'Runner only' zones added to marathon
Last week's bombings in Boston have prompted organizers of the May 5 Pittsburgh Marathon to implement extra safety measures for runners and spectators, race officials said on Saturday.
“Safety is our No. 1 priority,” said Patrice Matamoros, Pittsburgh Marathon director. “We've been reevaluating our security plans and looking at what other steps we can take to make it better.”
Matamoros laid out some of the security changes for a group of runners at the organization's North Shore headquarters before a training run.
The 26,000 runners will have to leave backpacks or other bags at a “gear check” station and place items they need to carry in a clear bag that will be issued. Runners then will enter fenced-in “corrals” to await the start of the race.
Several “runner-only” zones encircled by 6-foot-tall chain link fence at the start and finish line areas will separate participants from spectators.
“Spectators will still have a place at the starting line, but we feel that it was overly congested in years past,” Matamoros said. “In light of what happened in Boston, we feel it is even more pertinent to have these runner- only zones.”
Matamoros said three members of the finish line team who were working at the Boston Marathon will be in Pittsburgh on race to day to assist.
From 75,000 to 100,000 spectators are expected to line the race route, she said.
Security will be tight in the approximately 700-foot, runner-only zone that will be set up beyond the finish line.
Matamoros said some security measures cannot be revealed. Race officials will be meeting regularly with city police in the days leading up to the race to finalize security plans.
Marathon officials have added more private security officers to supplement the large contingent of city police along the 26-mile race route.
A moment of silence was held for the victims of the Boston explosion before the group took off for its training run.
“It's been a tough week for the running community to get through,” Matamoros said.
She said race organizers and the police are “committed to doing everything they can to make the event secure for runners and spectators.”
“But we need the public's help, too,” she said. “We are asking people who come out to the race to be vigilant.”
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh airport improvements noted as CEO tries to expand activity
- Developers share their vision for Garden Theater block on North Side
- Volunteer tutors boost adult literacy in Allegheny County
- Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
- National Night Out ‘a start’ for violence-prone Homewood
- Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s banding program a labor of love for avian expert
- Allegheny County Council candidates chosen for District 11 ballot
- Downtown Macy’s building to lose OASIS to closer parent organization
- 2 killed in single-vehicle crash in Pittsburgh
- Newsmaker: Mark Rubenstein
- School credit ratings a problem for several in Western Pennsylvania