In a stunning turn of events, Mike Bloomberg canceled the New York City Marathon.
The development came just days after the New York City mayor defiantly insisted the race would go on, despite the city-wide devastation caused by super storm Sandy.
However, with more than 40 dead and a half million residents without power as of Friday night, the mayor ceded to growing pressure from skeptics who argued that the city's already strained resources should not be assigned to Sunday's race.
"We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it," the mayor said in a statement. "We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event — even one as meaningful as this — to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track."
An estimated 47,500 runners from around the world had been expected to take part in the 26.2-mile event before the storm hit on Monday. The race had been scheduled to start in Staten Island, one of the most devastated places.
The nationally televised race, which winds through the city's five boroughs and ends in Central Park, has been held annually since 1970.
Ironically, on Thursday's Kudlow Report, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani praised Bloomberg's decision to go forward with the marathon and compared it to his own decision to hold the iconic race in 2001, about two months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"The Kudlow Report" airs weeknights at 7 p.m. ET.