and serious issues to try to get to work to keep their families afloat. I love your blog and so love your positive vibe but to say you’ll go and enjoy while there’s so much devastation around and so many resources will be denied to those that need them to devote to the marathon is anything but positive. for all we know it’s part of your contract with ING to sound chirpy and upbeat on all your posts about the marathon… I hope that they cancel it, and that if you run it, it does not become an unpleasant memory for you.

  21. says

    You are 100% justified in running the race, Go Get Em’!! The race officials decided the race is still on, not you, so keep on with your goals to run and have fun. I have do doubt that you have thoughts & prayers going out to victims of Sandy (I hope we all do). If anything, you are contributing to the rebuild by helping out the tourism economy of NYC. Good Luck!

  22. Katherine says

    I hope you enjoy the water, food, and “loot” being passed out knowing that there are people in the boroughs you are running through who are running out of water and food. I hope the volunteer medical personal is there to help you if you get a self-induced cramp instead of devoting their time to help people who are really suffering. I hope you sleep well the night before knowing that generators are sitting around waiting for you to run your marathon while some medical centers still don’t have power. I understand the whole preserver, raise spirits, and continue on thing… but damage control needs to come first and attention needs to be focused on recovery. I am really sad that you are supporting this nonsense.

  23. K says

    Petition to cancel the marathon- not sure if you people are watching the news- but Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Long Island, NJ- these people don’t have water or heat- its going to be in the 30’s and 40’s this weekend- I hope you out of towner’s coming in to run a race enjoy your warm hotel room with plenty of food and water while the people of this town suffer as you run to show “resilience” for New York City

      • meredith says

        I actually just read some of the hotels in the city aren’t making room for the out of town runners since so many local people need to stay in these hotels because their homes are destroyed. I live on Long Island and I am probably one of the few with power. It really is a terrible time that I am still trying to grasp. It said that they are offering to pitch some tents in the ballrooms for the runners.

  24. says

    Monica, this is not going to be the NYC marathon you are thinking of. Defer and hopefully next year, you can enjoy it when our city is rebuilt. I’m from Long Island where many of our family members have completely ruined homes due to Sandy. And we are LUCKY because we are all alive. Others (particularly at the start of the race in Staten Island) have died. We are all freezing, exhausted, and heartbroken.

    • June says

      AGREED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i ran it in 2008 and it was everything it should have been. I know without a doubt I would defer this year based on that fact alone.

      I hope to be there in March though to run the half when things are a bit more stable; and by things I mean mainly the citizens of NYC and the surrounding areas!

  25. Lauren says

    Yea. I get that Monica is not responsible for the run happening and all that, but man. Defer. Water going to runners could be going to places that don’t have any. And putting the hurricaned-homeless out of hotels so you can run 26.2 is ashame. Someone should do a virtual marathon – didnt nike do a virtual 10K a while ago. Just run the marathon with a couple training buddies (if you have them). And come back to NYC next year.

    It’s like if New Orleans had conducted Mardi Gras 3 days after Katrina under the auspices of “helping the economy” of N.O.” or “we run to show we care because we are all from NO after Katrina” or something weird like that. That would never have been accepted.

    (And yes I know when mardi gras is, but it is a huge event for New Orleans, so just saying, not saying it could happen)

  26. Erin says

    Hey Monica, I just want to add to what people have said here–I don’t think running the marathon is a smart decision. People are wrong to demonize you but it does seem insensitive when you say that you’ll be on an ING bus handing out “fun loot” when thousands of people are without food and water. Maybe you could consider volunteering today or tomorrow in Staten Island or Queens instead of doing promo for ING? Because honestly–nobody cares about getting marathon trinkets. I doubt there’s going to be the crowd support and upbeat atmosphere of previous years and suspect there may be some protests (FYI, I am choosing to defer).

  27. says

    I hope you have an amazing time! Your blog has been a big inspiration to me over the past couple of weeks. I definitely have “complete a marathon” on my bucket list now. Thanks so much for your up-beat and inspiring blog!
    Good luck in NY!!

  28. Liz says

    I’m in Orange County as well…it’s not an excuse to turn blinders on to what is happening across the country. Passing out “fun loot?” is this a joke? How about blankets, clothes, water, food??? I have friends who have decided to run the marathon-that isn’t the issue. It’s your complete lack of awareness that I find highly disturbing and I won’t be returning to your blog.

