As the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy nears, a runners group is using one of Staten Island's biggest events to raise money for those still struggling in the storm's aftermath. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
The strip of Father Capodanno Boulevard is a runner's dream. It's wide, it's flat and there are breathtaking views of the ocean.
It's also smack in the middle of Staten Island's eastern shoreline, an area still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.
When several thousand expected runners descend on the area during the final leg of the Staten Island Half Marathon on October 13, some of them will be seeing the devastation for the first time.
"Transportation by running gives you a whole new perspective on the environment around you, so I do think it will be very inspiring for the athletes," said Kimberly George of Rebuilding Together NYC.
Some of these athletes will be running with Race 2 Rebuild, a not-for-profit aimed at racing to raise awareness and money for Hurricane Sandy victims.
The group already raised more than $30,000 by participating in the New York City Triathlon.
National not-for-profit Rebuilding Together used the money to rebuild a home for a needy family in the Gerritsen Beach section of Brooklyn. The organization is hoping to do the same for a family in Staten Island following the borough's upcoming half-marathon event.
"Lots of times with charity racing, you don't have a direct connection to your cause. Race 2 Rebuild is different because after our athletes complete, we volunteer with Rebuilding Together and actually get to meet the family who we're helping rebuild and come home," said Sarah Hartmann of Race 2 Rebuild.
A half-marathon is held in every borough in the months leading up to the New York City Marathon. The Staten Island Half Marathon is the last big race before Marathon Sunday, and it generally draws the fewest runners and the fewest spectators.
Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro is hoping to change that by declaring race day "Staten Island Day" and planning a host of activities for after the race.
"We're celebrating the spirit of Staten Island. This is a strong community, and we're really happy to be supporting their recovery," Hartmann said.
To get involved, or to receive more information about Race 2 Rebuild, visit race2rebuild.org.