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NYC marathon called off

They thought it could bring people together-- the New York Cithy Marathon due to be held this weekend might have given folks something to cheer about in the wake of Sandy. But hosting a marathon in which runners would make their way through devastated neighbourhoods, and the diversion of precious resources, had residents and local politicians outraged. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STATEN ISLAND NEW YORK CONGRESSMAN, MICHAEL GRIMM, SAYING: "The City of New York right now is talking about getting water out of the Battery Tunnel and preparing for a marathon. We're pulling bodies out of water. You see the disconnect here?" So in an 11th hour decision, Mayor Bloomberg called off the race. Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY MAYOR HOWARD WOLFSON SAYING: "...there were people who found the marathon -- the very idea of it -- to be painful. And, as I said, that's not what the marathon is, that's not what it's about. This is a unifying event. It's not a divisive event. If it's a divisive event, it's not the marathon and it's better to do it next year when it's back to being the marathon again." The decision's a disappointment to runners from around the world who've been training for months for the big day. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANDREW WU, NYC MARATHON RUNNER FROM AUSTRALIA SAYING: "I thought it was a good idea for them to keep going -- maybe the city needed a lift -- but I guess they have better reasons, I'm sure they have better reasons, better places for the police, firemen and ambulance to be used somewhere else." (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREG ANTHONY, NYC MARATHON RUNNER FROM ENGLAND, SAYING "We best get on the ale then, because I've been on the wagon for three weeks, staying off the ale, so at least we can go and have a drink tonight." This is the first time in it's 40 year history that the event has been cancelled.

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