    • says

      I totally agree! Monica, bring some firewood! I’m house-sitting for some people who have a lot of animals. There’s no heat or running water there, and we have already burned through all the dry wood we can find, and stores are sold out. We (humans) are able to go to the library for warmth, but I’m constantly stressed about the animals. Now I hear it’s supposed to get colder this weekend?! Good god!

  29. Amba says

    Man, what a tough game it is being a blogger! The New York city major approved of letting the marathon go ahead, send your negative comments to him if you don’t agree with it. Good luck with your run Monica, I really hope more positive than negative comes from it and the victims of Hurricane Sandy get all the support possible. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

  30. Emily says

    I really can’t believe you are still participating in this. So what if organizers have decided to hold it? You have your own choices to make. Whatever contract you signed with ING must be pretty powerful. I could never forgive myself for flying into a disaster hit area and displacing someone’s family in a hotel or taking a cop away from his or her job helping with the recovery. I’m really sad to see you are participating in this.

  31. Stephanie says

    Good luck on the race Monica! As controversial as this race may be your decision to run it is still your decision. I think people have looked past that. Enjoy New York, I have heard its an incredible city.

  32. says

    I live in MD and although Sandy brought power outages and flooding here, we were barely touched by her compared to our neighbors in NYC. It’s incredible the destruction that’s taken place there and even now, days later is still affecting people in their basic survival needs (food, water, shelter, etc.) With that said I think this group on FB has the right idea about turning this race into what it COULD and SHOULD really be able given the circumstances:

    These are people, like you, who have trained their hearts out and spent weeks and months excited about this marathon. However, while still lining up at the starting line are then using their physical abilities to help those in need by running around the city distributing clothes, food, donating blood, etc. to those in need.

    “A Brooklyn woman scheduled to run in the NYC Marathon is gathering a group of runners to volunteer on hurricane-battered Staten Island Sunday instead of running the race. Penny Krakoff, a social worker who lives in Crown Heights, is entered in the race, but tells us she can’t participate in good conscience. Instead, she plans to user her bib to take the official bus transporting marathon runners to the starting line on Staten Island—and then spurn the race to spend the day volunteering.

    Krakoff says she’ll collect extra food and and clothing to take with her on the bus and distribute it on Staten Island. Her neighborhood was spared the brunt of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, but Krakoff is well aware of the devastation wrought on Staten Island and elsewhere, and she’s part of a growing number of New Yorkers who feel the Marathon should be postponed.”

    You can read more about it here:

    Handing out “fun loot” may be, well, fun but what NYers need right now are the basic necessities for survival. Perhaps you can help out too?

    And I have to say to all those literally bashing Monica about her decision to run this marathon that it’s probably a lot harder for someone on the other side of the country to understand the gravity of the situation, especially if they’ve been busy training rather than watching the news. In 2001 the marathon went on just 2 months after 9/11. I can see where some may see this as a way to move forward and overcome such a horrible disaster though I think the biggest difference is the fact that this is merely days later and there are still people trapped without food or water, still dying and the magnitude of this marathon is so vast that the vital support of police, firefighters, etc. should continue to be focused on those who need it to survive and not on a marathon.

  33. June says

    just dont bitch about all the inconveniences…

    i ran it in 2008 and it was fantabulous. was there for 6 days so i could really take in the experience. i know WITHOUT A DOUBT based on that that I would have deferred immediately. running this marathon this year with waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less of the glory of NYC? no way. it wont be the experience you would have had had you deferred to next year.

  34. Melissa says

    I don’t get all the uproar over this. Monica is under contract with ING to run this race. The race is on, then she runs it. It’s likely NOT up to HER whether she runs it or not. Direct the anger at the race officials, Mayor Bloomberg or ING, not Monica.

    I imagine that she is conflicted about this as well, but likely, under her contract, cannot speak bad about the marathon or ING on the blog.

    Good luck, Monica.

    • Katherine says

      So, what I hear you saying is Monica is not a bad person, she is just a complete sell out, and we should be pointing our fingers at the bigwigs instead? If you think the backlash is bad here (coming from people with internet access), just image what the runners will face from the people of NYC without access to water/food/shelter.

