TODAY   |  November 05, 2012

Marathon runners head to Staten Island to give back

The New York City Marathon may have been canceled this past weekend, but a group of 1,300 marathoners still made their way out to Staten Island, the starting point of the race, to lend a hand in Sandy recovery efforts. The TODAY anchors chat about it along with other topics making headlines today.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> today's "take 3" where the three of us share our takes on the stories catching our attention and yours and adding her own two cents today our very own jenna wolfe .

>> two cents.

>> what was the name that have statue out there in.

>> all right, all right.

>> it was either prometheus and i went prowillus and i went prometheus.

>> first take, take one. ready to play? we're talking about helping hands , and so many of us have seen how new yorkers and so many others across the region in new jersey and connecticut as well are really pitching in and helping out in the recovery and the relief effort. willie, you actually went to staten island and you got involved. went out to help.

>> i went down there. took the staten island ferry over there. catch the bus to the ferry and it was so cool to see a ferry full of people carrying rakes, bottled water, cleaning supplies, everybody doing what they could to help out. what i got there is beyond what you could believe on tv. some of the photographs. not professional, i took them with my own camera. these neighborhoods were wiped out. neighborhoods wiped out. these were some of the donations of shoes that people brought, but the beauty of it was this neighborhood, newdorf beach completely unified. in each other's home cleaning out houses. people's entire lives dumped in streets waiting for garbage trucks to come. all looking out for each other. not hang heads. guys on grills set up every couple of blocks making burgers for each other. one of the places. this is happening in queens and at the jersey shore , happening on long island as well.

>> do they feel like they are getting the help they need finally?

>> not entirely. a lot of people waiting on front steps or what was left of the front steps for fema to talk about them about their next steps, could they move into a hotel, a lot were told to evacuate. where am i going to evacuate. i don't have family in the area.

>> 40,000 residents will have to find homes and some kind of shelter and that's what the government is trying to do right now. in my community as well in hoboken which is also devastated, interesting because when we start to see the lights come back on throughout town, still a whole area in pitch black and you feel guilty when your lights come back on

>> i felt that way. okay, my power is back on, but, you know, for so many others, i have a house with power now whereas some people don't have that luxury.

>> when you look at some of the pictures, were you there. the pictures don't do it justice. people watch it on the newscast and read it in the paper and they sue the two-dimensional pictures. doesn't do it justice until you're seeing it with your own two eyes.

>> i would say to people don't go. don't worry about signing up, just go down there and pitch in and they are happy to have you there. one guy who did exactly that and did it well, dr. jordan metsel, a doctor here in new york city and a marathoner. nice to see you.

>> nice to see you this morning.

>> i want to tell people what you did. there was some controversy over this marathon , whether or not we ought to run it, and some suggested why don't we take all of these bodies, able bodies and get them involved in the cleanup, and you did exactly that.

>> basically there was a whole group of runners right when the marathon was cancelled, several friends e-mailed back and forth and said, hey, we're disappointed this is cancelled but what can we do? within four hours of the marathon being cancelled we had a facebook page up, new york runners in support of staten island , when that facebook page came up, lo and behold, yesterday when the staten island ferry left, we had 1,300 runners all dressed in orange from all over the world, not just new yorkers, people from england, from australia, from asia, never even heard of staten island , on the ferry with us. we filled two ferry boats. ran over there with an orange stream of help running down towards the area you were as well, and i totally concur with what you were saying. it was actually the experience of being there which was so impactful to everybody.

>> well, i've often said, i've read the marathon a couple of times. there's nothing like that spirit of the new york city marathon , and when you see everybody come out and cheer you on, but i can only imagine what the runners felt participating in that, and -- and how they -- coming from all over the world, to be able to take part in something like this. must have meant so much to them.

>> i've run 29 marathons. this was going to be number 30 , and i've never had any race or anything that was as meaningful for me, and i think everybody had the same feeling. we were cleaning out some guy's house, a russian immigrant, about 60 years old, trying -- all by himself trying to haul out mountains of heavy garbage and trash in a destroyed home and a destroyed life. 20 runners teamed up all of a sudden and within two hours we cleaned this thing out and he literally was crying and hugged us all in his broken english and said thank you so much. he actually asked for a marathon t-shirt.

>> took off the stain of whether the marathon should be run or not. poured all the heart and soul and controversy into this cause and to organize this was a blessed thing to do and to want to be a part of.

>> it was equally as meaningful for all of us and everybody who came. it was terrific.

>> congrats to you and a job well done to all those who participated as well.

>> and our last take, of course, countdown to the election, of course, tomorrow. polls say it's a dead heat . all the polls say something different. it feels like there's been so much polling this year, and i don't know, i feel at this point the more polls i see the less i know.

>> the one thing the polls tell us consistently is on this last day before the election it's tight everywhere. the national polls are statistically or literally tied, and all these different swing states within a couple of points in the margin of error so it's just impossible to call. maybe we should leave it to the voters at this point.

>> i think what's probably the most concern perhaps is the number of people that may not turn out to vote, and i guess " usa today " has a story on that today. saying 90 million americans aren't planning to vote, so, i mean, that in itself.

>> they polled that. they polled literally everything. elementary school polls, grocery store polls. we've polled the studio audience , polled the four of us. literally, now we just need to have an election. everything has officially been polled.

>> you know that the voters, especially in the swing states , probably cannot wait until wednesday so they don't have to watch the advertisements anymore.

>> and the robo calls.

>> if you don't live in one of these nine battleground states you're seeing a different election.

>> that's right.

>> you still have like the depends commercials in those places.

>> if you live in ohio you know that every other phone call is and every other tv commercial is for the most part saturation point.

>> you may be up late on tuesday night, my friend.

>> or wednesday, or thursday.

>> wednesday morning, we'll all be there.

>> you think we'll know.

>> we may not, and if we don't, we're staying on 6:00. may do the live handoff to the "today" show at 6:00 a.m .

>> let's poll it.

>> we'll poll it.

>> we're out of time. jenna,