As Twitchy reported last night, citizens are taking to Twitter en masse to protest the running of the New York City marathon this weekend in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The race begins in hurricane-ravaged Staten Island.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg faces a PR debacle as citizens wake up this morning to a report in the New York Post that marathon organizers are deploying massive generators to power a media tent even as hundreds of thousands of Big Apple residents still do not have power. The Post reports that the three diesel-powered generators “crank out 800 kilowatts — enough to power 400 homes in ravaged areas like Staten Island, the Rockaways and downtown Manhattan.”
The generators are privately-funded and privately-owned, according to a marathon spokesman quoted by the Post:
The New York Road Runners Club, which organizes the world-famous race, is paying for the generators, which were supplied by Long Island-based On Site Energy for the massive, 80-yard-long tent, which also will be used by runners carbo-loading during a pre-race pasta dinner tomorrow … “These are our private generators. We are not draining any resources from the city’s plan to recover,” Road Runners spokesman Richard Finn angrily insisted.
Of the thousands of comments posted on Twitter this morning — “NYC marathon” is a trending topic in the U.S. — we did not see a single person defending the Road Runners Club’s use of those generators:
— J.T. Morris (@4jtmorris) November 2, 2012
— doug (@DougP1) November 2, 2012
using massive generators to keep the NYC marathon running is horseshit. While NYers are suffering w/o power. I'm in VA and am ashamed
— The Captain (@parcsalooc) November 2, 2012
— Nicole Introvert (@nicoleintrovert) November 2, 2012
— Maureen Van Zandt (@MVZaGoGo) November 2, 2012
— Starfishncoffee (@starfishncoffee) November 2, 2012
Wow…just saw @SamChampion mention generators sitting unplugged waiting to power up the NYC Marathon tent. That's just wrong…
— Kim Brown (@kimincuse) November 2, 2012
Folks in Staten Island dont have power, but the NYC Marathon is using generators? C'mon folks.
— Charlene Carruthers (@CharleneCac) November 2, 2012
— Stefanie Pigeon (@chickwithhooks) November 2, 2012
What drives you nuts? NYC preparing for a marathon and using tents & generators to power the area when temps are in the 20's at night!!!
— T.J. Conwell (@RevConwell) November 2, 2012
We suspect that many private companies and non-profit organizations in New York have been using generators in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. In a sense, then, it seems unfair to single out the Road Runners Club for criticism. Maybe all the anger about generators is really just peoples’ way of saying it is inappropriate to proceed with the marathon when first responders are still discovering bodies a few miles from the starting line.