It started with two strangers in their pajamas, wanting to turn their marathon Sunday into something more than just a race.
Falling just seven days after Hurricane Sandy hit the tri-state area, the NYC marathon was causing controversy and mixed emotions for the participants. These two strangers both felt they needed to find a way to use those 26.2 miles as a call to action.
Sarah Hartmann woke up on Friday morning unable to shake the uneasy feeling she’d felt when picking up her marathon race bib the night before. By 8:30am, she’d assembled a powerhouse team of incredible friends and teammates who, without hesitation, began working furiously to create a website that would serve as a repository for the most up-to-date information on how people could help out with Sandy relief efforts.
Across the East River, that same morning, Jaclynn Larington woke up early, unable to sleep after feeling compelled to launch a social media campaign to encourage runners to forgo the marathon in favor of volunteering. At 8am, with just a cup of coffee and a little bit of hope, she started a Facebook page and Twitter account asking marathoners and other concerned citizens to come together to make Marathon Sunday about volunteering. By 9:30am, she had a few hundred “likes” and had received mention on People.com and Gothamist.com.
By 9:35am, Sarah had called Jaclynn, and two women who had been strangers just minutes before, decided to join forces, united by a common desire to help those in need. And, so NYC Marathon of Relief Efforts 2012 (NYC MORE 2012) was born.
Along with the creativity, talent and sheer dedication of Micaela Birmingham, Shaun Chapman, Gaelen Green, Alice Lincoln, Len Lopate, Harry Neuhaus, Miriam Weiskind, Steve Whyte, and Chipp Winston, NYC More 2012 was able to accomplish amazing feats in mere hours.
By NYC’s Marathon Sunday, just 48 hours later, NYC MORE 2012 had coordinated 500 dedicated volunteers (runners and non-runners alike) and dispatched them to three different areas of NYC that had been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. By coordinating with local community members and officials in these areas, they were able to send volunteers to areas where help was needed most. The NYC marathon may have been cancelled that day, but our Marathon of Relief Efforts took off running.
The result? Those 500 volunteers were able to make a real difference in the relief efforts. The day was full of mixed emotions, at turns inspiring and heartbreaking. But, one thing was clear: There was so much more work to be done and our Marathon of Relief Efforts was only beginning.
A marathon is not about winning. It is about finding something inside you that you never knew you had and inspiring others to do the same.
We are MORE than just athletes. We are MORE than just NYC. We are MORE than just a footrace. We are here to help.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
We heart NYC!!
All header photography ©2012 Jane Kratochvil