BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Laurie Carpenter, Michelle Adams and Mike Woltz are just three WNY runners that were already in Manhattan when officials canceled the NYC Marathon.
"I totally understand why the event was canceled, however I think they should have made that decision earlier in the week," Carpenter told Eyewitness News over the phone Friday.
In the wake of super storm Sandy, the runners had considered staying home, but decided to make the trip after NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated earlier in the week that the race was a go.
"We were talking all week. It's like, 'should we go, shouldn't we go?' We were felling guilty....they just went through this major hurricane that caused so much devastation," said Carpenter.
The trio had spend the afternoon at the marathon expo, where it was 'business as usual', and didn't get the news that the race was canceled until 5:00 p.m. Friday evening.
And while the runners agree with the decision to cancel the race, they all agree it was a decision that should have come much earlier.
"If the marathon couldn't be put on safely and appropriately with [New York City's] support and backing, it should have been canceled prior to everyone coming in," said Michelle Adams.
Tom Donnelly agrees.
Donnelly has been race organizer for the annual Turkey Trot in Buffalo every Thanksgiving for the past 10 years, and has worked to organize the Buffalo Marathon for the past 12. He says it would have been difficult for organizers to justify holding the marathon given the circumstances.
"The power that's needed on the course, the power that's need in the finish area. All the water, all the food and supplements, all the fruits and other things that they give to the runners...all those things could be used elsewhere," Donnelly said.
As for Carpenter, Adams and Woltz, they were able to get a partial refund on their hotel rooms and will be heading to Hamilton, ON, Canada early Saturday morning.
Organizers there opened up 200 slots in their marathon being held Sunday just for runners who made the trip to New York.