Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg canceled the New York City Marathon Friday afternoon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy after hearing much outcry against the race, according to the New York Times.
Instead of running the marathon, runners transported supplies to Staten Island. Thousands of marathon volunteers and runners dedicated their Sunday to helping families with damaged or destroyed houses from the hurricane, the New York Times reported.
According to the Star Tribune, some runners gathered in Central Park to finish what they arrived in New York to do - to run 26.2 miles. Though all runners are guaranteed entry into next year's marathon, not everyone was sure they'd have the chance to run, and took this opportunity to run.
Staten Island resident Jonscott Turco gave instructions to the runners that chose to help on Staten Island on Sunday, the Star Tribune reported. "The devastation and damage you are about to wander into... It's pretty extraordinary. The only thing I can prepare you for is they're still finding people, remains," Turco said.
Would-be marathoners rode the ferry carrying backpacks and luggage full of food, water, diapers, pet foods and other goods, the New York Times reported. Some delivered and served food while others got their hands dirty and helped Staten Island residents clean up what was left of their waterlogged homes.
"We had our marathon today," runner Ceresa DiTalia, told the New York Times. "But it was just more of an emotional one."