The New York City Marathon is Cancelled

As you probably heard the ING New York City Marathon was cancelled yesterday afternoon. canceled new york city marathon

I completely agree with this decision, but that doesn’t matter in the least. I had nothing to do with the decision to keep it or stop it. It was never about me.

I never intended to dismiss or make less of the reality of the destruction and devastation from Hurricane Sandy. I am very very sorry so many died and lost their homes and are still without water and power. I think it was obvious I didn’t know how to address it and still really don’t.

I found out the marathon was canceled at the expo from a text message from my brother and my friend. I had just picked up my bib, bought a shirt and visor and was walking around when I saw the message. Steve didn’t even realize and was giving a talk at the expo.

It was a bad situation, but again this isn’t about me or that inconvenience. Maybe I’ll tell you that story some day.

I know many of you have a big opinion on the race being canceled. But, if you want to make some noise I am going to suggest you make it in the form of a donation to the Red Cross or other organization that will help the victims of the hurricane. Then, spread the word on your social media channels and to friends and family. Make some positive noise and pass it on!

Red Cross Donation page


  1. says

    I’m so sorry for the amount of hate you got in your last post. Personal attacks are never okay. You did what you thought was right. Maybe while you’re out there, donate your time and your throwaway clothes?

    • Marcee .... Illinois says

      Yes …. I agree w/u Carolyn.

      For the past 3 days/nights I’ve had nightmares from this horrible situation. No different than what happened in NO.

      The lives of people, children, pets their homes, jobs (everything!!!) …. to keep suffering incredible pain and minute-by-minute worry what will be next for them is the real deal for these folks. My heart is aching and breaking.

      YES …. we are going to make a contribution to The American Red Cross. The kids have broken their piggybanks. No greater cause.

      Because of the outrage …. (sure & finally) this marathon was rightfully cancelled. Thank goodness someone listened. Learning that the runners (nothing personal gals & guys) would be receiving major “things” that should have been given to these unfortunate Sandy victims made me livid. I mean hey, porta-potties, medicine, food, clothing …. AND no one can live without water. Oh. My blood pressure hit the roof.

      Today I feel better. As if that matters.

      With all my might I hope the forthcoming days will bring needed assistance, big help and good will to all that were neglected.

  2. says

    I won’t lie, I did raise an eyebrow at the somewhat cavalier tone of your last post (though attacks like the ones I read in the comments are not and never will be okay) but at the same time I think you made the best decision you could have given the information you had at the time. Undoubtedly the marathon should have been cancelled a few days ago but hopefully now that you’re in NY you’ll have the opportunity to help out in some way.

  3. says

    I agree with Carolyn. The negativity that was directed at you (and other runners too) was just WAYYYY uncalled for. It was a tough situation and you did the best you could with the information you had. I hope that you do not beat yourself up over it. Hugs!!

  4. Heather says

    You were contracted to do something specific, and you did it based on information provided to you by people closer to the situation. There’s nothing to apologize for in that circumstance.

  5. Nora says

    Monica- I think this comment from yesterday put it well: “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.”

    I hope you keep your head up and in the future can return to your happy, lighthearted, smiling self. Sometimes we make mistakes but don’t realize until hindsight. You can only make decisions with the information you know.

    • Cate says

      Well put, Nora. I am sure Monica had a legal obligation to go to NYC and it is unfortunate that some people are blasting her for going. I know it’s a tragedy and I have friends who have been displaced due to the hurricane, so I understand people’s animosity toward Monica. It’s clear Monica was torn to make a decision and I feel she did make the best decision with the information she had. That’s all you can really do, isn’t it. That being said, my heard does go to all those who have lost their homes, friends, or family members. I know it’s going to be a long time before the affected areas are running as normal. I think next year’s marathon will mean that much more to the runners because the city will have overcome such a great tragedy.

  6. Shannon says

    Hi, not once did your post seem to be caviler nor insensitive to the plight here in the east coast. Before you even mentioned it I understood that you had a contractual obligation to come to NY. It was the powers at be that were the ones to cancel not you. Monica there is nothing to apologize for.

    I hope you spend the weekend doing something fun and silly with your family, or even your crazy gal friend SR :)

  7. Steph says

    You did the best you could given the circumstances. It’s clear you only went because of your ING obligation and that’s totally understandable. Don’t let the mean people get you down. (ps its the mayor of New York City- someone might jump on you for that next!)

  8. Debbie B. says

    You made the right decision based on what you knew and what your obligations are. I hope you still share your experiences in NYC. I believe the people in NY and NJ are survivors. They are some of the strongest out there. One hurricane will not hold them down for long especially if we all do our part in helping them.

  9. Wendi says

    I am sorry you felt like you were put in such a tight spot because of your contract. That could not have been an easy situation.

    Are you planning on staying there? Will you be volunteering to do some disaster clean up like thousands of other who are already out there for the marathon are planning on doing?

  10. says

    I think you took a bunch of unnecessary heat yesterday on this topic.

    1) Tons of people in the direct area don’t even know the magnitude of the devastation.
    2) As an ambassador, you probably had your stuff paid for. I bet Ben and your mom didn’t and that’s a ton of money to throw away without full information.
    3) Not every New Yorker has such a vitrolic response to the marathon.

