Meantime, many locals prepared for the race while coping with the messes Sandy left behind.
Latif Peracha was evacuated from the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of Tribeca. While his building is flooded, his sixth-floor apartment is fine, but he can't move back for at least another week. On Thursday, he walked across the Williamsburg Bridge from where he is staying in Brooklyn to collect his running gear from his apartment.He knew his first marathon was going to be special; now he believes it's so much more.
"I think it'll be a great testament to the city's resilience," he said.
Dave Reeder was supposed to fly from Denver to LaGuardia on Thursday with his wife and two children. Then they saw the photos of the flooded airport. Should they still try to make the trip?
The race felt a bit "frivolous," he said.
Hearing Bloomberg on TV convinced him to try and he hoped to volunteer in relief efforts while in New York.
His family planned to watch from three points along the course, but subway closures may prevent it.
If they can't, it has practical implications for Reeder: He has Type 1 diabetes, and his wife carries supplies he might need during the race. Reeder, who is running as part of Team JDRF to raise money for diabetes research, said from the Denver airport Thursday night that his flight was a go.
Julie Culley of Clinton, N.J., was stranded in Arlington, Va., when the storm hit. It turned out to be a blessing because she had power and could train.
An Olympian in the 5,000 meters, Culley is making her marathon debut. Her parents own a vacation home on Long Beach Island on the Jersey shore, which was rocked hard by Sandy.
"I think our family probably escaped the worst of it," said Culley, whose parents were in Clinton when the storm hit. "I've seen terrible pictures of houses uprooted out of their foundations and houses completely knocked out."
Her parents told her if Long Beach Island is open Sunday, they'll go there and watch her on TV.
"Now that we know for the most part what the damage is and the storm's over," Culley said, "and we can put everything behind us and focus on the recovery effort in the state, I think now it's time to shift focus toward the marathon again."
Molly Pritz, the top American woman in last year's race with a 12th-place finish, knew her Tuesday flight out of Detroit would be canceled. But her solution had a hitch: She's 24 and too young to rent a car (25 is the minimum age at most agencies). So her mother drove her Sunday.
What should have been an 11-hour ride took nearly 14 because of two accidents in Pennsylvania. But as they came into New York, the weather was clear and the roads empty.
"That's because no one else is an idiot driving into the hurricane," mom said.
Runner's World magazine is converting its annual pre-marathon party Friday into a free meal for anybody still displaced by the storm. NYRR canceled Friday's opening ceremony and a five-kilometer run Saturday to focus all resources on race day.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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