Nearly 1,500 New York runners whose race was canceled when Hurricane Sandy devastated the route have been given a second chance with entries into the Philadelphia Marathon.
All 1,454 runners who registered with a lottery were accepted for the Philadelphia contest Nov. 18 at 7 a.m. EST, said marathon spokesman Randy Giancaterino in an e-mail. The lottery had 3,000 spaces for the 47,000 runners who had verification that they were entered in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4.
“All of the runners who registered ultimately were selected for our race,” Giancaterino said.
Before the invitation to New York runners, the Philadelphia Marathon was sold-out at 30,000 runners in three races. With the addition of the new entrants, the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) full marathon has 16,000 participants.
“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the many challenges created by it, we are honored to welcome New York City marathon participants to Philadelphia,” said Mayor Michael Nutter in a statement.
Half of the $200 registration fee for the New York runners will be donated to the Hurricane Relief Fund for the American Red Cross, while the remaining funds cover additional Philadelphia Marathon supplies and resources to accommodate the extra marathoners.
The New York race competitors were invited to enter a lottery on Nov. 7-8 to compete in the Philadelphia event.
“We are grateful to the Philadelphia Marathon and Mayor Nutter for their generosity in inviting runners who were affected by the cancellation of the ING NYC marathon,” said Mary Wittenberg, chief executive officer of New York Road Runners, producer of the New York City Marathon.
The Philadelphia race sold out Oct. 1 with the largest field of runners in its history, said Melanie Johnson, executive director of the marathon.
“We are sympathetic to those who were unable to participate in the NYC Marathon,” Johnson said in a statement. “It was a careful decision that took into account many factors such as the capacity of the course to accommodate the increased field of competitors, maintaining the quality of experience, and the turn-around time to secure additional supplies and resources.”
The New York City Marathon was canceled after criticism that staging the race so soon after Hurricane Sandy would drain resources and be an affront to residents damaged by floods.
“We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York Road Runners said in a Nov. 2 statement. “We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event -- even one as meaningful as this -- to distract attention away from all the critically important work being done to recover from the storm.” The mayor is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
About 47,000 participants were registered for the race, including about 20,000 from overseas, according to NYRR spokesman Richard Finn.