    In short, reasonable people understand that there were no good solutions to this one. New York and its residents lose either way. By not holding the race they just lose a little less. Blaaming individual runners for wanting to run the race does no one any good. My .02.

    (PS: why is the comments section coming up in mobile view when I am on my laptop. A lil buggy boo!)

    • Sara says

      Agree-this was a lose/lose less scenario. I understood the hesitation to cancel–I used to live in NYC and the marathon was/is a big deal so canceling it was a big decision. Not one Monica needed to take shit for. Ugh.

  11. Natalie says

    Hey, you live and learn. No one’s perfect. Learn from this experience and move on. It sounds like you’ve already turned it into a good cause just by volunteering to help which is something you may not have done had you deferred and stayed home.

  12. Jenny says

    Monica, I thought about you all day yesterday without even realizing that people were being so hateful in the comments. I’m only 100 miles away from NYC and I didn’t even know how serious things were until everyone flipped out on social media. So don’t feel bad about your decision. You did the best you could with what you were being told. Maybe you and your family can find somewhere to volunteer while you’re in town and help heal your spirit a little. Keep your chin up, girl.

  13. Jennifer V. says

    You took way too much heat for something you couldn’t necessarily control. As a professional, you were under contract and had an obligation to uphold. If you would have backed out of your contract, people would have criticized you for that as well.
    You did what you thought you could. Thanks for this great post and all the other inspirational posts that you write daily. I look forward to them!

  14. sally stilwell says

    As a staten islander who was at the expo getting my bib yesterday i want you to know how sorry i am for all of this. You and I and all of the runners had no right to get the attack that we did. My own friends attacked me for not canceling my registration. My ride to the start line bailed on me saying he was afraid for the riots that might be started…..I am a few blocks away from all of the devastation here. But I felt that i needed to complete MY mission (4 months of training plus raising money for cancer) before i could help others. And if the race was on the i was running….it’s heartbreaking all around. So sorry that you are now here. If you need anything. let me know.

    • Becky says

      Really good to see your concern is in the right place. Should we start diverting money towards the “running victims” of this tragedy? How can I help THE RUNNERS and their HEARTBREAK over not being able to run a specific course on a specific date? Tragedy. True tragedy.

      • sally stilwell says

        I don’t think you read my post right. I LIVE in Staten Island! I AM dealing with this tragedy. There were reasons I was running the marathon this year. To support a cancer organization because my husband died of cancer and my best friend is in the midst of cancer. I’m sorry that you think I am only concerned about the runners. I am concerned about my family who lost power. I am concerned about my friends who lost their homes. But why must it be that i can ONLY be concerned for them. I have dropped off boxes of blankets food etc to the shelters here, I have housed up to 12 people at one time in my teeny 1 bedroom home when they had no power. I have already donated to red cross. I’m now getting ready to join a group of runners tomorrow to deliver supplies on foot. I really wish people would stop having such immediate judgemental tone. There is always a story behind a story.

  15. Katharine says

    I saw the numbers shoot up in the comments on your last couple of posts but had no idea people were being miserable. I’m sorry that people feel the need to judge each other and each others choices. I’m sorry that people chose to make their noise in a negative way instead of using that energy to help. Mostly I’m sorry that people have forgotten than bloggers and others who put themselves out there are people, just like them with thoughts and feelings. As I say to my children when they are unkind ‘you must always remember: everyone is somebody’s baby, treat them accordingly’.

  16. Wendy says

    Very well said. It was nothing but obvious to me that you didn’t go in order to dismiss what was happening. I also assumed as an ambassador there was an obligation to go. People will always have their opinions, stay true to who you are. There is always a reason why things happen, so take the good from the situation and move on :)

  17. says

    Monica, you do not need to appologize people were hating on you for something you have no control over! You are a beautiful and positive person and I for one would love to hear about the expo keep your head up and run on :)

  18. says

    I’m aware that many runners grappled with the decision but given you were an ambassador- probably tied into a contract of some kind- you were in a particularly awkward position. I think the decision to cancel the marathon was a wise one by NYRR & ING but I wish they had made that decision earlier. Not only did numerous non-bloggers have to make the tough decision on their own, but it also seems too many running bloggers received hate (i.e. not helpful criticism) which was completely unnecessary. I don’t perceive you as being unthoughtful or callous and I’m sorry that you felt the need to apologize. I don’t want to speak on behalf of anyone else but I do think most people should feel for you. I hope you get back to your cheerful, positive self soon :)

  19. says

    I was thinking about what happened in your comments section all day yesterday. In my view, your blog is part of your job and your income, and ING is a contract. You never need to apologize for doing your job especially given what we all knew of what was happening. Thinking of you and everyone else who has been affected by the storm in do many horrible ways, but also of those affected by this misdirected anger. People need to blame people when a tragedy hits and I think you received quite a bit.

    • Emily says

      Never apologize for doing your job? I’m sorry, white knighters – but some of us choose our morals to guide us – not our pocketbooks.

      • Emily (a different Emily) says

        It’s not like she stole bread out of a starving child’s hand. Her actions were hardly immoral.

