With the New York City Marathon canceled less than 24 hours before its scheduled start Sunday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter reportedly had stepped in with an offer: all 40,000-plus runners could come to Philadelphia instead.

George Hirsch, head of the New York Road Runners, which sponsors the run, said Nutter told him Philadelphia was ready to host the marathon Sunday if race participants could make it to the city, Runner's World reported Saturday.

Hirsch replied that there wasn't enough time to do that. He described Nutter as having "sounded very sincere."

Mark McDonald, a spokesman for the mayor, confirmed that Nutter called New York officials to offer to help with the marathon, but he declined to elaborate.

The offer came just two weeks before Philadelphia's own 26.2 miler on Nov. 18.

Disappointed New York City marathoners still have a chance to experience a finish at the steps Rocky made famous.

Although the Philadelphia Marathon sold out months ago, organizers say those turned away in New York can still enter. Runners can get into the race through charity spots, which are available, executive director Melanie Johnson said in a news release.

The catch is that the charities still looking for runners have fund-raising requirements that may be higher than the regular entrance fee. Philadelphiamarathon.com has a list of available charity partners.