Even as New York gets back on its feet after the storm, tens of thousands of runners have begun descending on the city to take part in the world's largest marathon on Sunday. Many runners say the event's economic boost – and spirit of celebration – is just what the city needs.
In 2010, the New York City marathon generated nearly $350 million in economic activity for New York City. Not everyone agrees, though. Staten Island Councilman John Oddo criticized Mayor Bloomberg's decision to let the race go on as scheduled, calling it "idiotic" to "take even one asset away from people in dire need." Alicia Feghhi is member of the Clifton Road Runners. Though she lost power in her home, she was initially still planning to run the marathon -- her first. Now she says, the race should be canceled.Mary Elizabeth Williams, staff writer for Salon is running the marathon this weekend -- also for the first time. A cancer survivor, she's trained with and raised money for other cancer patients and their families. She's saddened by the backlash against the race.