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NYC runners make tracks to Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Marathon

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 05 2012 06:41:58 AM CST

NYC marathoners head to Pa.

NORTHAMPTON, Pa. -

Hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of the New York City Marathon, but that didn't stop runners from hitting the pavement.

Many made a detour here -- to run in the Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Marathon on Sunday.

Along the upper Lehigh River, it was a gorgeous day for a run.

"Pretty smooth, cold air a little bit," said runner Jimmy Delgado.

But this year's Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Marathon had a few extra runners.

"I'm a New York City Marathon refugee," said runner Michael Arnstein.

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

"We came for the New York Marathon and it got cancelled, so we decided that we'd find the closest thing," said runner Helen Williams.

Organizers saw a huge spike in entries just moments after the storm forced New York to cancel its iconic marathon.

Tracy Manning came all the way from Raleigh, North Carolina.

"I think it said 80 percent full, and then the next hour, it was closed," Manning said.

For some runners, the storm made last-minute training tough.

"I tried going out on the trails this week, and it just made it more like an obstacle course," said runner Jessica Kennedy.

It may not be the five boroughs, but this marathon provided some breathtaking views from Northampton all the way up to Carbon County.

"It was nice and flat, but that hill was a killer. That was really hard!" Williams said.

The winner was Michael Arnstein, a Big Apple native who say this unexpected detour turned out to be a good one.

"The New York City marathon is a great race, but this is a totally different type of event, something that I prefer more," Arnstein said. "The big city marathons are really crowded and there's a lot of hoopla," he added.

Some runners came from as far away as Norway.

Last year, the D-&-L Marathon only had 500 runners. This year they upped it to
850.

But there were plenty more runners who wanted to get in.