Sports Law • Risk Management

The 2012 NYC Marathon Canceled Due to Hurricane Sandy

The 2012 New York City Marathon was scheduled to be held on Sunday, November 4, 2012, however the damage and chaos caused Hurricane Sandy has forced the marathon to be canceled. In the days leading up to the scheduled date of the marathon, race organizers were still scrambling and attempting to make it happen. The 26.2 mile course through each of the city’s five boroughs may have been the easy part had the race gone on. The Huffington Post’s Rachel Cohen reported that organizers were expecting nearly 50,000 participants in this year’s marathon before the storm hit. However with public transportation shut down, airports closed or limited, streets flooded and power outages in the week leading up to the marathon, the biggest challenge may have been getting all the athletes into the city and more specifically to the start line on Staten Island.

The final decision was made to cancel the race on November 2nd just two days before the scheduled date of the marathon. Although the race was expected to pour millions of dollars into the New York City economy, and many runners were still anxious to compete, there were too many obstacles to overcome to host such a large scale event. Whenever hosting an event cooperation from the city and its municipal resources is always essential. Hosting the marathon would have placed an extra burden on the already high demand for the city’s municipal resources which were needed much more for the recovery efforts. Even if the 2012 NYC Marathon did happen it would have been a shell of what was expected and with limited municipal resources such as police, EMT and fire departments on hand it would have been a larger risk than they had imagined.