Mary Wittenberg, the executive director of the New York Road Runners, discusses the cancellation of last year’s New York Marathon, the increased security at this year’s competition in response to the Boston bombing and the celebrities who might be running on Sunday in an interview with Nick Powell.
When asked about the cancellation of last year’s marathon because of Superstorm Sandy, Wittenberg said she wished she had understood the magnitude of the storm and its impact much earlier, but explained that the initial plans to go ahead with the marathon was driven by a desire to help the city and its residents.
“At NYRR our whole reason for being is to help inspire through running. What we do is running events and youth programs,” Wittenberg said. “So the way we typically help New York is by running those events. So our minds went into the mode of, ‘How do we help and how do we lift New York by doing the marathon?’ In the end, it wasn’t the time.”
Wittenberg said that a number of celebrities are participating in this year’s marathon. Among those running are model Christie Turlington Burns, who is running for her charity Every Mother Counts; Sam Ryan from the MLB Network; and Olympic gold medal swimmer Summer Sanders.
She also noted that New York City Health Commissioner Tom Farley and New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott are both avid runners, but added that she wasn’t sure if they would be participating.