Fingers crossed for New York marathon, but will entrants run or swim?
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Superstorm Sandy may have shut New York down, but for the moment it has failed to bring the city’s legendary marathon to a standstill.
Organisers say that despite the high winds and flooding they are confident the event will still go ahead as scheduled on Sunday morning local time.
Which is great news for the estimated 300 New Zealanders who are taking part.
Most of them are flying out to New York on Thursday and will be keeping their fingers crossed the situation doesn’t change before then.
Gaz Brown of Get Running, an Auckland company which coaches runners and organises running tours, says he is on the edge of his seat.
“We’re not sure whether entrants will be running or swimming around the course this year.
“But at least it’s all systems go for the moment.
“The organisers are due to update the situation tomorrow and we’re hoping things will not change.”
A sentiment no doubt shared by New York civic leaders as the marathon is worth about $US350 million to the local economy.
The marathon is the world’s largest, attracting 48,000 competitors this year, with another two million supporters on the sidelines.
They will be vying for a share of $US853,000 in prize money.
The winner’s purse is $130,000, with second placegetter receiving $65,000 and third $40,000.
The flip side of the coin is that it is the most expensive marathon in the world to enter, with the New Zealand contingent shelling out up to $9000 each for a seven-day package tour.
Among the Kiwi runners is Kimberley Smith, who finished fifth in the same event last year and is regarded as our best prospect this year.
Also in the starting line-up is TV3 news presenter Mike McRoberts, who is representing the Achilles athletic charity.