      • Sara says

        Are you sure you’re not a white knight? Because that’s an awful high horse you’re on. Good lord you’re a jerk.

        • Emilie says

          I agree, Sara!

          Emily, apparently you use those great morals of yours to come cyber bully someone on their blog.. nice, real nice.

  20. says

    I didn’t realize people were so mean to you about going. I think you did the right thing. I feel like by giving the race a green light in the first place the mayor and race director said yes, come to New York! We want you here. I don’t think you should apologize, or feel the need. I feel like its your job to go and run, other people are still going to New York for business.

    I also understand that the resources could be used elsewhere and I hesitate to admit that I had no idea how bad the damage was after Sandy. My heart goes out to those affected.

  21. Gianna M. says

    Monica, I’m a college student and loyal reader and I just have to say I respect you so much for holding your head up through the negativity that people have chosen to display on your blog. It says a lot that you are willing to leave the negative comments up without deleting them – you are real and you are strong! I believe the NYC marathon decision was a difficult one for anyone involved, and you were just doing the best you could with the information you had… What more can anyone be expected to do than to just try to use their best judgment?

    The devastation from this hurricane is incredibly sad and my family is recovering as well, but I don’t think any of us should be using our energy to produce MORE negativity at a time like this. Why don’t we, as fortunate blog readers, lift each other UP instead of try to pull others DOWN? At the end of the day, no one can judge another person’s decisions because they are not in the other’s shoes. Let us instead use our energy and efforts to make good come from this situation and to help those in need. Like you said, “make some positive noise” :)

  22. Ush says

    I was very surprised at the negativity in the comments on the last post and agree with the comments on this post that it was completely unnecessary. If I had been in your place, I would have made the same decision and I’m betting a lot of other people would have as well. It’s too bad the race was cancelled so late after so many runners were already there, but I hope you can turn your trip into a positive and inspirational experience. I live in upstate New York and sandy didn’t hit us hard but we were devestated by a major flood last year (from which we are still recovering) and seeing our community come together was something I will never forget.

  23. says

    I’m sorry for all the flack you received yesterday. I never viewed your post as negative, and viewed your silliness as a way to cope with the extreme situation. You made your decision, you had obligations, just as I am sure others have had as well. You’ve been an excellent motivator, keep up the good work.

  24. Teresa says

    Really respect you for writing this post. Sounds to me like the mayor and the marathon planners gave everyone bad information. Plus, for those of us who don’t live on the coast, the media only started reporting about the deaths and destruction in Staten Island on Friday morning — after a lot of marathoners were already on their way to NY. So don’t blame yourself for making a decision based on the info given to you.

  25. Dione says

    Oh Monica…I didn’t even realize you were getting negative feedback from your prior post. I assumed you were going because of your partnership with ING and really had little choice otherwise. Did I think it was the best decision, no, but was a negative comment going to change your mind? Probably not and would just come off hurtful. I feel bad you got ripped a new one for a decision you already recognize as a bad one. I love your blog and will continue to read it and appreciate your honesty.

  26. says

    I honestly was surprised at the comments of your last post. I feel horrible about what has happened on the East Coast as well. But as every natural disaster hits, I feel bad for them.

    I honestly didn’t think you had an option of not going.

  27. Brooke says

    Very well said, Monica. I’ve been following your updates about this as I’ve been very excited to see you run the NYCM! I really feel badly for you going through all that training, build-up and travel. Those in charge really should’ve called off the marathon from the get-go. Sad situation all around, but I hope you are planning to still run a marathon after all that hard work!

  28. CJ says

    I saw this comment on Facebook:

    “I think plenty of runners would have been willing to help if the city hadn’t picked their pocket and the locals hadn’t been so hateful. But the nastiness and attitude of entitlement by the “victims” (many of whom are posting but don’t even live in an affected area) is mind blowing.”

    This sums up my sentiments. I can’t even believe how hateful many of the comments on social media are.

    • sasha says

      i do find it very interesting that the race is paid for by those who pay to run it and now they are diverting all the resources to sandy recovery. that being said, i am not trying to minimize the catastrophic situation on the east coast – my heart goes out to those whose lives have been deeply affected. but for people to pay their race rego fee and then have it turn into a forced donation is interesting.

  29. says

    Before the NYC Marathon I was an avid reader, a marathoner, and a blogger (albeit newbie blogger). I always felt like we had so much in common. Now, after the controversy, I’m still an avid reader, still a marathoner, still a blogger, and I’d like to add: a friend (not a weird, creepy one either). The great news about character is it’s yours and no one can take it away from you. Stand tall, my friend.

  30. says

    It boils down to shitty timing and uncontrollable mother nature. While I am definitely on the anti-marathon side, I think you were definitely in a tight spot and had to make a fast decision. I think people tend to lash out in times of crisis- we’ve all done it before, whether it’s fair or not. Venting and finding a target to unleash anger at is unfortunately cathartic; you and your blog were in the right space at the right time for some people. I hope you’re able to do some good for NYC during the rest of your time there and that the people impacted by Sandy receive the assistance they desperately need. Have a safe trip back!