    • K says

      You can’t possibly tell me that she has ABSOLUTELY no choice but to run this race? And it’s not even about her poor decision to run this race, it’s her complete lack of consideration for people who are now homeless, who have lost everything. Her ridiculous comments about worrying about her flight getting delayed and public transportation issues.. Her lack of respect to those who need shelter, food, water, electricity as she hands out “fun loot.” I think it’s awesome how people who aren’t here feel like they can stand up and say something. The people of Staten Island JUST got help and food and water delivered- probably so that they can make room for the marathon in their town. It’s disrespectful and a huge disgrace on the people of NYC to run this race… You aren’t helping us rise to any resilience by coming into our town to parade around- we can rise to the occasion on our own when we want to

      • Jessie says

        Cool your jets, it’s cancelled. This is a running blog for crying out loud. She doesn’t need to speak out about current events for pete’s sake. I agree w/ Melissa, WHY ARE YOU DIRECTING ANGER AT MONICA? Makes no sense. Had it not been cancelled, there would’ve been thousands of others running the race. Direct the anger at NYC officials, not her.

    • Sarah says

      I agree with your comment Melissa. I understood the brevity of her recent posts and the lack of her typical enthusiasm/wit as a sign that she IS conflicted.

      It’s unfair for people to insist that someone from CA should understand what it’s like for those in NYC but not the other way around. While there is news coverage in the rest of the country, it’s very hard to get a clear picture of what she’ll be going into since some areas are “back to normal” as reported by the news. Like Monica said, she can only trust that those running the event will know what to do.

      Now that it’s cancelled, I guess we can all just settle down about that and focus back on the recovery efforts.

      • JK says

        While I understand a lot of the feedback Monica’s received so far has been a little harsh, I think it is absolutely understandable. I won’t contribute to it because, I mean, what good is it going to do? But this comment really rubbed me the wrong way. I also live in California (born and bred) and using this to excuse ignorance is just sickening. I don’t know what news you’ve been watching but all I see about New York is destruction, homelessness, and tragedy. Geography is no excuse to be uninformed. Turn on the news, open up a paper, something…anything. It’s also not that hard to do what we can over on this side of the country either. It takes about 30 seconds to send $10 to the redcross for crying out loud. We are all Americans and no matter how far you live from the danger, we ALL need to do our part right now.

        Sorry, i’ll get off my soapbox right now.

        • Cami says

          I’m an avid reader of Monica’s blog and am a college student. I’m currently studying abroad in Scotland, and can tell you firsthand how hard it is to get accurate information when you’re not at the scene of the crime. My sister lives and works in NYC, but I had no idea how serious things were until I sought the information out (using my sketchy internet connection). Granted, I’m out of the country, so maybe I have “more” of an excuse, but give Monica some grace: she lives on the other side of the country. It’s not as easy to get accurate information about an event as you’d like to think. You possess supernatural abilities to stay on top of everything that happens on this earth. Sorry the rest of us don’t have the same super powers.

  35. says

    This is certainly a loaded subject. Personally, if it were me, I would absolutely defer my race entry and do my part to not put an extra strain on the city’s infrastructure and public/emergency services. You might be contractually obligated through your sponsorship, though? However, the part about the ING bus going around the city giving out “fun loot” comes off as particularly tone deaf. How about sending around a bus giving out food and water!? I can’t imagine anyone would want marathon swag when there are bigger fish to fry.

  36. J says

    Oy this controversy is never ending. I’m here in NJ front and center to devastation. Monica, maybe you can spread the word to the west coasters after you see it all for yourself and return home: we need help. Do something positive to aid the victims of the storm. Best of luck in the race.

  37. Amanda says

    Monica has a running (and eating and repeating) blog – not a blog on natural disasters. I’m sure there are plenty of horrible things happening across the globe and around the world that all of us are choosing not to focus on. As a New Orleans native, I have been there and it will get better. It doesn’t serve any purpose to use the NYC Marathon (did I get the name right?) or its participants (who did not decide whether to hold the race or not) as a scapegoat for the hurt, fear, and anger I know you must be feeling.

    Good luck Monica!

