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Should the New York City Marathon have been canceled?

NYC Marathon

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Despite the continued lack of electricity in lower Manhattan and across parts of New York State, and a hurricane relief effort that has barely begun, Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon is officially on.

And locals are divided on whether that’s a good—or horrible—idea.

Proponents of canceling or rescheduling the race say that it will add another level of stress to a struggling city and drain needed resources like police and fire services.

Plus, there’s a feeling of triviality about it amidst the devastation. One woman has even organized a group of registered runners to protest at the starting line and then head into Staten Island to help with hurricane relief instead of running.

But others say the marathon will lift New Yorkers’ spirits and generate needed revenue. According to the New York Times, Mayor Bloomberg noted that it generates hundreds of millions of dollars for the city, and the organization that heads it up, New York Road Runners, will be donating $1 million to hurricane relief efforts.

We asked our readers to weigh in on the controversy on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s what they had to say. We really want to know your thoughts, too. Add them in the Comments section, below.

Jen R.: THEY SHOULD RESCHEDULE. Need cops and volunteers helping the city..

Randi K.: …In every borough people are suffering…this is no time to pull resources away from [where] they are needed….all due respect to everyone that has trained and traveled….I know it’s a pain in the ass, but think about the pain and suffering everyone else is going through in their life…Maybe the police would be better placed at the homes that are being looted on Staten Island than along a marathon route. We as human beings have better priorities than this!

Beth H.: Road to recovery guys. NYRR, ING and the Rudins will donate at minimum 2.6 million—if rescheduling was easy, they would do it.

Pamela W.: Hopefully the marathoners will come to NYC and run up the stairs of apartment buildings to deliver food, water and batteries to the elderly instead…WE ARE HURTING DOWNTOWN!!!! The marathon seems ridiculous right now.

Dean D.: The show must go on!

Kafi D.: A lot of people are upset about this. I really hope that if the marathon does happen on Sunday that those who are against it don’t direct their anger at the runners. Especially if you are running for a charity if the race is on, you have to stick to your promise.

Ed note: This was published just a few hours before the ING NYC Marathon was officially cancelled.