The New York Marathon may have been cancelled on Sunday, but that didn't stop many of the runners who made pricey trips to the Big Apple from helping displaced Hurricane Sandy victims.
Any negative backlash by prospective competitors that may have intensified on the day of the race has been totally outweighed by the inspirational efforts of many.
Golf Digest editor Ashley Mayo has been on the scene to cover what's transpiring—and also to help those in need. She has posted several heartbreaking photos of the wreckage on Staten Island, which is where the marathon was slated to start:
Many homes in Staten Island look like this: instagr.am/p/Rn4b7DR4Zy Helping those in need is incredible. Shocking, upsetting, rewarding.
— Ashley Mayo (@AshleyKMayo) November 4, 2012
Mayo also noted that she bought 15 tubes of toothpaste at a Walgreens and witnessed a woman cry when discussing how she felt about the athletes helping her clean her flooded basement. The woman said she was overwhelmed by the support.
Journalist Ryan Devreaux of The Guardian painted a wonderful picture of how runners were helping the cause in his Sunday report, which is a quick, hard-hitting read.
According to Devreaux, over 900 athletes participated in the relief efforts, and a Facebook group was even created entitled, "New York Runners in Support of Staten Island."
Perhaps the trip wasn't as lucrative for some top athletes expecting big appearance fees, but many runners took to the route and ran the marathon anyway. Economist Justin Wolfers pointed out how an extremely positive spin could be placed on this outcome:
The Not New York Marathon in Central Park was the greatest race I've ever run. And it sucked zero resources from Sandy relief.
— Justin Wolfers (@justinwolfers) November 4, 2012
Sometimes, sports can have a tendency to be more prominent in daily conversations or thoughts than more pressing issues in the world, particularly in the minds of diehard fans.
The fact that these athletes—some of whom that had been training for months just for this race—were able to drop everything they had built toward to help out is a story anyone can connect with regardless of their knowledge of the New York Marathon.
A lot of controversy has stemmed from the issue of the race's cancellation as it has been attached to the tragedy of the superstorm.
But themes of morality, positivity and humanity are ultimately emerging in such a trying time for many.