  31. Grace says

    Monica, I’ve been reading your blog for several years and I’m a huge fan! It must be extremely difficult when alot of the decisions and actions you make are up for review by others. I’m sure this decision weighed heavily on you but there was no right or wrong decision. You have a business and you have to make business decisions. Going to the marathon was the professional thing to do. Don’t let other peoples attitudes make you doubt your choices that impact your business and your family. I look forward to hearing about your next race!

  32. says

    I’m sorry you regret your decision. I think it’s been apparent in all your posts that you were conflicted, didn’t have all the information, but had a contract you were standing by. I think you made the best decision you could with the info you had. I’m sorry you received such a backlash for your posts but I think people needed an outlet. I support your decision and since you’re trained to run a marathon I’d be happy to pay for 1/2 your fee to the Malibu marathon next week. They will be donating some of the proceeds to New York relief.

  33. says

    I’m shocked by some of the comments on your previous post. Please don’t take hurtful words to heart! (I know, easier said than done) You’ve done nothing wrong.

  34. Steph says

    Although the comments on your last post took a personal turn that was hurtful and unkind, I think you are right in publicly acknowledging that you made the wrong decision. Though I have to wonder – would you have felt the same regret had you not received so many personal attacks?

    Your recent posts about personal concerns regarding the marathon came off as very flip and inconsiderate and, regardless of your location, a little research would have given you all of the information that you needed to make a more informed decision. I live in the midwest, and admit that national reports have not communicated the true state of affairs in the New York metropolitan area. However, being from New Jersey and personally motivated to learn of the full extent of damage, I have been able to access several local media outlets providing me with full and accurate coverage. I believe that, had you taken the extra time, you would have been able to do the same.

    I sincerely hope that, now that you are in New York, you find a way to volunteer time and/or necessary items to those individuals who have literally lost everything.

    • Anya says

      Agree with above poster. Personal attacks are not OK and by no means am I trying to be a “hater” (I’ve been a fan of yours for over a year) but I was a little turned off by the tone of your last post, especially when you said you’re already stressed and Sandy is making you more stressed. Ummm reality check, people are without food, water, and shelter…. It just seems flippant. HOWEVER, your usual integrity comes across in this post. It’s very easy to pass judgement when you’re not between a rock and a hard place. When we are put into such tough situations we make the best choice we can, and it might be the wrong one. No shame in that, no one is perfect. I just appreciate you explaining yourself and admitting that you regret going. Be safe and hope you can make the best of this generally crappy situation (for ALL involved– victims, runners, etc).

    • Katarina says

      I agree. It seems like she is only upset because of the backlash. I say it “seems” because I am not her, but that is the way it came off. I understand people here want to back her up, and that is fine. However, those of us who are upset and would like to express that upset should be free to as well. You have to take the bad with the good.

      Monica’s friend skinnyrunner even cancelled, so obviously there was enough information for Monica to also cancel. She chose not to, and that is what is upsetting. If I did something this heartless I would want someone to call me out on it. Some people are so self absorbed they seriously don’t even realize how selfish they are being. That is OK, but when you have a public forum be ready to take accountability for your actions, and hear people’s opinions (even the ones you don’t like).

      • Whitney says

        I have to agree with these comments. I sincerely hope Monica has learned a lesson in all this. I understand that she writes lighthearted sarcastic posts but the last one bit her in the butt. I was not even upset she decided to go and run the marathon; it was the insensitive tone in her post and worrying about stupid aspects of traveling when people lost everything. I hope she is able to help out while she is there now instead.

        • Frances says

          Really? Can you really tell what a person’s “tone” is when they write? I hope you learn your “lesson” regarding your quickness to judge someone else.

          • Cat says

            Yes, tone is a part of writing. Isn’t this taught in Composition 101??!!
            Also, I agree with this string of comments. I don’t really buy that you didn’t have enough information to know if you should go or not and if you were unclear about your contractual obligation to ING you could have ensure you were clear about that either through discussing it with your ING contact or having a read through your contract. Most every contract I’ve read has an “Act of God” clause that absolves parties of obliqgations should something like say, a HURRICANE happen.

          • Whitney says

            Actually you can tell a person’s tone in what they write. Thanks for looking out though Frances!

      • Pam says

        Skinnyrunner’s situation was different; she is not an ambassador for ING. It is not fair to compare the two decisions.

  35. Jessie says

    I sincerely feel bad for all the comments on that other post. You did not deserve that AT ALL. You didn’t do anything wrong. Please don’t let those awful comments get you down.

  36. says

    I think everyone had to make their own decision in regards to race. At the time, the city said it would happen. And then I just started hoping that no one took their anger out on the runners. I am very sorry that you had so many external factors impacting your decision and you couldn’t just follow your heart.

    The Kidless Kronicles

  37. says

    I just spent the better part of an hour reading all the negative comments from your post on Thursday and I am just sitting here with my mouth agape. People are so big behind their computer screens, aren’t they?
    I don’t think you made the wrong decision, you made A decision. No right or wrong.
    Screw the haters and the trolls. They have nothing better to do than to drag people down. The hate you received was completely misdirected. But look at it this way: All those trolls said “Oh I’m so offended, I’m going to stop reading your blog now!!”
    Good!! They weren’t needed or wanted anyway. 😉

  38. says

    Oh my, I had no idea the amount of negativity directed your way! Goodness. Of course you care about the devastation caused by the hurricane. You were put in a tough spot and should absolutely not be punished for that! Good lord, people need to think before they speak.

