Hundreds of those runners watched the press conference live on televisions screens at the Jacobs Javits Center, where they had gone to pick up their race numbers. It was like a United Nations of disappointment. Gabriel Dini had just flown in from Italy.

“We would have understood if it had been cancelled at the beginning. Now, calling it off after everyone got here? This is not really the best idea,” he said.

Malcolm Gatenby was eager to share his disgruntlement — he also came straight from the airport.

“I’ve just flown in from Dubai, 17 hours. I’ve flow in now. It’s gonna cost me roughly $6,000,” he said.

Most people who spoke with NPR agreed with the decision to cancel the race, but they did not like the way it was handled.