"I'm more concerned about the people in Staten Island," Martinez said.
People from all over the globe come to New York for the race. Retired Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar had a 4:19 time last year in his first marathon and trained four months this time hoping to improve Sunday. His wife and two children traveled with him from Amsterdam on Thursday and his family planned to run in a 5K on Saturday.
"When you see the relief effort at the moment and people without water and electricity and certain basic needs, it's probably for the better to get the resources to the people who really need it," he said after attending the New York Knicks' opener against the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.
Some complained about the timing.
"I agree that canceling it was the right move, but it the decision should have been made immediately," said Joel Schrock, who was hosting Frye for the weekend. "It's frustrating that they waited so long."
Some runners at the New Yorker Hotel in midtown — just above the blackout zone caused by the superstorm — were in the lobby crying when they learned the race was off. One person was curled up on a couch, sobbing.
"We spend a year on this," said Gisela Clausen of Munich. "We don't eat what we want. We don't drink what we want. And we're on the streets for hours. We live for this marathon, but we understand."
Roberto Dell'Olmo, from Vercelli in northern Italy, said he "would like that the money I give from the marathon goes to victims."
Linda Corbitt of San Francisco was walking to the Javits Center with her daughter when she heard the race was scrapped. Corbitt has leukemia and her daughter planned to run to raise money for a cure.
"I'm sad for the people who trained so hard for many, many months but we understand why the decision was made," Corbitt said. "A lot of people are in pain."
Associated Press writers Cara Anna, Rachel Cohen, Verena Dobnik, Melissa Murphy, Jennifer Peltz, Christina Rexrode and Michael Rubinkam, AP video journalist Ted Shaffrey and researcher Lynn Dombek contributed to this report.