Do we really need a runner's marathon when people in Staten Island are still trapped in their homes, unable to cook or wash themselves, or even find a gas station to fill up their car so they can get the hell out of the Dante-like-Inferno in which they presently find themselves? And the same can be said for much of the Jersey coast as well. I imagine the mayor feels that holding the marathon on the set day sends some kind of message that New York is tough, determined, resolute and 'resilient.' (If I never hear that word again it will not be soon enough, given how many local anchors and pols have utilized it in a sloppy word fest designed to obfuscate the actual pain and horror so many people are presently experiencing.)
But what looks like a victorious dance to the human spirit (and economic spirits at that) looks rather crass and repugnant to those who feel their suffering is being subsumed to a once yearly sport event that could easily be postponed or even canceled.
You say, "But the marathoners are already here." That is true. So let's use them to the best of their ability and maximize their effort at the same time.
What about having the runners take off from the Verrazano Bridge in all different directions? To Staten Island, to lower Manhattan, to Long Beach Island, New Jersey. With a bag or two of food supplies. With a parcel of clothes. With a few toys for the kids. With whatever is needed at the moment. They can get to places that perhaps even trucks may have a difficult time accessing. 30,000 runners bringing supplies to the most needy amongst us. Think you've seen cheering before? You would be blown away by those of us coming out to cheer them on. Because unlike most marathons that lasts a few hours at most, this one is going to take weeks, months and much longer to complete. And perhaps these runners will look back one day and realize this was the reason they had been training their whole lives for.