Bridge Run updates security after Boston bombings

By Stefanie

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15 rocked the nation and shook the core of racing communities across the country.

"The fact that it happened in Boston for runners was particularly a tragedy because for runners that is an event that holds a special place just in the sport itself," said Cooper River Bridge Run{}Chairman of the Board Directors John Massey.

"Now that we know it's an issue to be aware of certainly we hope that we never have an incident," he said. "But it reminds us that we need to be vigilant at all times."

The Board of Directors met this week to discuss doubling security measures for the next Bridge Run.

"Boston certainly was a wake up call to reinvigorate those efforts and we have always been at the forefront of maintaining security and being aware of the fact that domestic terrorism is a really real concern for us," Massey said.

Massey said not only will officials and volunteers be briefed on the security measures but that race participants will need to be aware of their surroundings as well.

"We at least need runners to understand and be prepared that we may adopt a policy where security officials will be checking bags at checkpoints and things like that," Massey said. "That may become standard."

Along with those possible security checkpoints, Massey said more police will be visibly stationed across the race route, especially at the finish line.

"Our finish line is somewhat similar to Boston in that we have fencing on both sides and room for spectators," Massey said. "However, unlike Boston, where they had large venues set up with bleachers and things like that, we basically don't have that so ours is much smaller and so much more manageable. It is much easier to maintain security around all the areas of the finish line."

Security on race day will be provided by the municipalities of Charleston and Mount Pleasant, the Ports Authority, and Department of Homeland Security.

The cap on the number of runners this year is 40,000. Registration is now open. The Cooper River Bridge Run will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014.

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