EUGENE, Oregon – Despite the Boston Marathon bombings, Eugene natives interviewed on Tuesday said that they are not concerned about threats to the Eugene Marathon this weekend. The Eugene Marathon, now in its seventh year, will hold a 5k on Saturday and the marathon and half marathon on Sunday starting and ending at the University of Oregon’s Hayward field.
“I don’t know if it will have an effect physically on people, but I do think that it will have more of a mental effect and impact on runners here in Eugene,” said Pete Peterson, a barber at the Red Rooster.
As opposed to previous years, Peterson said that he feels certain that additional security will be added for this year’s marathon and half-marathon. “There will always be a few kooks out in the world that will find a way to hurt one another and make others nervous,” says Peterson, “but I don’t think the attacks in Boston should influence the lives of Americans and Eugene runners won’t skip the race.
Angie McCreney, a teller at US Bank on 13th Avenue near campus, said, “I think there will be more security and people will be far more aware of their surroundings, but I don’t think runners will turn away from the race.”
To reassure runners, volunteers, and spectators, Eugene Marathon officials posted a notice on the Eugene Marathon website and also e-mailed race participants informing them that heavy involvement with local and national law enforcement officials will be implemented. A zero tolerance approach will be enforced to preexisting race policies.
For individuals interested in learning the extent of this year’s security, the 2013 security summary is available on the official Eugene Marathon website.
Perhaps, Janie Smith, a clerk at 7-11 on Alder Street, said it best, “I don’t think anything will happen on Sunday. It’s Eugene, the land of hippies, peace and love.”