Sheryl Jesin


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Marathon week

Just three short weeks ago, I completed my second half marathon, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon.  I had tons of fun,  and shaved a cool 10 minutes off my first half, finishing in 2 hrs and 25 minutes.  I am extremely proud of my time, especially since the conditions were tough that day – wet and windy – and even the pros felt their times suffered as a result of the weather.

I’ve been meaning to write my race recap, but I’ve been having a hard time gathering my thoughts.  So, I am going to spend this week writing about my half marathon experience.   Here is my planned schedule:

Monday – Race nutrition

Tuesday – How to run a race in the rain

Wednesday – Mind over matter – how to tame the mental demons

Thursday – Race Recap – My experiences during the race

Friday – Final thoughts, lessons learned, what’s in my running future

I can’t think about running today without my thoughts going to the cancelled New York Marathon and the recovery efforts in New York, New Jersey, and the surrounding states after Hurricane Sandy.  I can’t even imagine what the survivors of the hurricane have been experiencing over the last week.  So many people lost everything – they are cold and hungry, and it’s hard to fathom that things like are even possible in the United States.  My heart goes out to everyone who was been touched by the hurricane.

My thoughts also go to all those who trained for months and who were really looking forward to the New York Marathon.  So many runners raised money for important charities and spent countless hours pounding the pavement over the hot summer, taking time to improve their physical and mental health through running.

There was so much animosity this week towards the marathon and towards the runners when Mayor Bloomberg first announced that the marathon would continue.  I can understand that to those who lost their houses, their belongings, their electricity and their heat, that the marathon seemed like nothing more than a frivolous parade of fit people drinking Gatorade.  I believe Mayor Bloomberg made the right decision to cancel the marathon.  The timing just wasn’t right this year.  New York City needs to recover from Sandy right now.

I do feel, however, that the marathon became a bit of a scapegoat for everyone’s anger.  People were mad that the marathon had generators, food, and water.  They thought these resources would be better allocated to victims of the hurricane.  While this is all true, I can’t help but think that there were many other things in New York that could have been reallocated.   Should people have been allowed to eat in a restaurant in the days after Sandy?  Perhaps their meals could have been given to a hurricane victim.  Was it OK for shoppers on Fifth Avenue to buy clothes after the storm?  Perhaps money they spent on yet another pair of jeans or a designer purse could have been donated to the Red Cross.  Should businesses have been allowed to use generators to keep going after Sandy cut off their power?  Maybe their generators should have been plugged in to houses on Staten Island.   My list can go on and on.

It was a beautiful day in New York City today, and many runners headed off to Staten Island and volunteered their time to help people rebuild.  Lots of money from the marathon was donated to relief efforts, and the generators, the water and the food was given to hurricane victims.  So, some good has come out of the whole marathon debacle.  I choose to focus on that.