New York City Marathon Unites City and Globe: No Fear of Fear

This Sunday, over 50,000 runners from all five boroughs and an estimated 125 countries showed up to participate in the 47th New York Marathon.

After the Halloween terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan, security surrounding the marathon route was increased to ensure the safety of both runners and onlookers.

In a press conference on Friday, NYPD police Chief Carlos Gomez stated that they would be placing a record amount of city sand trucks and blocker vehicles along roads in all boroughs.

Despite the gloom from both the overcast weather and the week’s events, pedestrians and volunteers alike showed up in droves to hand out provisions, such as fruits and water, and to cheer runners on as they followed the 26.2 mile trail.

Luis Ticona is one New Yorker and Boy Scout Troop leader who led the charge of volunteers in Long Island City, organizing his troop to hand out cups of water to cyclists and runners at the customary halfway point of the race.

“Because we are part of the Boy Scouts, what we have tried to do is community service. The kid can follow their parent’s example, and in the same way the parent can follow their kid’s example,” he said. “The parents are going to spend time with the kid helping out here, and hopefully the kid will come out with the natural behavior of helping the community, and at the same time have fun.”

Typically, well over a million spectators come out each year to watch the race in person according to the TCS New York City Marathon webpage.

In Brooklyn, right over the Pulaski Bridge from Long Island City, Brooklynite Rachel Klopper stood with her husband, out to support friends and demonstrate resilience.

“I think that it’s absolutely important to keep your spirits up. I was actually right there when [the attack] happened. I was picking up kids on that school bus,” she said. “I haven’t lived in New York long, just a couple of years, but the ability for New Yorkers to put the terror or whatever it is behind them- that’s why we’re here. These people should be really proud and don’t deserve to have that taken away because of fear.”

The first wave of cyclists and runners to cross the finish line commenced around noon, with participants continuing to flow through Central Park into the afternoon.

Jennifer Sangster, an English runner crossed the finish line in her first New York Marathon around 3:30, adding it to her 30+ list of marathons in the UK and Paris. As a resident of another nation that has similarly suffered, she didn’t think twice about skipping the race.

“In the UK, you know we’ve had just as many attacks. You can’t let it ruin your life, can you? In fact it makes you want to come out more,” she said. “I cried at the beginning when they were talking about how we were all standing together as one nation, it was lovely. Lots of us cried.”