The New York Marathon, an annual event including some 50,000 runners, will take place Sunday as scheduled despite the damage left by Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

"People have asked about the marathon. There's tens of thousands of people who've come from around the world here to run. We've decided the marathon will go on," he told a press conference.

"We expect by Sunday most of the power will be back, if not all of it," Bloomberg said. "It starts on Staten Island right by the bridge. We've been cleaning up that area, and then it's on main roads throughout the city."

Noting that "some people said" the marathon should be canceled or postponed in light of the 32 deaths and extensive destruction the city suffered from Sandy, the mayor stressed the importance of the event to the local economy.

"There's an awful lot of small businesses that depend on these people, we have to have an economy," he said. "I think for those who were lost, you know, you've got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind."

The race, which runs through the Big Apple's five boroughs, was created in 1970 and usually draws around 2 million spectators. EFE