OKC Memorial Marathon Responds to Boston Marathon Bombings
Officials with the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, the Memorial Marathon and City of Oklahoma City gathered late this afternoon at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum to discuss the impact of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on the OKC Memorial Marathon, slated to start just 12 days from now.
Race officials said the Marathon already has a safety and security plan in place and will watch the intel from the law enforcement agencies in the coming days and make the appropriate decisions for the race or any changes in security.
“We stay with the race, during the race and after the race. We have people on the track, around the course and in the crowds watching the race. We have bomb techs assigned to this race and they have been assigned to this race since its inception,” said Captain Dexter Nelson with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Mayor Mick Cornett said during the press conference that “circumstances could change over the next few days, but if you are looking for one or two concepts that might make us react differently, suspicion over who might be behind this attack and how that might be related to Oklahoma City, would be what would cause us to change our mind on holding this race.”
The Memorial Marathon is expected to have nearly 24,000 participants on the last Sunday of April as it runs 26.2 miles through five city districts and three municipalities, including Oklahoma City, Nichols Hills and the Village. The Memorial Marathon consists of a full Marathon, Half-Marathon, Relay, Memorial 5k and a Kids Marathon.
“The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was created because of the Oklahoma City bombing and since that time, thousands have “run to remember” over the past 12 years. We will work with city officials to ensure the safety of runners, volunteers, spectators and everyone involved with the race,” said Chet Collier, Marathon Race Director.
“Our community became and remains a national symbol of hope for a better future. The City and Memorial are mirror reflections of one another and we will protect that forever. We will never put the race in front of public safety and that decision will be made jointly in the coming days,” said Kari Watkins, Executive Director of the OKC National Memorial & Museum. “Today, we will keep working toward race day of April 28th.”
“As these decisions are made, our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Boston and the runners who were there today running the pinnacle race of their lives. We understand the human toll of terrorism and we stand with the people impacted today and in the days ahead,” Watkins said. “This comes the week of the 18th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and I know our families, survivors and rescue workers join us in our support of those impacted by this violence.”
Any updates will be posted to www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org, www.okcmarathon.com and our social media pages at @OKCMarathon and @OKCNM. #R2R
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