  38. sam says

    To be honest, it kind of feels like you threw in a line about feeling for people that have lost everything, but that you didn’t really mean it. You spent WAY more time writing pointless drivel that I doubt anyone in NYC gives a sh*t about. They want fun loot? Really? HA HA you are so out of touch with reality. I understand that you may “have” to run this race, but you don’t have to have such a ridiculous attitude about it. I’m in Texas and therefore far removed from the destruction, but I like to think that I’d have the balls to stand up and do what’s right, not what’s convenient for myself or my blog (I don’t have a blog, just making a point). You have handled this really poorly and judging by the comments, I’d say that many of your other readers feel the same way. It’s your choice to run, but its also your choice as to whether or not you want to try to help in any way you can while you’re up there, rather than handing out worthless ING crap.

  39. says

    I agree and understand the concerns and viewpoints of those that think the marathon shouldn’t happen. And those of you actually living it my heart breaks for you.

    I think the point that is being missed here within these comments is the fact that this is a personal blog of a woman named Monica. She is not responsible for the marathon, they Mayors decision to put it on or the terrible conditions left in the wake of the storm. It it easy to type out nasty remarks and hurtful words from behind a computer screen and loose sight of the fact that a real person with real feelings is reading them. You are speaking to a woman, not an organization or random company.

    Don’t get me wrong, those with negative feelings about the marathon continuing have every right to feel that way. I am extremely removed from the situation so I can’t begin to imagine the pain NY is going thru right now. At best I can keep everyone in my prayers, feel compassion and make a donation. I just don’t see the need to personally attack Monica for participating. You don’t know her or what her heart truly feels about the situation. If you are that upset instead of spending time reading and commenting on running blogs take to the streets and take action. Volunteer, help those around you, write letters to the Mayor or those in charge. Do something but do it with compassion for those around you and loose the anger and need to hurt those you don’t even know.

    • K says

      No one is saying that she is responsible for the marathon. But she has a choice to run or not and she is choosing to run. She is choosing to run while people are sitting outside in the cold because their homes are gone. She is choosing to run while people are without food and water and heat. She is choosing to run and complaining about how shes nervous her flight may get delayed or public transportation may be inconvenient to her. She’s talking about riding around in a bus handing out fun loot while others are waiting in line for busses just to get food.
      No one is saying she is responsible for the marathon going on- but she could present herself in a more respectable and considerate manner to those who are in a state where they have nothing rather than talk about riding around on a bus and being excited to enjoy a fun New York Experience

    • Abbey says

      Very well said. I agree that it’s not fair to be attacking Monica about this. Even if you disagree with her choices, you can’t control what other people do, only what you choose to do. Keep in mind that Monica is a real person with real feelings.

  40. says

    It’s great that you are still going, I know a lot of people have been in turmoil over whether which was the “right” way to handle the situation. I wish the best of luck/fun and hope you can represent those not going.

  41. Vanessa says

    Ironically, as I read this post, there is some confirmation that the marathon is cancelled. As a resident of NYC (Queens), I was pretty disgusted with the decision to continue with the marathon considering the devastation we are experiencing. The people of Staten Island and the Rockaways could use those giant generators for media coverage in Central Park along with all the bottled water designated for the runners!

  42. LG says

    While we are all entitled to our opinions, voicing them publically doesn’t always paint a pretty picture of our character.

  43. Heidi says

    So sorry you made the trip only to have the race canclled. Hopefully you can be an ambassador next year. I agree with the cancellation, but I wish they had given runners more warning so people could have stayed at home rather than making the trip to NYC only to find out they won’t be running. Bummer :(

  44. Caroline S says

    You can stay with me and help volunteer :-) I live in Brooklyn and am running a race tomorrow to raise money for Prospect Park, and also doing some stuff Sunday with friends to help those who need it.

  45. says

    Lots of controversy over to run or not to run for lots of runners out there. I know it was just cancelled but I have no doubt in my mind that when the mayor said it would help the area to have the marathon that you went ahead with it with that in mind. Im sure if the mayor had said that it was a bad idea to hold it and it would hurt the people of NY you absolutely would have not gone with or without a contract with ING. Im sure you will be angry, upset, sad, and whole host of other emotions when you read through these comments, just know that regardless of your decision people would have been against it. Had you decided not to there would have been people who got upset because the money would have supposedly helped stimulate the economy and go to the disaster victims. You really could not have won. I think lots of people overlook the fact that while you may not have conveyed your concern for those around you, you are concerned. I dont convey my concern for those in 3rd world countries on a daily basis to the world but that doesnt lessen the heart break or the prayers I send to those who are in that life. Cut your self some slack with all these comments, there is no way to make everyone happy and those of us who have been reading for a long time know that you are a caring individual and would not have done something deliberately to hurt someone.

