NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tens of thousands of runners are in Manhattan for the New York City Marathon this weekend.

They come from all over the world, and many have inspiration stories after having recently faced natural disasters back home, CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported.

Kelly Rivera said her mom, Anna, is running for all the victims of Hurricane Maria back home in Puerto Rico.

NYC marathon inspirational stories

(credit: CBS2)

Some runners from a group of childhood friends in California had to leave their homes just a few week ago when wildfires got too close.

“It’s a time to just reflect and appreciate everything that we have, and that includes this group of girls,” Sarah Tamunding said Friday at the Jacob Javits Center, where runners picked up their numbers for the marathon.

The Martinez family is thrilled to be here. They live in Florida and had to evacuate to Atlanta when Hurricane Irma hit.

“It’s very exciting to see that we made it out alive from this natural disaster so we can continue doing fun stuff in our lives — for example, my dad running the marathon or me going to see my friends,” said 10-year-old Alan Martinez.

Irma also hit the Ryders’ home in Tampa, Florida. Britt Ryder said running has helped her deal with the disaster.

“It definitely, when you’re stressed and not knowing whether you’re going to have a house to come back to, you get out there. It helps clear your mind,” she said.

“When we come to like New York and all these places, it lifts you up because of the community and the love that’s being shared throughout everyone,” said 12-year-old Richard Ryder.

More than 50,000 runners will participate in the marathon Sunday.