Plans to proceed with the New York City Marathon are being billed as a "race to recover" by organizers.
But as Hurricane Sandy's wrath widens - with the death count mounting and thousands still without power or heat - some runners and elected officials are calling for Sunday's race to be canceled or postponed.
Kevin Barney, who lives in the Los Angeles area, has been training and fundraising for the annual event for months. But when the storm hit Monday and Tuesday, he decided to cancel his plans out of respect for the tragedy. (Read More Below Video.)
Controversial Call on NY MarathonCNBC's Brian Shactman reports the decision to go ahead with the New York City marathon has come under scrutiny.
"I'm an avid runner but I think they should have put the race off until some semblance of order has returned," Barney said.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer reversed his support Friday to hold the marathon this weekend, saying the region isn't ready to hold such a monumental sporting event.
"The prudent course of action here - postpone the marathon, come back a different day," he told TODAY. "Our first priority, let's help people who lost their homes, who are missing loved ones."
(Read more: Hurricane Sandy Special Report)
But Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the race will proceed as planned Sunday. Runners have been jogging around the edges of Central Park, which has been off limits since the storm.
"The marathon will go ahead," New York City Marathon race director Mary Wittenberg told CNBC Thursday. Wittenberg vowed the race would not tax city resources.
Marathon Backlash Hits Twitter
Despite promises to use private transportation for the marathon, some people have taken to Twitter to vent their anger about the marathon and its impact on storm survivors.
Some survivors without power have been holed up in area hotels. But they can't get additional reservations because many hotels rooms previously were booked months in advance by runners, scheduled to participate in the race.
"#Disgraceful," said one Twitter user.
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