  39. Lindsey says

    It’s clear you are troubled about the whole situation, and I think that there should be no negativity directed your way. Clearly you were trying to navigate the sticky situation you were put in between personal feelings and your role as an ambassador for ING. I’m sorry that such a great opportunity for you ended up this way. And I’m sorry for the situation in the Northeast and also feel that NYC did the right thing by canceling the race. Just wish they made the call sooner so there wouldn’t have been this huge fallout and people like you wound’t have been caught in the crosshairs.

  40. laura says

    The nasty things written yesterday were completely uncalled for and you didn’t deserve that. You made the best decision you could with the information you had and shouldn’t be judged for that.

  41. Kaelin says

    I think you made the right decision with your obligations to the marathon. I know if it had been a personal trip, you would have stayed in CA. It’s a real unfortunate set of events for all the runners and especially for everyone on the east coast who are suffering more than those who won’t be able to run the race. I believe cancelling the marathon was probably in the best interest of everyone with the flooding, tunnel and bridge closures, and no mass transit available. It seems like it may have been quite difficult to pull it off successfully.

  42. says

    After reading all the comments I posted a comment of my own yesterday. In the short amount of time you had to make a very big decision among controversy, you gathered all the information you could. You listened to the mayor and to the ING race coordinators and trusted them because they are there and did not believe that they would hurt anyone intentionally–I would have done the EXACT same thing. You even went the extra step and contacted those in NYC to get the 411 and if they thought it would be a good idea. And lastly, you were on a contract. I think if you polled 100 people 50 would have gone one way and 50 would have gone the other. I am a New Yorker but I do not agree in the nastiness that was geared towards runners. You all trusted the powers that be to make a decision that was good for NYC citizens and they didnt. Unfortunately its easier to lash out at a runner who trusted (rightfully so) the coordinators and mayor than to lash out at the decision makers themselves. Take everything with a grain of salt.

    • Holly says

      Well said, Laura. I think if any one of us were under this microscope, you’d have people cheering us on and criticizing us. Put me in the cheering section.

  43. Liz says

    I live on Long Island. My family, including my two young children have been without power, heat etc. since Monday. I am writing this from a charging station. I didn’t read the prior comments but I get the drift. Please know, this NY’er doesn’t think you did anything wrong. Was canceling the marathon te right thing to do? Definitely. Should it have been cancelled much sooner? Absolutely! Had it been, you would not have been placed in an awkward situation. Let this be the end of the arguments and pettiness as to “should she have or have not”. There are much bigger issues at hand.

  44. Sarah says

    Monica, I am a big fan of yours and have loved reading about your training and excitement for the marathon. The situation with the late cancelling of the race is unfortunate, but I am appalled at how viciously so many people expressed their opinions about YOUR decision in the comments yesterday. If they were signed up to run and chose not to, that’s fine, but attacking your choice is unnecessary and spiteful! I think you made the decision you could based on your information at the time. Keep your head up, keep running and thank you for always making me smile and being an inspiration to me (I’ll be running my first marathon next year!).

  45. Heather says

    To see all of the hateful and personal comments you got yesterday had to be tough for you to read, as I’m sure you grappled heavily with the decision to still go based on your contract with ING. Just shows you the power of online anonymity – everyone loves to speak their mind if they’re sitting behind a computer. Hopefully you will be able to make the most of your time in NYC while you’re there helping those less fortunate due to the hurricane.

  46. Rebeccah says

    Hi Monica,
    As a New Yorker, I was stunned by both the attacks on you and the tone of this post. While the hurricane was terrible and so many people lost everything, that is in no way your fault. The decision to cancel or not cancel the marathon wasn’t yours to make, and frankly you shouldn’t be blaming yourself for deciding to come to the city.

    Personally, I didn’t see anything wrong with you wanting to come and run the marathon you’d been training to run. While the supplies that go into the race could be given to the people who lost the most, the amount of money injected into the economy could have been far more helpful. Also, the cost of canceling the marathon is immense. The massive waste of money while the city is already hard-hit saddens me.

    I’m far more upset about the New Yorkers acting like entitled assholes. My next door neighbors rented a car and drove around lower Manhattan gawking at the damage from the storm. Not only is that tacky and insulting, I know a lot of people who can’t get gas for their generators and my neighbors were out wasting money and gas like it was a tourist attraction!!! Also, another neighbor in my building was complaining about all the people who the kind souls in my building have taken in. She was mad about how many non-residents are staying here. When someone called her husband asking for help, she flat out refused to let them come shower and charge electronics.

    When I compare that to you just flying here for the race, I just don’t see the problem. Maybe it’s just me. But if you want to meet up while you’re here, I’d probably die of happiness. And my sister (she posted up a few comments) would die of jealousy. We’re both huge fans.

    I fully support your decision and wish everyone who isn’t directly involved in the storm or the race could just shut their judgmental traps.

    • Katie says

      I completely agree. I actually just made the exact same points in my own comment before even reading this. Glad to see I’m not the only one who feels this way!

