Lakota runners disappointed at race cancellationFive Lakota had been planning to run the 26.2-mile race to raise money for a local youth shelter.
By: Kristi Eaton, The Associated Press
Despite the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, five American Indian runners from tribes in South Dakota had little doubt that the New York City Marathon race would go on as scheduled Sunday.
But early Friday evening, after picking up their bib numbers and getting in a quick 2-mile run, the team arrived back at their hotel to find out the marathon run had been canceled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“It felt like a hit to the gut,” Jeff Turning Heart Jr., told The Associated Press by telephone. Turning Heart Jr. — along with Amanda Carlow, Nupa White Plume, Alex Wilson and Kelsey Good Lance — had been planning to run the 26.2-mile race to raise money for a local youth shelter.
They also intended to be positive role models for kids on the Pine Ridge Reservation, which is overrun with stories of suicide, alcoholism and violence.
Bloomberg canceled the race after fielding criticism that his “race must go on” stance was insensitive to a city where the death toll climbed past 40 due to the storm.
The group was spending Friday evening at their hotel waiting for word on whether the race would be postponed or outright canceled. Also with them was their coach, chaperone and the executive director of the nonprofit group that paid for the runner’s transportation, hotel and entry fees.