Hightened Security at Eugene Marathon

Finish line at the 2011 Eugene Marathon. Photo by Michael McCullough (ex_magician on Flickr).

By Corinne Mooney

EUGENE, Ore.—Security for the Eugene Marathon this weekend is a high priority with the impacts of the Boston Marathon bombing still resonating. With more than 8,500 participants expected to attend, the safety of the runners and bystanders is imperative for a fun, successful marathon.

Eliman Gibba, the owner of Café Mafe, a food cart near campus, said he thinks people attending the Eugene Marathon will have “more concern about added safety.”
The Lane Transit District has been training their drivers and security to prepare for the Eugene Marathon.

Cheryl Googe-Paup, a driver for Lane Transit District since 1985, said training for bus drivers and security officers includes checking for and searching backpacks or bags people leave on the buses.
Jed Raey, a genetic researcher at PeaceHealth, said he doesn’t think the marathon will change at all, but the bombing last week “might potentially increase the numbers [of attendees].”

Raey said he thinks a bombing “probably won’t happen again this weekend.” Raey added that he thinks “there is never enough security.”

Googe-Paup said she thinks the Boston Marathon bombing last week won’t affect the Eugene Marathon turn-out either, but she said people will be more aware of what’s going on around them.
“It’s a tragedy every time you rethink it but in a lot of ways we are resilient,” Raey said. Googe-Paup said she thinks people will be more upbeat at the marathon this weekend.

According to an article by the Register-Guard, heightened security includes the reinforcement of policies such as the following:
“Conducting random bag checks for participants; limiting prerace shuttles to participants wearing event bibs; promptly towing vehicles parked in ‘no parking’ areas; searching and removing unattended bags; quickly ushering runners through the finish chute into a nearby area; and prohibiting re-entry into a participant-only area near the finish line.”

The marathon begins and ends at Hayward Field. The 5K race is scheduled for Saturday, and half and full marathon begin 7 a.m. on Sunday.

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