Despite Hurricane Sandy battering the northeast of America, organisers of the ING New York marathon are still planning for the event to go ahead on Sunday (4 November). There were fears the race would be called off but New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg insisted everything is being done to ensure it will be held as normal.
She said: "The marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this city. We will keep all options open with regard to making any accommodations and adjustments necessary to race day and race weekend events. The city is rightfully focused on assessment, restoration and recovery."
Almost 20,000 international runners (2,000 of whom are from the UK) hope to take part in Sunday's marathon, and with JFK, Newark and La Guardia airports re-opening there is hope that will be the case. The 2,000 UK runners include Simon and Jaki Woods from Wigan who are flying out especially for the event.
Jaki said: "I have done my share of marathons but there is nothing to shout about in terms of finishing times! Simon though has done a lot better than myself and his record is quite respectable. When I turned 40 I decided I really wanted to do New York and now it is happening I just can't wait."
The elite men's field for Sunday's race is very strong with a host of Kenyan athletes looking to win the race. Those include 2012 London marathon champion and Olympics bronze medallist, Wilson Kipsang, Moses Mosop who recorded a personal best of 2:03:06 at Boston marathon last year, and three times London winner Martin Lel.
The ladies race will see women's world titleholder and 2010 New York winner, Edna Kiplagat of Kenya and compatriot Sharon Cherop, who clinched the women's Boston crown earlier this year, enter a field which includes London Olympic marathon gold medallist Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia and Games bronze medallist Tatyana Arkhipova of Russia.
For more information, visit the event website