This much we know: There will be a New York City Marathon. Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday that the race was still set for Sunday morning, but the Post reports that a race organizer was noncommittal when asked if it was possible the race could be pushed back from Sunday because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Said Mary Whittenberg, the president and CEO of the New York Road Runners, via the Post: "The Marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this City. NYRR continues to move ahead with its planning and preparation. We will keep all options open."
Race officials will have to make sure the usual route of the marathon is clear — something they'd do anyway, but which this year is particularly important. (Via the Times, officials haven't yet been check the entire course, so they don't yet know if any part of the course is flooded.)
Then, of course, there's the issue of getting runners to New York and to the starting line. JFK and Newark airports are open, but air travel is hardly back to normal. (Via the Times, nearly 20,000 of the 47,000 runners are from overseas, plus thousands more from other parts of the United States.) Meanwhile, runners from New York — or the ones from elsewhere who make it into town — may not be able to rely on public transportation to get them to the starting line. Staten Island Ferry service is still suspended, and even if it's back by Sunday, the subways running to lower Manhattan might not be. A New York Road Runners board member tells the Times that "I don’t know how many thousands of people will run it, but I will say with confidence that 47,000 people will not be the number."
Even race officials themselves have been affected: They had to evacuate their offices on West 56th Street because of the damaged crane one block north, and they've been working out of a hotel.