NYC Marathon Planning Moves Forward In Sandy's Wake

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
Five days before the New York City Marathon, public transportation was shut, airports closed and streets flooded, with power out in many neighborhoods.

Runners make their way down 44th Drive in the Queens borough of New York during the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in New York. / AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) New York City Marathon organizers say they are moving ahead with plans for Sunday's race even as the city staggers through the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

Five days before the marathon, public transportation was shut, airports closed and streets flooded, with power out in many neighborhoods

New York Road Runners said in a statement Tuesday that "the marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this city."

There's still the possibility of changes to the race because of the storm.

Nearly 20,000 amateur international runners need to get in the country. Another 30,000 or so American entrants must get to the starting line, with family and friends finding a way to viewing spots. It was unclear when public transit, river crossings and airports would reopen.

Meanwhile, the NFL and NBA plan to carry on with their schedules.

The New York City Marathon is still hoping that the course will be clear by Sunday and runners will be able to get to the starting line in Staten Island.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank on Tuesday said through his Twitter account the season-opening games Tuesday night in Miami, Los Angeles and Cleveland — the Wizards flew out of Washington Monday 7 a.m. — are set to tip off on time.

"For the many asking: Tonight's NBA games will be played. We are still assessing the situation with regards to the rest of the week," he tweeted.

Of concern: Philadelphia is supposed to host its opener on Wednesday. And the Nets' first game at their new Brooklyn home against the crosstown-rival Knicks on Thursday could be in jeopardy, too. The new arena is heavily dependent on mass transit and with the New York City subways and commuter rail out for what is expected to be several days, the league may choose to postpone that party if fans are kept away.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin believes Sunday's game in Jersey against the New York Giants to go on as scheduled and plans to prepare that way. Tomlin said he understands the league will be looking at any logistical issues caused by the storm's aftermath may present but added the Steelers will stick to their weekly routine unless they hear from NFL officials.

Tomlin might have to wait a day for the final word. All 32 teams were notified Monday that the league's offices would be closed through Tuesday.

The NFL had already moved its trade deadline back two days to Thursday because of potential complications from the storm. The deadline now is 4 p.m. EDT Thursday, when waivers for vested veterans also begin.

CBSSports.com's Will Brinson noted that some teams cancelled charity events (the Redskins bailed on their Pediatric Halloween Party) and moving media sessions because of the storm.

Around the league, the Giants, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles reported no damage at their practice facilities. The Baltimore Ravens, though, were running a generator at their complex. Players were off but the hope is electricity will be restored for regular practice Wednesday.

Record-setting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was in Rio de Janeiro, the site of the 2016 Summer Games, but his thoughts were back in Maryland.

"I'm kind of nervous to go back home because I don't know if my house is going to be under water or not. It will be an interesting trip," Phelps said. "I know that we will all sort of bounce back from everything that is going on. It's kind of wild seeing all the pictures and all the coverage — it's all I have been watching really since I have been here. It's sad. it's part of life."

The St. Cloud State women's hockey team was stranded Tuesday in Rhode Island. The Huskies were supposed to catch a flight out of Boston on Monday after playing a weekend series against Providence College.

They hope to fly back to Minnesota on Thursday. Their home opener is Friday.

In response to the storm, Indiana State is giving fans several opportunities to make donations in the days leading up to their football game against Illinois State on Saturday.

Terre Haute Catholic Charities will give a free ticket to each fan that donates at least five pounds of items. Donors to the American Red Cross will also get a free ticket to the game.

Looking ahead on the sports calendar to August, Oak Hill Country Club, the site of 2013 PGA championship in upstate New York, lost several trees in the storm. But still standing is the famed Leaning Oak — supported by a steel beam since 1956 — on the right side of the 12th hole.

"The Leaning Oak, that tree weathered the storm and is unscathed, which is remarkable considering how long it's been supported by that steel beam for decades now," tournament director Ryan Cannon said, "and the trees that did come down were not all that far from the leaning oak. Pretty amazing."

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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