Bloomsday Race Officials To Make Minimal Security Adjustments
by Josh Liebeskind, SWX Content Coordinator - email
Minimal adjustments have been made to the Bloomsday security plans.
Bloomsday race officials have made minimal adjustments after reviewing the race's security measures, a member of the board of directors said earlier this week.
Race officials met with representatives from the city of Spokane, as well as law enforcement and fire agencies on Thursday morning to discuss security issues for the May 5th 12K race. The group generally meets at least once or twice prior to the event said Al Odenthal, a member of the Bloomsday board of directors.
"In terms of our security review and our contingency plan, we've done it for a long time and have lots built in," Odenthal said. "We didn't have to change a lot. There's been a lot going on in the background we've been doing for a long time."
Odenthal said the tragic events at the Boston Marathon two weeks ago "focused on different contingencies of the race" and were always part of the Bloomsday discussions. That being said, the meeting probably examined the processes and contingency plans to a fuller extent because of the bombings in Boston, Odenthal said.
The one major security difference at Bloomsday will be at the starting line, where spectators will not be able to mingle with runners. To get to the correct loading zone, runners walk down either Main Avenue or Sprague Avenue to the cross street that they're assigned to begin at (correlates to the color on each race bib). The runners then walk up a block to Riverside Avenue, where the race begins.
In the past, Odenthal said the area between Main and Sprague has been a "loose zone, but this year spectators will not be able to accompany runners to that locale.
Odenthal said that Bloomsday officials are also asking people to adhere to the motto, "If you see something, say something."
"For a major sporting event, the concern is always focused on participant safety," Odenthal said. "You're really in the realm of what are reasonable steps you can take? And, therein becomes the balance. This is not a security event, this is a sporting event. At some point in time you're going to have an interface with the public and security."
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