Bloomsday organizers beef up security plan

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 29 at 1:22 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The entire Bloomsday staff is grieving after Monday’s tragedy in Boston. Spokane’s run will go on as planned in just a few weeks, but there are new changes in store.

For one, the organization behind the race has purchased thousands of lilac bracelets for the community. The staff says they want the participants to group together at this year’s run and feel safe while doing it. The bracelets will read “Bloomsday Stands with Boston.”

The crew is working overtime to make the race safer than ever.

“We mourn those who were harmed and killed. It shattered America’s, if not the world’s, most celebrated race. The finish line was turned into and unspeakable act of terror,” John Neal, Lead Athlete Coordinator said.

Organizers of Bloomsday say they won’t let terrorists keep the community from something that many look forward to every year.

Security policies have been revamped, and the public will never know about many of those changes. One big one, though, will impact every runner. Retired Spokane Police Bomb Unit Commander Al Odenthal is the head for the event’s security. He says security will increase specifically on parallels streets and around the start line.

Odenthal compares it to airports after Sept. 11. Prior to the attacks, families could say goodbye to loved ones at the gate.  No one without a registration bib will be allowed in the area.  Any bags left unattended will be immediately confiscated. The plan for the finish line has not been finalized.

Any bags left behind will also be confiscated.

Several new participants have registered since the bombings who did not originally have plans to run. Anyone still interested in running has until April 21 register.

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