Local Marathon Organizers Review Details In Wake Of Boston Bombings

By: Chinh Doan Email
By: Chinh Doan Email

BELL COUNTY (April 17, 2013)-- Organizers of the first Army Marathon met Wednesday with representatives of Bell County law enforcement agencies to review race details in the wake of Monday's deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon.

"We just wanted to make sure that all the plans we had in our playbook for contingency operations, since it just became a reality somewhere else, we wanted to make sure we're all on the same sheet of music," said Ed Bandas, the Army Marathon's race director.

"Nobody expects to see something like that from what's essentially the pinnacle of a runner's career going to the Boston Marathon,” he said.

The race, which starts Sunday morning in Killeen and ends in Temple, will raise money for several different charities for military men and women.

Bandas said although safety has always been priority, the incident in Boston heightened the concern.

About 200 law enforcement officers from city, county and state agencies will be involved in securing the marathon route.

Firefighters, paramedics and a medical helicopter will be on standby, during the race, organizers said.

"We're in contact with state and federal partners on the event," said Lt. Donnie Adams with the Bell County Sheriff's Office.

"We've had no known threats at this time that's out there on the radar, but we've planned for everything."

Adams said law enforcement agencies also need the community's help.

"We want folks to come out and have a good time, but there are several things you can do to help us," Adams said.

Adams said spectators should keep close track of their belongings and to call 911 if they see anything suspicious.

Bandas says he expects the race to draw about 1,000 runners and thousands of spectators.

"They're showing their support for their families and Boston in general (and that) these types of acts can't bring the American people down, I would say it's a sense of patriotism,” Bandas said.

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