Eugene Marathon remains a popular event despite Boston tragedy

by Allie Burger

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More than 8,500 runners will cross the finish line at Hayward Field this Sunday. Photo by Michael McCullough.

EUGENE, Ore.— Despite the tragedies in the Boston Marathon bombing last week, Eugene Marathon runners are still ready for the race this Sunday. Since 2011, the number of participants in the Eugene Marathon has increased by 500.

According to an update by the Eugene Marathon yesterday, 8,500 runners are expected to be participating this weekend. In addition, the race coordinators have taken extra safety precautions for this year’s run. An e-mail sent out to the 2013 runners yesterday expressed the importance of safety on race day.

“With the Boston tragedy still fresh in our hearts and our minds, we want to reassure participants, volunteers and spectators that we have been working closely with local and national law enforcements officials to ensure the safety of everyone,” the e-mail said.

Many Eugene residents have given little consideration to an increased risk at this weekend’s run as a result of the Boston Marathon events.

“I think that the risk is low enough to where there should not be an issue here,” Eugene resident Larry Jackson said.

Others have said that there is no reason why Eugene residents should fear for any type of emergency to occur at the race this weekend. 

“I think that if we act too fearfully we have given over more power to these acts than we should. So, I think that there is not any particular reason to fear that Eugene, Oregon is going to suffer the same fate as Boston did,” Eugene resident Khrys Suckow said.

This year’s Eugene Marathon may even hold greater significance for runners than they had originally intended.

“I think that a general resilience has been growing in the nation. I think that people will be more inclined to run just to show that we’re still okay and that we can’t be defeated with such indifference,” Safeway employee Andrew Bentley said.

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