Security tightened for 2014 Mercedes Marathon - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Security tightened for 2014 Mercedes Marathon

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Source: WBRC file video Source: WBRC file video
Source: WBRC file video Source: WBRC file video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The 13th Mercedes Benz Marathon will be under tighter security this year, according to race organizers.

The big event in downtown Birmingham takes place for the first time since the bombings at the Boston Marathon last year. Three people were killed and almost 300 were injured in the Boston bombings.

"Actually that evening I got a call from the mayor saying anything we need to amp our security, we are going to provide it and take care of us after that," race organizer Valerie McClean said.

McClean helped create the Mercedes Marathon. McClean said security has always been an issue at the finish line. This year credentials will be required in the area near Birmingham City Hall.

"Now people understand [why] we are so strict about it and why we have to be that way. So we know who is in there, who needs to be there, who needs to get out of there. So we have better control," McLean said.

Runners will also be given clear bags so to allow for quicker inspections.

Lt. Sean Edwards with the Birmingham Police Department said the city reviewed its security procedures after the Boston bombings. Edwards said running routes will be under tighter security.

"We are going to secure the route for several days and we are going to have 24 hour security. We are going to have officers in a lot of the staging areas," Edwards said.

Edwards says police officers will respond quickly if they or the public spots anything suspicious.

"We are going to have officers at every intersection. So if they see anything suspicious, out of the way, we will act immediately. A bomb sweep for that particular area," Edwards said.

The police and organizers want to make sure everyone is safe.

"Don't let anybody keep you down. Come out and enjoy it. Root everybody on. Everybody is excited about it," McLean said.

For more details about the race, visit www.mercedesmarathon.com.

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