Local runner helps Superstorm Sandy victims

Andy Baldwin helped mobilize marathon runners

SAN DIEGO - A San Diegan and former star of ABC's "The Bachelor" launched the "New Marathon" in New York, where runners who came for the city's annual race instead volunteered to help Superstorm Sandy victims.

Most recognize Lt. Cmdr. Andy Baldwin for his role in Season 10 of  “The Bachelor.”  But Baldwin is also an ironman triathlete, a humanitarian and navy physician from San Diego.  He was supposed to run in the New York City Marathon. But when it was canceled, he came up with the idea for a “New Marathon.”

Baldwin spoke with 10News by phone from New York on Sunday to talk about how he used social media to reach out to other marathon runners.  Through the "New Marathon," dozens of runners were able to help out in cleanup efforts in Staten Island.

“We were going into people's homes that were destroyed and collapsing and basically had been underwater from the storm," said Baldwin, describing the devastation that he and other volunteers saw. "You look to your left and you'd meet somebody new, look to your right and you'd meet somebody new."

He said it was an experience he's still trying to wrap his head around.

“[It was] a day that... a weekend and an experience I will never forget and I hope that by spreading the word we can get more people out there to help," he said.

More help may be needed in the days to come as cold weather begins to settle in across the region. 

Another powerful storm is in the forecast for the middle of the week.  Overnight temperatures sank into the 30s over the weekend and as thousands of homes and businesses were still without electricity.

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