Disappointed NYC marathoners to run in aid of storm victims

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Hundreds of runners in New York City are refusing to let a canceled marathon spoil their Sunday plans and are channeling months of preparation into informal runs intended to benefit victims of superstorm Sandy. Amid criticism from victims of Monday’s storm that the race would divert resources away from efforts to help flood-ravaged parts of the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday abruptly canceled Sunday’s marathon. The event was expected to draw more than 40,000 runners to the city – including Kelly Rooney, a 31-year-old stay-at-home mother from Florida. Rooney was at first irked that Bloomberg called off the marathon after insisting earlier in the week that it would go ahead in spite of Sandy, whose 80 mile-per-hour (130-kph) winds and record surge of seawater devastated coastal communities and claimed at least 110 U.S. lives. Rooney traveled with her husband and 6-year-old daughter in tow, while her parents flew in from Mexico to cheer her on. By Saturday afternoon Rooney was over her disappointment and looking forward to a charity run on hard-hit Staten Island that she had found advertised on the Internet.