I am sorry for the runners but this would have been crazy to be diverting all the first responder-type help needed to support this race; plus the clean-up crews of the NYC Sanitation dept. These people are already stretched to the max. with the events of the weeks, and they are going to continue being stretched in the weeks to come.
Plus, it just does not look good for the runners, the sport and the NYC Marathon --- to have the perception of these runners --- especially the elite --- being catered to at a time when large parts of the City and the tri-state area are really suffering.
Going through with this race would have been a huge PR lose for the marathon among a city that embraces the marathon.
It is just wrong that Mayor Bloomberg and the NYRR Club did not cancel this thing days ago to stop those who were traveling.
As runners we are guests in these host cities. I always have been grateful for the good will of any city and town that allows a group of runners to plug up their streets, and cause the inconveniences we do -- if for a 5K or marathon. Our foot print ought to be small, and unobtrusive as possible.
I totally agree Skypilot..more victims were created than necessary. Either cancel right away following the storm (with a clear plan to re-schedule and guidelines for participants) or follow through with the commitment to the race. As you stated, too many people and circumstances were involved to change things at the last minute.
This is an unfortunate example of really poor management, leadership and judgement on behalf of high-ranking officials that should know better and are entrusted with making appropriate choices.
Here is an interesting article...I am sure that the fall-out will continue and it is a shame for everyone involved.