SPOKANE, Wash. - The New York City Marathon was canceled Friday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg after mounting criticism that this was not the time for a race while the region is still recovering from superstorm Sandy.
Believe it or not, Sister Madonna Buder, who is 82 years old, has competed in at least 45 grueling Ironman Triathlons. This fiesty woman is currently the World Record holder for the oldest person to ever finish. She was scheduled to run in the New York Marathon Sunday to raise money Convent House.
"Personally I have to admit I was concerned about my safety and this morning really helped to make up my mind." She said. "In face I think this is all totally totally insensitive."
An estimated 40,000 runners from around the world had been expected to take part in the 26.2-mile event. The race had been scheduled to start in Staten Island, one of the hardest-hit areas by this week's storm.
"I could not feel right to be a part of obstruction on top of destruction." Said Buder
"We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it," the Mayor said in a statement. "We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event — even one as meaningful as this — to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track."
A charity called "Race 2 Recover" has been started to allow marathon runners to donate their hotel rooms to NYC residents who cannot return to their homes, instead of simply canceling them. Displaced New Yorkers can also use the website to help locate a place for them to stay on a first come first serve basis.
Buder said "we never could have foreseen the timing of Gods plan and I know he has a plan."