  46. Emily says

    It’s hard to know what the right thing to do is, and I imagine as an ambassador, you have a legal obligation to fulfill your agreed upon duties. It doesn’t matter now that things are cancelled. I respect the opinion that holding the marathon is a bad idea and the idea that is a an okay thing to do. I don’t think you are insensitive. Also, being 3000 miles away, it’s probably very hard to understand what NYC is actually going through right now. I feel like you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I’m sorry this is an inconvenience for those that are traveling a far distance, but that doesn’t mean that I’m MUCH more sorry for those who are significantly affected. I don’t think those are mutually exclusive. I support your decision, and I also support the decision to cancel. Sending love to those in NYC and across the Eastern U.S. who are struggling.

  47. jess says

    you got what you deserved. you’re on your way (or here already) and the marathon is now canceled. you were so selfish and insensitive to the current circumstances of us new yorkers that it disgusted me beyond belief. our city is devastated. i am avid runner and marathoner myself yet i wouldn’t dream of proverbally slapping people in the face like that by prancing through their destroyed communities just to say you ran a marathon. i hope it was worth the wasted trip for you.

  48. Erin says

    It’s bad enough our city has been littered with tourists these past few days, mindlessly shopping and eating while those of us who live and work here don’t have water to brush our teeth or flush our toilets. Would you come here without a jacket? Probably not, but most of us living in lower Manhattan don’t have heat. God forbid you couldn’t open your refrigerator to eat 20 times a day, now imagine if you no longer had one, and had to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of spoiled food. But to actually see the photos and hear the stories of the devastation here and still get on a plane to come stay in a hotel, saying you don’t understand the transportation issues, is just retarded. Please stay out of my city.

  49. Julia says

    Hi Monica, reading through some of these comments really disappoints and upsets me. I’m from New Jersey and I have witnessed the horrors of Sandy in person. Yes, it’s still a huge mess in the NJ/NY area and there are so many people that are still in need of help but I cannot believe why people would begin to rip you apart for running in the marathon. Here you are sharing your daily life with us every day and inspiring people like me to become interested in running marathons and some people are taking things so personally. Seriously, “stay out of our city”? I understand both sides of the debate on whether to cancel the marathon or not, but fortunately that decision had nothing to do with you and people should not be attacking you for your decision to go. I just wanted to tell you to keep your head high and brush off some of these inconsiderate comments. You’re a lovely, strong person and I just wanted to remind you of that. I’m not a New Yorker but some of these people who consider themselves to be, almost embarrass me for being their neighbor here in NJ.

  50. says

    As someone who has lived through a natural disaster, seen my home devastated and the National Guard in the streets, I think seeing a marathon in the city would be inspiring. And I think some of the criticisms here of you are REALLY uncalled for. But, at the same time, I do understand the controversy about it being a waste of city resources at the same time. Nevertheless, still sorry it was cancelled on you! I know it must be disappointing for everyone who trained so hard.

  51. Holly says

    Amanda on the Nov 2 comment hit the nail on the head. No worries, Monica. My guess is that the people leaving the nasty comments go through their lives being nasty to….everyone. Of course I feel for those affected in NY. But, as a runner, I also feel for people who were determined to try to do the race…the proverbial middle finger raised to the natural catastrophe (not to the people of NY). Just my two cents…

  52. Julie says

    Wow, Monica. I can’t believe that some of these people think it’s OK for them to come to your blog and lash out at you like this. To me it’s obvious that you never meant any harm.

  53. Matt K says

    Monica’s husband Ben is huge and he’s with her in NY and is going to eat all your food, drink all you water, burn all your gas and absorb all you heat. Witness him and despair!!!!!

    Seriously though questioning someones character over keeping a committment made prior to a terrible event doesn’t make someone evil. Go QQ someplace else. If your personal circumstances are really that bad find a way to help someone who’s worse off.

    My wife reads this blog and I just hear about it through her so I won’t be reading anyone’s comments.

  54. says

    I’m sorry the race ended up a no go this year. Being a New Yorker I really though we’d be able to make it happen.

