/ Athletics

New York Marathon may go ahead despite Superstorm Sandy

Updated: Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 19:47

Runners make their way up 1st Avenue in Manhattan during the 2011 New York City Marathon
Runners make their way up 1st Avenue in Manhattan during the 2011 New York City Marathon

The New York Marathon may still go ahead despite the battering taken by the city from Superstorm Sandy.

Organisers said they will "keep all options open" with the hope the race can be run on Sunday as planned.

More than 47,000 people are due at the start line at Staten Island on 4 November, but now question marks hover as to how many will be able to make it and if the race can avoid the flood-damaged parts of the city.

The organisers said in a statement "NYRR (New York Road Runners) continues to move ahead with its planning and preparation.

"We will keep all options open with regard to making any accommodations and adjustments necessary to race day and race weekend events.

"We will provide an update and more detail as information becomes available."

Race officials described the current situation as "a very challenging time for the people and city of New York".

Marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe, a three-time winner of London and New York marathons, tweeted: "Horrible watching the havoc wreaked by hurricane Sandy. Thinking of everyone affected and amazing jobs done by emergency services all over.

"If you are trying to get to NYC for marathon, don't stress, and be flexible. Training is done, stress depletes energy stores" - Paula Radcliffe

"If you are trying to get to NYC for marathon, don't stress, and be flexible. Training is done, stress depletes energy stores."

The race through the five boroughs is one of highlights of the international marathon circuit, attracting a crop of the world's top racers. Television audiences can hit 330 million.

Staging the 26.2 mile race which can attract crowds of more than million spectators, just days after the devastating storm, will be a challenge.

Police and fire departments, electricity and transportation organisations are still trying to get the city back on its feet.

NYRR said efforts are "rightfully focused" on assessment, restoration and recovery in the storm-hit city.

Just 127 runners took part in the first marathon who raced over four laps of Central Park.

It now attracts top racers, club athletes and fun runners.