Emergency personnel plan extra security for Flying Pig Marathon - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Officials strengthen security plans for Flying Pig

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Following the tragedy in Boston last week, officials with the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon are taking 'extraordinary measures' to strengthen security plans.

According to organizers, the race will have full cooperation of every police, fire and first responder unit in the Tri-State area. Marathon officials met with local agencies last week to review security measures for the weekend's activities.

"We're asking everyone, certainly our participants but also again the general public and our volunteers, to bring less.  Only bring what they absolutely need.  We don't want backpacks and other bags," said Iris Simpson-Bush, the marathon's executive director.

Participants should expect some changes this year, with some more obvious than others:

  • There will be a greater presence of uniformed personnel at the start, finish and along the courses.
  • Participants will likely see working canines.
  • The start and finish lines will be more secure. Proper credentials will be required to enter the appropriate areas. For participants and spectators, follow volunteers' directives as to accessible areas.
  • Carry less with you. There will be no baggage check-in or storage for Friday or Saturday events. Sunday participants must put items in a clear plastic bag to check in at the baggage buses and pick up at the finish. Don't stash items behind a bench, under a bush or under a car. They will be disposed of during security sweeps.
  • Volunteers or spectators wearing a backpack or carrying a bag may be subjected to a search of items by police at any time.
  • If you observe individuals or actions which are unusual or out of place for the surroundings (e.g. over or underdressed for the weather) report it to staff or safety officials.
  • If you see something, say something. If you see a bag or backpack that looks like it doesn't belong, or has been sitting in one place for a long period of time, notify uniformed personnel. Don't walk up to it yourself. Let the professionals handle it.

On Friday, Flying Pig organizers said they don't want participants or spectators to bring bags. If they do, they will be subject to search. In addition, runners in the race will receive clear bags. 

Last week, Police Chief James Craig reflected on the horrific scenes in Boston, saying Cincinnati can always learn from departments that go through a situation like that and commending the Boston Police Department for their tremendous efforts.

"The biggest thing is asking the public to help us, to be aware, to be vigilant and most of all, to come out and support the race and show people that we're going to be here to support this event," said Tammy Wise, board president for the race.

The Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon begins Sunday, May 5 at 6:30 a.m.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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