Boilermaker Blog

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The long-awaited news about the ING New York City Marathon stance on runners who were registered to run this year’s race was revealed. As you are aware, a small weather disturbance called Hurricane Sandy blasted the Northeastern seaboard four days prior to the planned running of the marathon.
In what must be characterized as a mistake of the first order the Mayor Bloomburg and Mary Wittenberg (CEO of the New York Road Runners) initially indicated the race would be held prompting runners from literally around the world to descend on “The Big Apple”. Two days later the race was officially cancelled.
Many have complained that the race should simply allow everyone that was registered for the 2012 race to simply be allowed to run the 2013 race for free- sort of a reset.
Unfortunately the race had spent all the money to put the race on; the only funds unspent was the prize money. The New York City Police Department, who is paid for race support retuned the monies back to the race.
In the end the runners were offered three options:
– Full refund. This number runs all over the gamut from $216 to $500 depending on registration. No guarantee you get in next years race.
– Automatic acceptance in either the 2013, 2014 or 2015 Marathon. The runner would still be liable for an entry fee but it would be held at the 2012 rate.
– Entry in the 2013 New York Half Marathon held in March; you will play the entry fee (running between $117-$128). Space is limited to get in.
The ING New York Marathon is huge- a race hosting roughly 48,000 runners in America’s biggest city. I do not envy the work Mary has in front of her dealing with sponsor relations, the running public and image rebuilding.
An interesting side note, one cannot underestimate the power of social media in our sport. The core demographic involved in distance running are the hard core users of tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The decisions both to attempt to run the race and later to cancel it caused a digital storm over the internet.
The running of this race in 2013 will be very, very interesting.
Will they fill the field? Absolutely!
Will Mary still be the CEO? Who knows?

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