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Image source: Flickr user wonggawei
2009 New York City Marathon Men’s Lead Group motoring thru LIC

We love the marathon. We think it is one of the greatest, purest sporting events that there is. One of our team members was one of the 27k people who ran yesterday in Boston. He finished in 2:56, a personal record. Before all hell broke loose.

From Wikipedia:

The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres (26 miles and 385 yards) that is usually run as a road race. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens.

The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 500 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes.

To give you an idea of how popular running is there will be three marathons next weekend with a combined 62k runners — and we’re looking forward to all runners (that don’t run out of gas..) safely completing them: Salt Lake City Marathon (10k runners) on Saturday, London Marathon (37k runners) on Sunday and Hamburg Marathon (15k runners) also on Sunday.

Salt Lake City Marathon set to proceed Saturday [The Salt Lake Tribune]
London Marathon will go ahead as planned, sports minister says [The Guardian]
Officials Urge Tight Security for London Marathon After Boston Bombs [NY Times]

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Donating and volunteering in a post-Sandy world

We’ve put together a list of volunteer opportunities and donation centers in Queens. Lots of people are stepping up and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. It warms our hearts. We hope you can find something to help out with, and thank you for your assistance to our fellow New Yorkers during this challenging time.

Ah, this weekend’s NYC Marathon – keep it on schedule, yea or nay? Our readers overwhelmingly say…

NO. We asked, and here are some comments from twitter.

Broad Channel also suffered damage during Hurricane Sandy

Broad Channel, a small community smack dab in the middle of Jamaica Bay, also suffered a lot of damage during Hurricane Sandy, mostly in the form of flooding. See what happened through photos and accounts during and after the storm. Our best wishes are with the folks there cleaning up from all that water. Be sure to check out the surreal sight of a boat in the middle of the Cross Bay Parkway.

More images from the Rockaways, some looking post-apocalyptic

Curbed sent talented photographer Nathan Kensinger down to the Rockaways after the storm and he took a series of photos. Definitely worth checking out.

There’s been talk of erecting a sea wall to combat storm surge

Slate has a article that discusses ways for NYC to avoid storm surge during the next big hurricane (we hope there won’t be a next time). Comparisons are made to the Netherlands, who oversee a special relationship between the land and sea. Here’s their solution to the threat of hard core flooding:

The Dutch have responded to this problem with an impressively elegant solution: Make the coast shorter. In the wake of a 1916 flood, they erected the Zuiderzee Works to turn a former inlet of the North Sea into a nice tame lake. Today, the Afsluitdijk—a causeway 32 kilometers long, 90 meters wide, and 7.25 meters high—separates the North Sea from two freshwater lakes known as the IJsselmeer and the Markermeer, in the process protecting a huge swath of Holland, including Amsterdam itself, from storm surges.

An even more relevant precedent is the massive Delta Works series of dams and flood control devices in the southwestern Netherlands. These works protect, among other things, the enormous port of Rotterdam, meaning that they can’t completely sever the mainland from the sea the way Afsluitdijk did.

The article goes on to say that implementing systems like this is expensive (not a surprise) and it still wouldn’t protect areas like the Rockaways, who were some of the hardest hit communities in the metro area. Still, it’s an interesting thing to think of and perhaps one day a less expensive, more effective derivative will be developed. Here’s to progress.