  47. NY runner says

    I can’t seem to read the other comments, and I actually don’t know the majority of opinion on this issue. I just wanted to throw out my thoughts. I ran the NYC marathon in 2000 and 2001. (Unfortunately in 2001 I experienced some major hip pain around mile 18, and didn’t finish. But that is not relevant to my comments here.) The 2001 marathon took place less than two months after 9/11. Different situation, I know, and certainly more time had passed and there were not the same issues involved (attempted recovery efforts had ceased at the World Trade Center after that much time had passed, and only cleanup was involved). But there were many New Yorkers who expressed shock that the marathon would continue after that terror attack. We had lost thousands in the World Trade Center (and elsewhere) and many were police and firefighters. To ask law enforcement to have to work the marathon (so many of them do, every year, to ensure it runs smoothly and safely) seemed ludicrous, people said. We were on red alert, we could possibly be attacked again at any time, how could something as “frivolous” as a road race take precedence over public safety, people said. But you know what? The marathon became a celebration. A celebration of our city, of people, of our ability to be brave and forge on. Many police and firefighters run in the marathon every year, and that year they honored their fallen comrades with shirts and banners they wore and carried. And the most amazing thing were the police and firefighters along the route, not in the race but very much a part of it, who cheered us on, holding up posters and flags and banners. I felt we were honoring those who had fallen that day, that we were honoring NY. Humanity. And that is something that has emerged, again, here in NY and in surrounding areas since Sandy hit. The destruction and devastation has been unbelievably painful, but those who survived and were not badly affected rallied together and helped their neighbors and fellow citizens. The best of us came out in this crisis. Again. It is true that recovery efforts and ensuring the safety (housing, food, etc.) of many is at stake right now. I totally get that people don’t want a road race to compromise those literally life-saving efforts. But to come together and celebrate does not mean we trivialize that or that we don’t continue to put every effort into making sure that happens. So that’s what I wanted to say. I respected the decision to hold the race, and I respect the decision now to cancel it. I don’t know all the details, and I would not presume to know what’s best. But as a NYer, I just want to say that I’m glad you came and I hope you don’t feel too bad about it, despite what I completely understand was a huge inconvenience to you. Please be proud that you had decided to still come and participate despite everything. To carry on and run on. That was upholding what I see as a NY tradition.

  48. Katie says

    Monica – it’s not your fault there was a hurricane. I’m sorry to see that people are using your blog as an opportunity to vent their frustration; it’s not mature or productive. I truly feel that no one is better off for the cancellation of this marathon. The resources it would have required (some water tables, cups, gu, and volunteers) are minimal compared to the revenue it would have generated for NYC through hotel rooms, runners’ purchases, and added manpower for relief efforts. It’s a case of hurting one group of people to balance out the pain that others are feeling, and all it really does is increase the total amount of unhappiness. But I’m getting off topic – just wanted to let you know that not all of your readers are judging you for your decision.

    • Sam says

      Katie many of those hotel rooms are housing displaced persons who otherwise have no where to live. The resources also include emergency services personnel who should focus their attention on the elderly, disabled etc. who are still in need of assistance. And its not some water stations; can you think about how much water a race of this size has to stock at each station along the way not to mention the finish line. Besides, those runners would also add 40,000 plus people to an area that does not need the extra headcount, drain on existing resources, the transit system etc if they are only there for the purpose of running the race and maybe buying a pair of Brooks at the expo.

      There are many, many, MANY people who are relieved that the race was cancelled so the comment around the increase of unhappiness is unsubstantiated at best.

      And I don’t think a single person suggested that Monica was responsible for the Hurricane-what they wanted to see was a reaction deserving of such a critical situation. Until this one, it simply was not there IMO. And if that is as a result of the contract with ING then that is very unfortunate and if I were in that situation, would cause me great concern about ever involving myself with them again on any level.

  49. JR says

    Monica, I have been reading your blog since you first moved to Maryland, but I think this is the first time I’ve posted a comment. I just wanted to let you know that I am supporting you and your decision, I do NOT think that you made a mistake.

    You must be a stronger person than I, since you have left your blog up and continued being yourself through your past “controversies”. Those mean people would have definitely made me cry. You are awesome for keeping it going.

    You did not deserve any of the negative comments that I read, and I am ashamed that I even belong to a group of people that have that ability to act that way. I thought of you often yesterday, because I was getting afraid that the backlash against the Marathon that I saw on the internet would extend to real life, and the runners would be in danger.

    I hope you are having a good time regardless, and making lemonade out of a difficult situation. Please keep blogging, hopefully all the jerks won’t click on your site again. Love you just the way you are!

  50. says

    The race should have been cancelled before you ever had to make a decision. That said, I am very impressed that you admit that you made the wrong one. Your humble attitude and the devotion of an entire blog to the topic put you far above a lot of HLBs I’ve seen. No one is perfect; keep moving up and moving on. *hug*

  51. says

    i do think they made the right decision. i wish they would have made it earlier (im sure you do too) but what can ya do? everyones trying their best right now in a tough situation. the race will be amazing whenever the city and its people are ready for it. have a good weekend!