    If you can volunteer or make a donation, great. If not please support our economy by spending money here and enjoying my state.

  55. says

    Okay, she’s not running the marathon. Now hopefully Monica and all the other people who can’t run the marathon will go to this website and donate their hotel room to someone who really needs it:
    If you or someone you know needs a place to say, you can use the website for finding a room as well.

  56. ESW says

    Oh Monica. You’re such an asshole. Of course you didn’t do the right thing thing and defer. Of course you plowed ahead like the cow that you are and flew to NYC. Of course you’re the fat ambassador for the biggest PR disaster in history. You consistently make awful decisions and act like the immature clown that you are. What a joke you are. Crap training, crap sub-4 PR ( you KNOW you can run harder and better than that), crap integrity, priorities and decision making skills. You lose, asshole.

    • Liz says

      My goodness. Comments like these only make me wonder what happened in this person’s life to make them so hateful.

      • D says

        I agree…most often, I think it’s envy. Envy that Monica IS a good person, has a very entertaining blog to read and inspires runners at ALL levels to be their best. Clearly ESW must think so, because she sure does seem to do a lot of reading on here, with knowing all about Monica’s most recent marathon time!

    • Holly says

      ESW. I am embarassed for you. Your comment made me laugh and I hope Monica gets a chuckle out of it too. I don’t think even a junior high boy could have come up with something THAT immature. Nicely done…you are a treasure.

    • Cami says

      If you hate Monica so much, then maybe you should do something other than read her blog… I don’t know like maybe go run a marathon, or help out with Sandy victims?

  57. Anne says

    Hi Monica! I just want to say that I really enjoy your blog. I get why people were upset about the marathon happening. What I do not get is how you running it would’ve been such a horrible thing. You are a genuinely good person and I’m sure you have kinda thick skin to be blogging for so long, but keep your chin up.

  58. caronae says

    I am super astounded by the lack of human decency and kindness in these comments. They all make me sad. People are allowed to disagree, but that doesn’t mean that we can forget to be compassionate in all things. Sending out all this negative energy is really hurtful. Comment’s like Ada’s are much more constructive.

    I live on the Upper West Side and this has been a very confusing, emotional time for all of us – and we were relatively unscathed up here. It’s only just in the last 24-48 hours begun to dawn on all of us how serious the damage is. On Tuesday or Wednesday, we didn’t have a clue and I LIVE HERE. The media across the country have, in my opinion, done pretty poorly on Sandy coverage. Possibly with the exception of the New York Times. My point is, no one knew how serious things were going to turn out to be – no one knew that it would be Saturday before lower Manhattan got power. No one knew that we were going to find bodies in Staten Island. None of that. There’s been a bit of an information deficit.

    I don’t think Monica, or anyone so far removed from this disaster, really understood how serious the situation was/is. We are only JUST beginning to understand.

    Calm down everyone. We do what we can with the information that we have.

    • says

      A voice of reason!

      I’m in Brooklyn and I’ve been glued to the TV and inundated with the news. It never occurred to me the rest of the country wasn’t getting the same info. I remember seeing the devastation of Katrina, so I naturally assumed this devastation was being broadcasted all over. But I guess that isn’t the case? Which is awful!

    • D says

      I would have to agree with this. The media and my Facebook friends alike made it seem like the storm came and went, with little destruction. It is only now days after that those of us who aren’t in the thick of it are getting to understand just how widespread the damage and devastation was

    • says

      Oh I know! I used to wonder why no one reads my blog – but I think I am perfectly content with my own little world. The pure hate is far too much…

  59. Lilah says

    You just have to brush off the trolls. It’s pathetic to waste your time and energy hating on someone’s blog. It never ceases to amaze me how trolls try to get a rise out of people.

  60. Angela says

    Way to go America for showing what true assholes you can be.

    I am an avid reader of Monica’s blog. She entertains through sharing her true life experiences. Never once has a post been intentionally cruel. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for your posts here tonight folks. Shame on you all for ganging up and personally attacking someone. It’s completely ok to disagree with someone’s reasons. It’s also ok to feel strongly about something. It however is not ok to use words that hurt. It’s sad my 5 year old knows that and most of you don’t.

    Listen to your Mother. If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.

    Monica, whether I agree or disagree, I do not make your decisions nor walk in your shoes. I still think you are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    Stay strong and keep moving on.

