Hurricane Sandy upends marathon plans for Issaquah runner

November 6, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Brian Gallagher, a longtime runner from Issaquah, planned to race in the New York City Marathon to raise funds for Camp Korey, a Carnation organization for children suffering from serious medical conditions.

Gallagher, 44, arrived in the Big Apple not long before organizers canceled the race.

The area bore scares from Hurricane Sandy. Long traffic backups on expressways resulted as motorists jockeyed for gasoline. Darkness shrouded parts of Manhattan as Gallagher’s plane descended to New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport.

Organizers canceled the marathon Nov. 2, amid outcry from officials and residents concerned about the race’s impact on recovery efforts.

Though disappointed, Gallagher said the missed opportunity to race for Camp Korey stung more than the race cancelation.

“Even training for the race was bigger than myself,” he said in a Nov. 5 interview, after returning home. “It was my way of giving back.”

Gallagher headed to Central Park early Nov. 4, as other runners completed 26.2-mile races timed to coincide with the planned New York City Marathon.

“There were spectators cheering for them like it was a real marathon,” he said. “It was pretty cool, actually.”

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