Homestead High School graduate Andy Nesheim landed in New York on Friday, just about the time Mayor Michael Bloomberg and organizers of the ING New York City Marathon cancelled the race he planned to run.
It was an unprecedented move by New York officials, who reacted to the devastation of Superstorm Sandy and an intense storm of criticism following their vow to go ahead with the marathon on Sunday.
Nesheim, who now lives and trains in Chicago, offered his runner’s perspective:
“This is definitely unprecedented and we are in uncharted territory here. I thought they should have cancelled it on Tuesday or Wednesday. I basically think they ended up caving in to all the negative publicity.
“At the same time, I really do wonder as the conspiracy theorists would have it that they wanted to get everyone here for the weekend, cancel the race and leave everyone stuck with hotels and flights in order for them to still spend money here in the city. If they would have canceled earlier in the week, I would only have been out of the $262 entry fee. Now that I’m here, with my hotel, meals and entertainment, I’m in for about $2,500 (not including airfare. I’m definitely going to enjoy myself and make the most out of my trip.
“From a running prospective, if I wouldn’t have done Chicago a few weeks ago, I would be really disappointed. Especially for most of us living in the Midwest, we could have cancelled NYC and have done Indy this weekend instead. I think the elites have it the worst, even though they are getting paid to come here. Lots of their (and mine) training really is a science and specifically designed for optimal race day performance. Already in my mind, I’m thinking of running long tomorrow and/or Sunday and add this to another week of base training in order to prepare for another marathon sometime in mid November or early December (which means more costs if it’s not local).
“I’m am a little shocked at all the publicity this is getting; I think some of it though is due to the fact that ESPN now has a deal with the New York Road Runners to broadcast the race, so they are going to give it as much coverage on their platforms as possible leading up to race day.
“Nobody wins here.
“I’m still going to try and pick up my packet and t-shirt at the Expo Center. I heard runners are meeting at the Battery on Sunday morning and taking the Staten Island Ferry over to help deliver supplies and food.”