Increased Security For 13th Annual OKC Memorial Marathon

Friday, April 26th 2013, 6:27 pm
By: News 9

The 13th annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is almost here. Sunday, tens of thousands of runners will participate. Even more people will be watching in part because of the tragedy in Boston.

This year, security will be tighter than ever. We're told local, state and federal agencies are sending more officers than ever before to secure the entire route.

4/26/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon To Take Place Sunday

Expect to see a more police around the start and finish lines, and federal buildings downtown.

But less than two weeks after the Boston bombings, runners say nothing will stop them from competing.

Runners lined up Friday to pick up their race numbers ahead of Sunday's marathon. Around 25,000 people are expected to participate.

"It's kind of turned into a family weekend for our family. We all just get a group of people together, and we all run the marathon together," Talbot Cox said.

Many have been concerned about safety after what happened in Boston.

"Right after the whole incident happened, I was just like, ‘oh my gosh, we're running the marathon here in Oklahoma City in two weeks,'" Cox said.

Some even considered dropping out.

"Yeah, I considered it actually," Erin Morrison said.

"Yeah, I was getting a little scared, to be honest with you," Jennifer Rowland said.

Oklahoma City police are a lot more involved this year. The bomb squad has always been involved, and it will sweep downtown again this weekend. Officers on and off duty will be working the race.

"You know, it's in the back of your mind, but I don't think it's any worry. I think security will definitely be very aware of what's going on," Caleb McKee said.

In support of Boston, many runners will wear red socks to honor the victims.

City police are asking people to treat the marathon like an airport - don't leave anything unattended.

In fact, organizers are asking folks to leave backpacks at home. As for runners, only the clear bags provided for them will be allowed.