Earlier last week, in the face of mounting criticism, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stood firm in defending the marathon, saying it would lift the city’s spirits and fill its coffers. Mary Wittenberg, the president and chief executive of New York Road Runners, the organization that directs the race, championed the event as a symbol of resilience.
Now the city, along with Road Runners, will be forced to reckon with significant losses, ones officials could not even begin to calculate in light of the natural disaster.
“This was a difficult decision, but the right decision,” Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said at the cancellation news conference in the elaborate temporary structure near the finish line. “Next year it will go back to being a wonderful, unifying, celebratory event.”