Powering the New York City Marathon

Power Facts About the NYC Marathon

Posted in: Business Continuity Diesel Generators

November welcomes the annual NYC marathon, widely admired as the world’s largest marathon. Since we’re enamored with all things power-related, let’s explore some interesting facts about diesel generators usde during the attempted 2012 NYC Marathon.

The New York City Marathon draws roughly 50,000 participants, significant media, and equally larger sponsorship. The race, organized by New York Road Runners Club, is noted as the largest in America and among the World Marathon Majors.

On October 30, 2012, upstate New York was affected by Hurricane Sandy. Disaster was magnified by major flooding, leaving almost 600,000 of residents with no electricity for a span of 10 days. The incident took place a week before the start of the famed New York City Marathon.

With over 40,000 participants (local and international), you may think that the organizers panicked. Of course, they did. Experts calculated that the NYC Marathon could consume about untold kilowatts of power to operate smoothly. That’s a lot of power. Given the fact that the hurricane knocked out a lot of the power supply, how were promoters to get the energy?

Power Generators to Run The Marathon?

In an attempt to solve the dilemma, the marathon’s organizers opted for power generators. While it was the prerogative (and money) of the marathon’s organizers, many New Yorkers were upset that generators were being used at a marathon instead of supporting society that fell victim to the hurricane.

Nevertheless, two large generators were hauled to Central Park to provide power to the media covering the marathon. Those two diesel generators, along with one additional back-up, ran 24/7 at 800 kW.Two days before the event, additional generators were installed outside the park to augment the power needed to produce the marathon.

The public’s rage came from learning that there was only one 200-kilowatt generator running the Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility on Roosevelt Island. Having more than quintuple the generators running a marathon than a hospital created an uproar among residents.

Cancelation of the Marathon

New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, finally announced a halt to the race, a first in its history since its inception in 1970. A state of emergency was declared and generators were diverted towards public use. Additionally, over nineteen generators were later deployed to augment the National Grid’s Far Rockaway power station.

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