So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Friday, November 2, 2012

You Ran the NYC Marathon, and All I Got Is A Damp, Dark Apartment

hurricane-day-after-431x300.jpgIf there's any population which understands the phrase "life turned upside down," especially after tropical storms or hurricanes, it is the residents of the Gulf Coast.  We live in "Mother Nature's Great Big Trap Shooting Range" from June to December.  Storms hit...everything is transformed into what appears to be a bad camping trip: 

Central heat and air is replaced by darkness and humidity.  

Regular (healthy) meals are replaced with Meals, Ready to Eat (meals, rejected by everybody?), or the desperate backyard grilling of everything which is thawing in the freezer.  

We suffer from a lack of warm showers, lack of e-mail, and lack of phone communication for a couple of days to a couple of weeks. 

Our water comes from a bottle. 

Our coffee fix goes from Community or Starbucks to freeze dried.  Lukewarm freeze-dried.

And then there's the upheaval which takes place in our running lives.  If our favorite run routes aren't debris-strewn they're still underwater.  Or worse, without street lamps and traffic signal.  Our first long run after Hurricane Ivan almost saw half our group killed by a car driving all over a slick, darkened road at 6:30 in the morning.

All we wanted was to get our lives back to "quote-unquote normal."  Our next local road race was initially scheduled for two weeks after the storm, but no races were run downtown for probably a year.  Small scale when compared to New Orleans, but unsettling nevertheless.

When I raced the 2006 Crescent City Classic; the hotel in which we stayed still had an armed security guard.  My first reaction during the race was that things were clearly back on the road to normal.  However, I quickly learned this was not the case.  The first clue was the amazingly large mound of wood, refrigerators, tree limbs and home materials which made it impossible to see across the neutral ground from the window of the parish school bus.  In fact, I would have been hard-pressed to say it was neutral ground.  Second, my friend Scott and I went for an easy eight miles the next day; as we went up Esplanade we saw vacant lots.  These weren't vacant last year, dude.

So now New York City and much of the tri-state area are a mess because of Sandy.  While there are probably a few persons who registered for the New York City Marathon (at $216) and made their travel and lodging plans who really, truly want to run in New York regardless of the conditions, should it be at the expense of the millions of residents of the area, from Hoboken to Queens, to the Lower East Side, who really could use the infrastructure being squandered on a bunch of selfish endurance enthusiasts?

Don't be too surprised if the crowds along the 26.21876-mile course are a little on the sparse side this year, or if the signage says things like "Will Cheer For Electricity," Or "Dude, Where's My Generator?"  Or "You Ran the NYC Marathon, and All I Got Is A Damp, Dark Apartment."

Best sign idea for the weekend would have to be - and you can send this on to the New York Road Runners Club and Mary Wittenberg:

"W. W. F. D. - What Would Fred (Lebow) Do?"

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