A Brooklyn woman scheduled to run in the NYC Marathon is gathering a group of runners to volunteer on hurricane-battered Staten Island Sunday instead of running the race. Penny Krakoff, a social worker who lives in Crown Heights, is entered in the race, but tells us she can't participate in good conscience. Instead, she plans to user her bib to take the official bus transporting marathon runners to the starting line on Staten Island—and then spurn the race to spend the day volunteering.
Krakoff says she'll collect extra food and and clothing to take with her on the bus and distribute it on Staten Island. Her neighborhood was spared the brunt of Hurricane Sandy's wrath, but Krakoff is well aware of the devastation wrought on Staten Island and elsewhere, and she's part of a growing number of New Yorkers who feel the Marathon should be postponed. She writes:
I cannot start a 26.2 mile run in Staten Island—people are missing, stranded, in need of resources. Brooklyn and Queens have equal devastation. Parts of Manhattan are without electricity, water, major hospitals are closed. The Bronx too has its own challenges. Today I will volunteer at a city evacuation shelter. Sunday morning I will catch the marathon bus to Staten Island. Not planning to run. Plan to volunteer instead and gather resources (extra clothes, bottles of water, food from runners at the start). Let's not waste resources and attention on a foot race. Who is with me?