  61. Kels says

    Hey Monica, I read here regularly and sometimes don’t think the best of you or your blog. And I even visit GOMI from time to time if I need to get snarky, but I can’t believe some of the shit people are saying here. It’s awful. If I were in your shoes I would have gone to NYC regardless of if I had a contract with ING or not. I’m sorry you have to read this garbage that people are posting here.

  62. says

    Hey Monica-it ws so great to meet you at the Health Warrior booth yesterday! I hope you like the chia bars. I am so sorry the marathon got cancelled; I think the word disappointment is an understatement. Email me if you would like to sample some more bars…I hope you make the best of the weekend in NYC anyway!

  63. Emilie says

    I love your blog Monica. I do not understand why someone who doesn’t like you or your blog comes here to post hateful things.. it makes no sense to me.. These are no more than school yard bullies.

    to the bitter, immature Trolls- if you are sooo concerned about the sufferng people in NYC and NJ, rather than stalking someone’s personal running blog with the sole intention to verbally abuse them and spread hate, why not get off your butt, shut off the computer and DO something positive. You are all talk, no action, hiding behind a computer spewing negativity.

    I am in Connecticut and even the news coverage here is lacking…What is really happening in NYC was only starting to be reported on in the last day or so. I am sure that the severity of the devistation was not known out in CA if the neighboring states (also affected by Sandy) are not even fully aware of how bad it really is .

    Monica, i hope you can ignore the trolls and know that there are lots of people who do not post in comments who read your blog daily and find inspiration and motivation from this blog.

  64. says

    Monica I did not want to comment, but in light of such heated remarks… Contract or not, living in southern NJ and witnessing hardship as it unfolded, I am glad you went to NYC. Your blog is a great source of inspiration, from the miles you log, races run, your sponsorships, and your honesty with your life and diet. You put everything online opening up to both welcome and down right disgusting comments. We have experienced two heart wrenching tragedies here back to back ( murder of 13 yr old Autumn Pasquale and then Sandy)…I have been unable to get into work all week and no I’m not getting paid… These things left a heavy burden for everyone, but I read your blog because it is fun!!! You have opportunities I will never have and it makes my day easier to get through when I can take a few minutes of each day to meander through your blog. If I wanted heart break and storm/ rescue updates I’d tune to NBC or CNN, I don’t come here for that, So THANK YOU! P.S. There are clean up efforts all around NJ – Operation#restoreourshore

  65. Adriana L says

    Wow, I’m just appalled by the comments that have been left on here by some of these people. I don’t know if it’s more so because it’s just plain mean or the fact that some of the people saying these harsh things are from NY’ers. I live in NYC and have been driving through the streets of Staten Island to help our family members that have been hit pretty hard – they are still without power, have lost 2 cars and part of their house, so I am familiar first hand with what is going on. The bottom line, the race was due to go on and that decision was made in NY. You can take a stance and show your support by not going, but whether we like it or not, the race will go on. I agree with the decision to have it cancelled, but I also understand that since I’m not a runner I understand that there is more involved than just canceling a race. And finally, I think most people need to learn that sometimes, decisions, blog posts, opinions, etc. are going to be about things that not everyone can agree with but there is a way to voice your disagreement without defiling someone – and if that is how you deal with things, than maybe you need to take a step back and look at yourself.

    As pointed out by my husband, a Major Clerks fan – There is nothing so exhilarating as pointing out the “short comings” of others.

    Monica, I love reading your blog and it has gone to the top of my blog reading list. This seems l like a situation where you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t so you did what you needed to do, along with thousands of other people. You have more courage than most posting the truth and I appreciate your honesty and look forward to reading each day.

  66. Katarina says

    Monica, I have read your blog for many years. I am sorry to say I no longer will. It may sound harsh, but I cannot support someone who has no boundaries or guts to do the right thing (I don’t care what contract you signed, what can ING really do?). Money comes and goes, people are priceless. I literally felt sick to my stomach reading your last post about how you are handing out fun loot, it came off VERY insensitive. I seriously thought it was a joke, you might want to consider taking that post down. This just goes to show you are not the unique, down-to-earth blogger you try to come off as. You are just like all the other bloggers… so self absorbed you have no idea what “hardship” is. Go ahead and live in your bubble Monica, I have a feeling you don’t have the guts to ever leave.

