Epic Journey to the New York City Marathon

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Audio Transcript:

Lisa Mullins: Now to another group that travels great distances, marathon runners. Thousands of them are facing an extra daunting task this week. They've gotta travel through a disaster zone to run in the New York City Marathon this coming Sunday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today that the race will go on as planned. Nearly 20,000 amateur international athletes are scheduled to fly in for the race. We contacted three of those runners who are all trying to get to New York. The first is a very experienced athlete. He's hoping to run his 35th New York Marathon this weekend.

Runar Gundedrsen: My name is Runar Gundedrsen. I'm living in Norway in the city of Drummond. I'm supposed to fly from Oslo, Norway to New York on Friday. This flight was cancelled the first time on Sunday, and then it's been cancelled each day, including today. I'm staying at the Hilton New York and I've been calling them all day and the phone isn't working, so I need to know if the hotel is still okay, if it's open and things like that. It's not the race itself because I'm not training that much anymore like I did some years ago, so it's everything surround it—it's the runners, it's the volunteers, it's everything and that's what's very special in New York, and not to mention the crowds. Two million people cheering you on if you run 2-1/2 hours or five hours, that's amazing.

Kari Knebel: My name is Kari Knebel and I live in Cologne, Germany. Yeah, the flight which was scheduled for this afternoon were cancelled and New York was closed, so I was a bit worried, but at the moment it looks like I'll fly tomorrow afternoon, it's leaving. It's my first marathon. I don't know if it's gonna be my only marathon. And everyone said well it's the greatest marathon, so I just thought well, if I only run one marathon in my life it has to be New York. I mean even if they would cancel the marathon, I would still go. New York needs the people and needs the business.

Dusan Murco: My name is Dusan. I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I come from Slovakia. I was supposed to fly to New York yesterday. The first flight yesterday was cancelled and today I had another flight, it was cancelled too. So now I'm supposed to fly to New York tomorrow. My worry is how I can get from JFK to the downtown because I know the subway is not, is not working now, so I'm just a little worried how to get from JFK to Manhattan. But probably tomorrow it will be much better.

Mullins: We wish Dusan, Kari and Runar all the best on their marathon journey.