  52. says

    You shouldn’t feel bad! I’m from NYC and yes, it was a huge controversy about it. But you didn’t really have a choice; you had signed a contract and had to judge with the information you had on hand. You did the right thing.

  53. Tricia says

    I’m really sorry that you flew all the way to NY :-/ Hopefully you’re able to enjoy some time there! Some friends of mine also found out while at the expo, and participated in this…

    (It lets people donate the rooms they booked to those in need)

    • Tricia says

      I’m also sorry about all the backlash in some of these comments :-( completely unwarranted, I hope you don’t take any of it personally.

  54. says

    There are a (growing) group of runners meeting at the Staten Island Ferry tomorrow. They will be organized into teams depending on how far they want to run. What’s the point of this? They are running with backpacks full of much needed supplies and delivering them to people in need who are in isolated areas of the island. For more information or to join them check out their Facebook page:

  55. Elizabeth says

    Don’t apologize! People should never attack you for what you decide to do. This is your life and your brave enough to share it with a million people you don’t know. It blows me away that people have the balls to be so hurtful. What happened to “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    All that matters is you’re at peace with you’re decision! F@ck the rest. Enjoy your time with your family!

  56. Jaime says

    Cheer up, Monica! It was a tough decision to make, and you did what you thought was best in light of all of the factors at play. Either decision would have had positive and negative consequences. It was not an easy choice.

    Love the blog and can’t wait to keep reading about your future running adventures!

  57. Charlene says

    I have read your blog for a short time and really enjoy it. I usually do not read the comments and never comment. But I did read comments today, and then some of yesterdays. I feel bad for you that so many jerks commented yesterday. Your were in a tough spot being an ambassdor and needing to show up no matter what the circumstances were. I do not think you made the wrong decision for what you knew at the time. It is just disappointing they had not canceled the event sooner so people would not have traveled there.

  58. Rochelle says

    First time commenter here and I’ve been reading for a couple of years. I’m sincerely sorry about the inconvenience for you and for your family Monica. I appreciate the tactful way that you’ve handled this blog. We all feel sorry for the victims in NY & NJ. I feel that the decision should have been made way earlier in the week by the mayor to cancel the race, but that is hindsight. I hope for your safe return to your home soon!

  59. says

    Thank you for this. I did not agree with your decision to go, but I think some of the comments got too personal — however, not everyone disagreeing did so out of “hate” or “spite.” All of that said, I appreciate that you took the time to use this post to acknowledge the real suffering going on, and to suggest a resource for helping out. I do think the organizers handled this completely wrong by canceling at the 11th hour after everyone had wasted travel time, so it sucks you had to go through that.

  60. Casey says

    I am in NJ amidst the horror of Sandy. The marathon should have been cancelled. It should have been cancelled earlier in the week. That is Mary W and Bloomsburgs fault, not yours. There should be no anger to you or any other runner who had to make a decision on this. I’m sorry you had to hear all the negativity. In general, people around this area have been wonderful, supportive and helpful to everyone in this time of need. You unfortunately got to hear from the very opinionated minority. Come back for the NJ marathon at the beach this spring, we will rebuild and show how tough NJ people are!

  61. says

    Wow..I didn’t realize the controversy your last post brought…STAND TALL RER…some things like comments, people and weather we have no control over….thank you for being YOU!


  62. Allison says

    I have a friend who lives in Brooklyn, and even she was planning on running the marathon. Her thinking was that if the ING and NYC staffed for 30K runners and only 10K came, THAT would be a true tragedy because all the diverted resources would have been wasted. I wish Bloomberg wasn’t such a dumb-butt and actually canceled the race earlier this week to save everyone time and trouble. Even though they have canceled the race, there is shortage of hotel rooms and the airport is backed up on flights. It really was such a poor decision on his part. But I don’t blame you for coming, thinking it was OK. If I had trained, planned and everyone was saying “Yes, come!” then of course I would come. It’s not like you missing the marathon would have improved the conditions in the slightest. If anything, it would have been a shame to have everything prepped for runners who didn’t come! Anyway, it’s a real shame and people should have more compassion for difficult decisions.

  63. Ashley C says

    I feel so bad for you Monica. I know you don’t deserve the crap you are getting. This is hardly your fault and I just went and re-read your last post and didn’t find it heartless at all. Try not to let it get to you. Hugs

  64. Lora says

    Be warned when you get back to OC I am going to hunt you down and give you a BIG hug, you didn’t deserve any of the nasty comments. Stay strong, you are awesome!

  65. Hannah says

    Damn people are mean. You are a stronger person than me. I would have flipped out on all these negative commenters. Frankly, its none of their damn business. They can freak out on the race directors, but you deciding to run a marathon that was supposedly still on has no bearing on your sympathy for the devastation on the east coast. If they were going to cancel the race they should have done it immediately. Stay strong girl, people are hateful.