  67. Kate says

    Don’t pick on Monica. I’m from NYC and this has been a very divisive issue. There is no way some one fom California could know the extent of the damage. New information was coming out hour by hour and it was a tough decision. We needed strong leaders like Mayor Bloomberg to have made the decision earlier and save the runners the moral dilemma of making the right decision without knowing all the facts.

  68. Becky says

    Perhaps the trolls can allay their ill feelings by doing something good and either give their time or money towards helping sort out this terrible natural disaster rather than spending time on the web being mean to bloggers.

  69. Sara says

    Well, things must be getting back to normal-people are back to being assholes to each other on the Internet. Seriously, you guys bum me the eff out. You nasty people are of the same ilk of the people who slammed the door in the face of the Staten Island mom who needed help during the height of the storm. So quick to make mean spirited comments on the Internet, it makes me wonder how unkind they are in real life. I hate people.

  70. Nick Craig says

    This has gotten to be a heated exchange… I am not really here to judge, just wanted to share the thoughts of someone on the NYRR board of directors to really offer a chance for his opinion to be heard as I think it is valuable:

    So, I sit here with about 400-emails to answer. To runners who signed up to do this race, the majority who signed up not just to run, but to raise money for a purpose. Who then, when they heard, or saw firsthand Hurricane Sandy AGAIN donated. Runners; the changemakers. To the ones who saved up for years, like the A
    borigines group with Rob De Castella – a once in a lifetime experience, how can we apologize? To the man whose dying daughter gave me an entry to this year’s marathon who has raised thousands for cancer research. To runners in a whole who have raised a mind boggling 650-million for Cancer research…
    Sunday will come and Sunday will go – as if it was a Saturday.

    No resources are being shifted that aren’t needed– who knows better than Bloomberg, you or I? The Red Cross are saying “We don’t need more volunteers, we need money,” and that is what the runners were doing. Who was listening to the Red Cross?

    Raising Dollars — in the first day near to $3-million before the fanfare started… All these people who are shouting, “We’re going on a clean up on Sunday instead on running” – where were you on the day of the hurricane, or the day after… Why do you have to wait to Sunday for a Clean up?
    We, as a city, voted Mayor Bloomberg to make the executive decisions; he spoke with the police, the fireman, all the city agencies who repeatedly said, “This will be good for NYC.”

    I can not tell you how many Firemen I met at the expo who were looking forward to this race, who were excited for this race… Anyway, many problems are deeper lying than the obvious… but as a Board Member of the NYRR I know I have to apologize to each and everyone of these runners. I hear all your stories and I feel pain. Am truly sorry. Every story I hear makes me feel terrible, and I know the pains, trials and tribulations you took to arrive to get to this day. What a sad resolution


    I am sure it has been a hard decision for all parties involved.

    Also found a great link showing a map
    map of volunteer stations in NYC for all interested in giving a helping hand.

  71. Tish says

    Monica, sorry everyone has been so mean. I don’t care about you going out and wanting to run or deferring you are still a good person and people should not be mean to you but you really should put an edit note in your blog about how you don’t even call the marathon by the right name it is the New York CITY Marathon! Not the New York Marathon!!! as a new yorker this is a big difference and you did it multiple times! in your title and in an abbreviation you used ING NY Marathon! please make the correction, like put in and EDIT note in post

  72. says

    Monica- I just want to give you a big virtual *hug* People can be so nasty when they can hide behind their computer screen. I almost started crying reading some of these comments, I can’t even imagine how it must have made you feel. You are a sweet, wonderful woman, and don’t let the negativity of others bring you down. I know you cleared some things up in your last post, but the downright awful things people left comments for on this one made me so sad. Just wanted you to know that there are people out there in your corner :)

  73. Lindsay Boggan says

    I think you are awesome for holding up your end of the bargain as a race ambassador. It makes me so mad how negative people have reacted to runners! I would have been disappointed about the situation and not getting to run if I was signed up. but in NO way does it mean I don’t understand/ or sympathize with the devastation other people are still going through! People are so quick to attach these days! Everyone is entitled to their own feeling and opinions but man people can get ugly when we do! Monica and all other NYC runners I hate that people are talking such trash! I think you are awesome! And allowed to be a little bummed about all the work you put it over the past few months not ending in a race. Doesn’t mean you don’t care!

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