Long Island Marathon steps up security measures for weekend race

Posted at 6:42 PM, May 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-04 19:03:52-04

LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK (PIX11)– Since the bombings at the Boston Marathon, security has stepped up at sporting events and major gatherings throughout the country.

Today Long Island runners got a preview of what that security will be like when they take the 26.2 mile trek here in New York.

As runners arrived to pick up their bibs and bags for the marathon, half-marathon, and 10k races; police and race officials searched pocketbooks and back-packs.

The trumped up security providing some extra peace of mind for even the most determined runners, including Diana Halton, “Nothing was going to stop me.  I was coming out no matter what.  But I’m happy it’s here though, that’s for sure.”

And race officials say runners should get used to the extra security measures.

Director Jason Lipset says the efforts may become less visible as more time passes after the Boston Bombings, but increased security is probably here to stay, “To some extent, yeah, it’s going to be the norm that there is increased security presence than there has been in the past.”

While there will be increased security throughout the race, especially here at the finish line, organizers say most of the security techniques used by police officers to protect the Long Island Marathon won’t even be noticed by participants or spectators.

The Police Department has tricks and tools that I haven’t even seen.  They say they’re out there, I believe them.  I know there’s trucks and equipment, what’s inside them, I don’t know.

At least one of the tools police will use to fight terrorism will be radiation detectors small enough to fit in someone’s pocket.
Some runners say if this is the new normal, it might be a little overboard.

“I feel safe, I don’t even think it’s necessary,” said rummer Andrej Jankuv

But most say in light of what happened in Boston they’re happy to see the extra security.

“Why tempt fate.  If we can add some measures let’s add them and let’s all have a great day,” said runner Seth Feyler.