In light of recent events in Boston, officials with big road races coming up in Iowa say they are ramping up security and double checking emergency plans.
In just two weeks, thousands will descend on Des Moines for the Drake Relays. With the 6k, 10k, and half marathon road races set to take place April 28th organizers say public safety is their top priority.
Every year officials say they work with Des Moines Police, Iowa Public Safety and Homeland Security when organizing their events, but the bombings in Boston will be considered during future race meetings.
Director Brian Brown says Relays will be safe, “Every year there’s an emergency plan and every year there’s great coordination between all entities, not just Drake, but certainly the city. So we feel confident that we continue to present an event that is safe.”
Brown says if changes in security impact runners or spectators, the public will be informed.
Another major race is scheduled for this weekend in eastern Iowa.
“Tensions wills be tight,” Marathon organizer Jim Dwyer says. “It’s not as large of a scale as the Boston Marathon, but it’s our first time putting on a marathon, but you always prepare for the worst.”
The inaugural Marion Rotary Marathon for Shoes will be held Sunday.
It is designed to give runners a chance to qualify for bigger races like the Boston Marathon, while helping a local charity.
Police say they are taking extra precautions and plan to use the k-9 explosives unit.
“There is no issue,” said Officer Harry Daugherty. “I just want everybody to know we’re doing everything we possibly can at the police department for this marathon to go very smoothly. And I want people to know it’s safe and ok to come out to the event.”