Race officials make strides to beef up security

Extra precautions for participants, spectators being taken after Boston Marathon bombings

mwochnick@theolympian.comMay 17, 2013 

Capital City Marathon officials say they’ve made a push to ensure safety for participants and spectators at Sunday’s event in light of the deadly bombings at last month’s Boston Marathon.

Capital City race organizers work each year with the Olympia Police Department and the Washington State Patrol. Second-year race director Nona Snell said both agencies gave officials extra precautions to take this year for the safety of participants and spectators at Sylvester Park, the site of the start and finish line, and along the routes of the marathon, half marathon and 5.2-mile race.

Snell declined to go into details on security specifics.

“We’re doing what they suggest,” she said.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Guy Gill said troopers will be on site, as in previous years, and uniformed officers will be on foot, in their patrol vehicles and on bicycle.

“We’ll have plenty of law enforcement personnel to cover the marathon,” Gill said. “There will be plenty of troopers available. … No one should have any worries. Don’t be afraid to go enjoy the marathon.”

Sunday’s marathon starts at 7 a.m., followed by the half marathon (7:45 a.m.) and 5.2-miler (8 a.m.).

The races will pay tribute to those affected by the events in Boston, bringing together the South Sound running community. Snell said 4,000 black ribbons with a gold “B” signifying Boston will be handed out, with the almost 2,000 runners and 500 volunteers among the recipients.

A moment of silence is planned before the start of the marathon, and donations will be accepted for The One Fund Boston, which has tallied more than $30 million in donations.

“Everyone wanted to do something,” Snell said.

Capital City’s registration is up 10 percent overall from last year, Snell said, and the events in Boston might be a big reason for the increase.

“The half marathon is where the growth is,” Snell said. “I think there’s continuing to be growth in the half marathon throughout the nation.”

A 1.2-mile fun run for children in eighth grade and younger is planned for 4 p.m. Saturday at Olympia’s Heritage Park.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick

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