Yesterday was a really tough day. Today is gonna be super busy so I am gonna get this one out FAST (sorry if there is misspellings!).
Most runners are delayed, the airports just opened yesterday and the last one today. With that, all elites that were scheduled to get into town on Monday/Tuesday etc, got stuck somewhere. Just a handful of the elites got into town, the ones who drove and met them up yesterday for press.
I got to sit for a while with Kim Smith, Molly Pritz, and Amy Hastings.
Kim recognized me right away, either from the Opening Ceremonies, where we chatted for a while, or from the Dinner with Champions, where… we chatted for a while (ha, and you all know I am CHATTY!). We chatted for a while. Then this weird journalist came over and wanted to talk to her in “private”. We both thought it was rude and weird. whatever.
Amy is deliriously cute. We talked about pacing, strategies, the course, what type of runner she is. She trains with Kim and they’re such different runners. It was fun that I kept talking to them and asking them questions about training and specifics of the course, while most (ALL!) of the other journalists had very general questions, and then their more specific questions were… hmmm, things like “what’s a tempo”. Just kidding, a few of them knew them really well!
Molly Pritz is a RIOT. We chatted about everything (running gets boring after a bit…!). Check out her Halloween hand:
Carrie Tollefson was there too, she waves at me and screams hello. And I was like, is she drinking this early?!?!?! I go and introduce myself and she knew exactly who I was. That’s a brain people, some memory!
Then the conference call happened, Meb, Brett Gotcher, etc, were on it (transcript here) and Mary Wittenberg made it. On another note, this was the first day of bus, but no subway yet, so traffic was RIDICULOUS. I attempted the bus, and… it was running 10 blocks per 25 minutes, so got off and walked the 3 miles there, then back. Whatever.
Seeing Mary… was inspiring as usual. This is why I said it was tough day. We were all worrying a bit about the marathon… with no trains, how do you get 50K people to the start???? plus volunteers, etc… Then, a lot of people started saying the marathon should be cancelled, how would be take city employees (fire dept, police dept, medical personnel, etc. etc.) away from recovery efforts?? Some people are still missing, half the city has no power, lots need evacuation, etc. They were angry and were calling the marathon frivolous. I was upset too.
Mary said they were in assessment mode. They were going to do their best if the marathon happened but they didn’t know and they were just “in assessment mode”. Basically, the Mayor was going to decide if they could spare the city officials the marathon needed, and all the other efforts and resources needed. She said recovery of the city was a priority and NYRR and the Mayor agreed. It was up to him.
Still, lots of adjustments need to made. Maybe the Opening Ceremonies and the 5K wouldn’t happen. Maybe they’d hand out bibs until late Sat night. Maybe they’d let people defer, etc. etc. I knew she was trying to sound positive but it is a tough position and there is no win. People will be upset whether you do the marathon or whether you don’t. I trust the Mayor and Mary have the most resources to make the best decision. I do.
At 3 pm, Bloomberg said the marathon would go on. The expo opens tomorrow and most exhibitors haven’t made it into town. All is happening in a last-minute basis. But even last minute, this is really good stuff. If the marathon doesn’t happen, we’ll all be ok. But I think, as usual, that the city needs it. It’ll also bring a lot of people to reactivate the economy that slumped for a few days… Tough days ahead. I trust everyone will be in their most cooperative behavior. We will have to lower our expectations, have patience and adjust; a lot. I’ll be the one trying to help and having a blast over there, thanks.