New York City officials just announced the first ever cancellation of the New York City Marathon.
Pressure had been mounting for days to postpone the event, which attracts tens of thousands of runners from around the world. Opponents pointed out that not only was the 26 mile event a logistical nightmare in the best of circumstances, handing out food and water to recreational runners while millions of people in the region lack access to electricity and running water was ludicrously insensitive.
Sanitation workers assigned to clean-up after the Marathon were beginning to file protests with their union. Even many scheduled to run in the race had declared it should be canceled, with some organizing to get runners to begin the race, but then deviate from the traditional route and instead deliver aid to those in need.
New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who hours earlier had told a press conference that the Marathon needed to go on because it would be “a great help for our relief efforts,” released a statement saying the event had instead become a “source of controversy and division” and would canceled.