NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — About 9,000 runners were pounding the pavement in Staten Island on Sunday. But as WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, the event wasn’t just about running, it was also about raising money to benefit victims of superstorm Sandy.

Staten Island was one of the city’s hardest-hit boroughs. Twenty-three residents there died in the storm.

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“Today’s a day to celebrate family, celebrate Staten Island spirit,” said Mary Wittenberg, president of New York Road Runners, the organizer of the Staten Island Half-Marathon as well as the New York City Marathon, which will be held Nov. 3.

“How do we kickoff Marathon 2013?” Wittenberg said. “And how do we really continue to support Staten Island beyond the support from last year, marathon day and beyond? And the idea is we should be here.”

The Road Runners expect to raise more than $100,000, which will be donated to organizations helping in the recovery after Sandy.

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Also scheduled for “Staten Island Day” are a 1 1/2-mile fun run and a celebration at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.

Vincent, a Staten Island resident, volunteered to hand out water to the runners. He recalled last year’s debate over whether the New York City Marathon, which begins in Staten Island, should be held days after Sandy devastated the region.

“I was conflicted last year because I felt that it should be canceled,” he told Miller. “But at the same time, listening to everybody wanting it canceled, I didn’t like to see the marathon put down and the New York Road Runners put down.”

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