It is two and half weeks since the New York Marathon 2012 was cancelled. And you might think things would cool down since then, but obviously there not. The race’s Facebook page is still flooded with questions and complaints - and still the NYRR isn’t answering.
That is why I write this English post in a normally German blog (sorry for any typos or grammatic hickups). I’d like to add some longer thoughts from the perspective of a German marathon newbie.
For my wife and I this was supposed to be our first 42,195 km. We actually ran our first marathon in New York thanks to the wonderful initiative Run Anyway. So there’s not really anger or disappointment in us, this Sunday morning had some sort of magic, it came as close to a romantic New York comedy as you can get in real life.
But the way all this happened made me think. I have to add that for 14 years I worked as a journalist for Handelsblatt, Germany’s biggest business newspaper. During that time I covered sports business as a hobby, for example the Football World Cup, the German Ice Hockey League or the NFL. Today I do mostly digital consulting and a little bit of journalism as editor at large of Wired Germany.
The first thing I found strange was the NYRR’s communication in the weeks before Sandy. It’s the year 2012 and obviously they have nobody with only a basic knowledge of social media. That became obvious when the no baggage policy was announced. Suprised by the headwinds on Facebook the NYRR organised a “chat on Facebook”. Everyone who’s right in his mind knows that you can’t do a chat on Facebook - you collect questions and answer them. The NYRR answered - if I remember it right - 5 questions of dozens in one hour. Highly unprofessional…
After that: silence.