  66. Kas says

    I realize there is a lot of pain out there for the sufferers of this disaster, but do NOT take it out on the runners or NYC. Keep in mind that one of the biggest fall outs from natural disasters is a huge loss to the local economy….talk about insult to injury!! If the marathon had been called off days before, NYC would have felt it even harder in the form of lost business, because thousands and thousands of marathon tourists would have stayed home with their pocket books. I think the mayor was clever to NOT call it off early. Now, there are people there who will not only help the economy but also be able to put their marathon-runner stamina to good use in the form of volunteering, running up stair wells, delivering food etc.. Sponsors and vendors who were to show up with water, food, generators and port-o-potties may have thought it wasn’t safe to go too. So, calm yourselves and keep your self-righteous indignation to a minimum and for God sake don’t project your vitriol at Monica. She was honoring her commitments and doing what she was called to do.

  67. Angela says

    Monica, I am glad to see you are taking the high road and not lashing out at some of the stinkers on here.

    I hope you get home safely!

    Enjoy your time with Ben and Mom

  68. JK says

    Monica, this post is fantastic and I just wanted to apologize if my last comment came across as harsh-my frustration was with the original commenter, not you at all. It’s excellent that you’re bringing awareness now and best of luck to you during your time there!

  69. says

    I love your blog just the way it is and the tone of your previous post went along perfectly with the person you are. (Which is a fun loving, sweet person!)
    I live in NYC and have been freezing my ass off without power for a week, but I never ever would have thought any less of a runner who showed up for a race that the mayor of our city confirmed. I too believed he knew what the city was capable of and believed the money from the race was very important to our city. It wasn’t until the day the race was cancelled that I even knew of the things people ended up getting so upset about. The hotel situation, the generators, etc. Yes I think it was the right call to cancel, but as a runner, I was torn on what to do, just as I know you were once you had the information.
    The runners should have never been put in the position to have to make this decision. The race should have been cancelled/ postponed earlier to prevent the hotel issues. I went to pick up my bib yesterday, and I was very proud to see that all expo proceeds of sales would go directly too help the relief efforts.
    Keep on running and writing! Please come back next year!

  70. says

    I was so confused by the tone of this post, I am so used to you being cheerful and chipper. That is who you are, even when things are a stressful and confusing you keep your head and humour up. That is why we read your blog. Do not let the negative comments of others change who you are or make you feel like you need to aplogise for yourself.
    The race was as polorizing and issue as the up coming election. And as in politics there are those out there who strongly feel you are not entitled to your own opinion if it does not match yours.
    As an East Coaster (CT) I have been watching both the news and my facebook feed to keep up with friends across the region including in NYC (as a former actress I have alot of dear ones in the city), and although most of them agree with canceling the race, there was not a one. NOT A ONE who would have held it against you or anyone else for running.
    Keep your head up, and your heart light. You made the right choice for you and your family. Period. No need to justify and apologise,no need to explain or defend.
    And please do not let the nasty comments of some close minded jerks scare you away from the North East. There are a bunch of nice peole up her too!

  71. says

    Monica-I wish you didn’t have any regrets about your decision to go to NYC. I honestly think given the special circumstances you described above, you made the right one at the time. You clearly have compassion for the victim’s of the hurricane so don’t beat yourself up!

  72. Julia says

    I am disappointed that people got so nasty in the comments section of your prior post because for one it was uncalled for, but those comments also took away from those making valid points. With that said, I can see why you would think coming to run the marathon was appropriate given that Bloomberg didn’t initially cancel it, nonetheless it was your cavalier attitude leading up to it that was really inappropriate (your whole “I fell post” was just ridiculous). I realize that perhaps you were not getting the full story living in California, but that is no excuse. There were stories all over the Internet and clearly you made no attempt to educate yourself. You don’t deserve a pat on the back for this post and handling the negative comments, and I hope you are humble enough to realize that. Clearly you have your “fans” that are going to say how great you are now and how sorry they feel for you, but there was nothing great about how you acted. In the future, THINK before you blog. As someone directly affected by this hurricane reading your posts right after the storm was disheartening.

  73. Hillary says

    Good grief. People need to come down off of their self-righteous high horse and realize that the only right or wrong decisions are the ones we make for ourselves with us as the judge. Choosing to go was not a “wrong” decision; it was the right decision for you at that time. For someone else, going would have been the wrong decision, and that would’ve been just fine too.

    Your readers expect a lot from your posts, and entertainment is probably at the top of the list (along with motivation and/or inspiration), so changing your tone to be somber would have just seemed odd and would have likely upset the same people who are blathering about your “flippant” remarks as they may have well seen it as false or fake.

    You were damned to do and damned to not do, so try to enjoy yourself while visiting NYC. I’m certain the city appreciates your patronage, even if individuals may not (and I say that having friends who lost all material possessions in Sandy but who still want tourism to thrive so they can begin to rebuild some form of normalcy).

  74. says

    A friend of mine here in CA flew out early Friday morning too, assuming all was ok since the mayor and NYRR said it was on. In fact, she was surprised it was still on, but since she and her hubby and 2 kids had planned to make it into a week long vacation, they kept all their reservations and made the decision to go. She, too, found out it was canceled while at the expo, after picking up her bib and buying a jacket. I’m not even sure that the news here did a good job of sharing the full extent of the destruction; most of my knowledge of the effects of Sandy came from me checking in with friends in Manhattan and where we used to live in NJ, and checking all my old local news sites for pictures and personal accounts of the damage. You did what anyone would have done with the information you had at that time and I don’t think you should be faulted for it.

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