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New York marathon runners help storm victims

(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Thousands of runners in New York City refused to let a cancelled marathon spoil their Sunday (November 4) plans and channelled months of preparation into informal runs intended to benefit victims of superstorm Sandy and other charities. Amid criticism from victims of Monday's (October 29) storm that the race would divert resources from efforts to help flood-ravaged parts of the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday (November 2) cancelled Sunday's marathon. The event was expected to draw more than 40,000 runners to the city. "There was no damage whatsoever. Once you got to the start, Staten Island was brutal and we shouldn't be drinking little bottles of water while people don't have homes and it was just something that... at the end of the day they did the right thing. They should have done the right thing at the beginning of the day", said New Yorker David Lawrence who was running in his 36th straight marathon, but instead ran a short court around Central Park. Central Park was crowded with runners like Lawrence near what would have been the marathon's finish line, scores of them shivering in the lingering overnight cold. Various charitable groups were collecting donations for Sandy victims, while other runners ran for their own charities as planned. Several thousand runners who had registered for the marathon ran informal runs in a loop around Central Park - the original 1970 route of the New York City marathon.

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