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OC Marathon security reviewed but proceeding normally

April 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Orange County is planning a marathon of its own next month. What happened in Boston has raised new concerns about safety.

Daniel Okabe, 27, has been training for the OC Marathon. He's not hesitating despite what happened during the Boston Marathon Monday, a race he competed in in 2011.

"Just to come to the finish line and find tragedy and chaos, it's really very saddening and very shocking," said Okabe. "It does not deter me to keep running and I know this is even going to encourage more runners to go and keep running."

Gary Kutscher, the organizer of the OC Marathon, says they have seen an uptick in participants in the past 24 hours.

"People are saying 'Let's go run a marathon,' 'Let's qualify for Boston, and let's go back to Boston and show them that we support them,'" said Kutscher.

Kutscher says they are meeting with authorities and re-examining security following the Boston tragedy.

The OC Marathon normally involves extra police. The event is expected to draw more than 20,000 runners and more than 40,000 spectators. The marathon goes through four Orange County cities, starting at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, and ending at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Authorities say they have not ruled out adding even more security.

"We may just relocate them to places that might be more appropriate for them, but I'll just leave it up to them to tell us what we need to do," said Kutscher.

Race officials won't give details about their security plans, but they assure runners and spectators that safety has always been a priority.

The OC Marathon is scheduled for May 5. Runners are urged to use clear, see-through bags the race will be providing in order to make searching and visibility easier.


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