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After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security


BOSTON (AP) - For years, state and local officials have conducted a "tabletop exercise" before the Boston Marathon, a meeting that allows them to study a map of the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston's Copley Square and plan for emergencies that could arise during the race.

So many new people needed to attend the session this year that they moved it from the state's emergency bunker in Framingham to the a convention center in the city. The crowd grew from what usually is about 100 to more than 450, according to Boston Athletic Association executive director Tom Grilk, who is in charge of organizing the race.

"Whether you have a small group or a big group, the spirit is the same," he said this month in an interview at the athletic association's office, about two blocks from the finish line. "And that is: How do we get our event done well?"

Boston Gov.: Marathon May Be 'Safest Place In America'

One year after a pair of homemade pressure cooker bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260 others, turning a day of athletic triumph into one of tragedy, the Boston Marathon returns to the streets on Monday. For the 118th edition of the world's oldest annual marathon, security along the course will be tighter than ever.

"There'll be considerably more police presence," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "But we also don't want to have it, you know, kind of a race through a militarized zone. So it's about striking a balance, and I think we have struck that balance."

Runners attending the event will have to use clear plastic bags for their belongings, and fans hoping to watch near the finish line are encouraged to leave strollers and backpacks behind. More than 100 cameras have been installed along the route in Boston, and 50 or so "observation points" will be set up around the finish line "to monitor the crowd," the Boston Athletic Association said.

Patrick said there have been no specific threats against the race or the city for the Massachusetts holiday of Patriots' Day.

"We're not taking that as a sign to sort of stand down," he said. "We're very prepared, and we're assuring people as much as we can that it'll be a fun day and a safe one."

About 36,000 runners have registered for the race - the second-largest field in its history, many of them coming to show support for the event and the city that was shocked by the attack on its signature sporting event. Race organizers expanded the field from its recent cap of 27,000 to make room for more than 5,000 runners who were still on the course at the time of the explosions, for friends and relatives of the victims and for those who made the case that they were "profoundly impacted" by the attack.

Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, who crossed the finish line on Boylston Street about three hours before the explosions, will return to defend their championships. Desisa returned to Boston last fall to donate his first-place medal to the city as a gesture of support.

Jeptoo, who also won the race in 2006, said she is hoping for a third victory - and one she can enjoy.

"It was very difficult to be happy. People were injured and children died," she said of last year's marathon. "If I'm going to win again, I hope I can be happier and to show people, like I was supposed to last year."

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
allnightradioman April 21 2014 at 10:32 AM

She's an animal! She'll run your pants off! She 's all muscle and bone baby! Ugly as a otter but fast as sound! Laying toots won't help. Average runners can't catch her!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
antonio.dabela April 21 2014 at 11:31 AM

It is very easy to break the world record over and over again however that is not the issue.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
vigoddess April 21 2014 at 12:00 PM

Hooray for Boston!
Hooray for all the runners, brave enough to stand up for
what they believe in.
and Hip Hip for the people supporting and rooting this
event.
This is America.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
ekarlh1 April 21 2014 at 11:29 AM

Give the runners strength.
Give the runners heart.
Give the runners hope.
Give the runners across the finish line strong.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
sirmidnight1 April 21 2014 at 8:19 AM

THIS AN ( AMERCAN WAY ) WE WILL DO WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE
IS SAFE..... MY SON ( MIKE ) IS RUNNING...WHEN LAST YEAR ,THE 2 PEOPLE THAT MADE THE
MISTAKE OF DOING THE (BOMB) THEY DID NOT KNOW ABOUT OUR STRENTH TO REUNITE AS
(1) ALL PEOPLE ,DO MAKE THAT IT AS ( UNIFIED ). WE ARE (B0ST0N) STONG & MANY OTHERS
FROM OTHER PLACES, THAT JOIN US... WE WILL NOT BE INTERMERDATED......
WE ARE (AMERICANS) . PEACE TO ALL THAT ARE RUNNING. ONE THAT CARES.04-21-2014

Flag Reply +5 rate up
2 replies
vondrazy sirmidnight1 April 21 2014 at 9:28 AM

one people?!?!? Is that why there're so many racist comments on the story about the 16 year old on the flight to Hawaii?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
a2004ssr sirmidnight1 April 21 2014 at 9:50 AM

What is " intermerdated " ?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
petpetdon April 21 2014 at 9:35 AM

You are never fully prepared. They are many crazies out there, remember all it takes is one. The only way to be prepared is to not let any spectators watch the race. Clear all the streets of cars and post police on top of the buildings and on the ground every block.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
KandyKane petpetdon April 21 2014 at 9:51 AM

Obviously you've never been a spectator and cheered on the runners...too bad!
I'm on my way for the 35th year! It's going to be a GREAT DAY!!!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
blo2thehead KandyKane April 21 2014 at 10:11 AM

do you watch the golf channel?

Flag 0 rate up
sanmc58 April 21 2014 at 11:22 AM

Safe travels for all our Marathon runners and watchers today! B O S T O N S T R O N G!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
riktinory April 21 2014 at 9:51 AM

http://youtu.be/tjwlaBU0tVk

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jimTnorris April 21 2014 at 11:18 AM

I lived in Boston for quite a few years.
I wish everyone in the Race to have a safe and good run.
If the Red Sox win the Game today....that's GHravy!! :-D

Flag Reply +2 rate up
upea91 April 21 2014 at 2:38 PM

People In boston Still Mourning And The suspect , well the guilty Person Who Did This Still Alive And Treated Like He Is Innocent.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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