Increased security at area road races


With numerous road races in the viewing area coming up this spring and summer, organizers are also taking part in the safety discussions.

Sporting events have been a concern for organizers and law enforcement officials since Sept. 11, but most people were concerned for stadiums and arenas, not road races.

Now that has all changed.

State law enforcement officials say an attack could happen in the Triangle.

"We're assuming that there's market that's out of bounds for them and their hideous antics.  But whether it's children, whether it's people running, whether it's soldiers overseas, whether it's the major cities, here, there is no place that is off bounds for them," N.C. Commissioner of Law Enforcement Frank Perry said.

Perry said since Monday's bombings, he and agencies around the state have been meeting continuously.

"People should be reassured - eyes wide open - but know that state and local and federal agencies are interacting and we're interacting every hour," Perry said.

Now organizers are thinking about the possibilities and are trying to plan for if anything were to go wrong. This means checking in with local police agencies where the events are held.

One of the organizers for the Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary ran in Monday's Boston Marathon and finished before the bombs exploded.

"It came to my mind, 'What would happen if something like that happened?'  I hope it never happens, you know, we are in Cary, North Carolina. We are, I hope nothing happens, but you never know," Cary race organizer Kaz Yahyapours said.  

The organizer of the Mid-town Lookout Capital Road Race, a half marathon in Raleigh, also shed light on how to go about preparing for a possible attack. His event is the next big race in Raleigh, scheduled for June 1.

"It's still something that we've got to get on top of now to make sure folks running in our race can be focused on running and having a good time, and the only medical issue that they have is if they run a little too hard," Raleigh race organizer Jim Kane said.  

Kane said he and security officials will not only be prepared, but they plane to commemorate the Boston Marathon tragedy at the beginning of that race.

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