Marcia Goldberg, Jill Loveland didn't feel right running marathon

Two Long Island marathon runners who were hit by Hurricane Sandy were relieved when Mayor Bloomberg decided to cancel the New York City Marathon Friday afternoon.

"They took the pressure off of us, the runners, from having to make a choice," said Marcia Goldberg, 54, of Massapequa.

Added Jill Loveland, 26, of Long Beach: "As sad as I am that they're not having the race, I think it's the right move to make. It's bittersweet."

Before Sandy, both women were looking forward to this race because of what makes it so unique: the intense support of the locals throughout the course.

But taking part in what is typically referred to as a festive 26.2-mile block party through the city's five boroughs didn't seem right after Sandy wreaked havoc on so many lives.

Goldberg said she had been "very, very torn" over whether to even run the race and didn't think she was even going to decide what to do until late Saturday.

Her family lost two cars and many household items because of water damage, she said, but she considers herself lucky.

"We did not get it bad compared to people who lost their homes," she said. "You feel for them, and that makes this race feel like a real frivolous thing to do."

A knitwear designer, Goldberg was in Italy on a business trip when Sandy struck. Since returning to Long Island on Thursday, her thoughts had been on helping her family move forward, not her final tuneup run in advance of Sunday's jaunt.

"I was struggling back and forth," Goldberg said. "I felt it was wrong the city made us have to think about it because so many people need their attention and help right now."

Loveland said she moved into her Long Beach apartment three houses from the beach just two months ago, and that now it's uninhabitable in the wake of Sandy. She's been staying with her parents in Hicksville.

The West Hempstead special education teacher was looking forward to running her first New York City Marathon; she said it took her three years through the lottery system to get into the race.

But as the outrage with the city still going forward with the marathon grew more vicious in the past day, she started to wonder what people's reaction to runners would be.

"I started to get nervous thinking about doing this race while people were threatening to throw things at runners," she said. "I was worried about my safety."

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