Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced New York Marathon will be canceled on Sunday.
"The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination," Bloomberg said in a statement released Friday evening. "We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it."
Bloomberg's earlier decision to run the race was met by controversy. On sports talk radio, several callers told disc jockeys that they were upset with the decision. Bloomberg acknowledged that backlash Friday in his statement.
"While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division. The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination," Bloomberg said.
"We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event - even one as meaningful as this - to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track."
Bloomberg said the marathon has "integral part of New York City's life for 40 years." The yearly event reportedly brings in more than $340 million and more than 40,000 runners were expected to participate in the event.
More information will be provided to runners in the next few days, Bloomberg said.
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