The pro version of the 2012 NYC marathon is about to get underway. It's starting at 11:15 am in Central Park. It will be the Central Park course used for the Olympic Trials. I didn't think it would happen until I saw it but the runners are on the starting line.
After watching the Giants lose to Pittsburgh before 80,000 fans in NJ, the pro runners still in NYC got upset. Why should the Super Bowl of US running be cancelled when regular season NBA and NFL games go on as scheduled? Marathoning is a pro sport they said.
Many of the pros had read the piece by Mike Cassidy, the native Staten Islander Olympic Trials qualifier, who said the marathon should go on. http://www.letsrun.com/news/2012/11/long-run-pain-a-staten-islanders-view-on-why-the-marathon-should-not-have-been-cancelled/ They contacted him to congratulate him on the piece and in doing so found out being a New Yorker he had connections to mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Calls were put in to Bloomberg and the need for the pro-race was stressed. There was talk of doing it next week on the full NYC course. However, Bloomberg said he didn't want to shut down the streets as that was expensive. Since the city already had all the tax money from the 20,000 foreign tourists who came to run NYC, Bloomberg the businessman, determined there was no need to shut down the streets. Just hold the marathon in Central Park. Instead of paying $3 million to shut down the streets, the city is putting $1 million towards the prize money in Central Park.
$200,000 for 1st, $125 2nd, $75k for 3rd, $50 for 4th, $30k for 5th, the final $20k for places 6 through 10.
It's expected the NYC marathon will still pay some appearance fees. No one knows if this will count in the WMM majors or not.
The thought was to have the race next weekend, but there is a huge concert in the Park. It was pointed out the Boston Marathon is held on a Monday, so the race was decided to be run today. This was decided about 11:30 pm last night.
The only problem is about 1/3 to 1/2 the pros had gone home. Will update you on the fields in a second. Wilson Kipsang and Meb are running. Olympic Champion Tiki Gelana is on the start as well.