Never mind the cancellation. Here comes the marathon. Thousands of runners poured into New York City's Central Park this morning to do what they had prepared so long to do—put in 26.2 miles. That's despite the abrupt announcement Friday evening that the world's largest marathon had been called off because of Superstorm Sandy. Hundreds of other runners, wearing their marathon shirts and backpacks full of supplies, took the ferry to hard-hit Staten Island and ran to hard-hit neighborhoods to help.
Staten Island resident Jonscott Turco gave them instructions: "The devastation and damage you are about to wander into ... " He paused, almost teary. "It's pretty extraordinary. The only thing I can prepare you for is they're still finding people, remains." The landscape worsened as they got closer—and some residents told them to go home—but the runners helped others by providing clothing, batteries, and flashlights. "I was almost in tears because I've been training for two years," said one runner of the cancelled marathon. "But what is two years of my life to somebody's whole life?"