With a record turn-out of more than 10,000 runners, security was a priority for organizers of the IMT Des Moines Marathon in its first running since the Boston Marathon bombing.
The accused Boston Marathon bombers not only took three lives and injured 260 others, but their senseless act also robbed runners of the chance to cross the finish line and spectators the opportunity to cheer for their loved ones.
At the IMT Des Moines Marathon, everything went according to plan.
“The race director has been out on the course all day. We haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary,” said Emily Cataldi, a public information officer for the race.
This year, organizers addressed safety by keeping extra officers along the course and special attention was paid to areas near the finish lines.
Security guards and uniformed officers kept a watchful eye on the crowds.
“I heard there would be undercover officers too. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there,” said Catty Klein, a spectator.
An emphasis on security allowed many runners to finish their first half marathons.
“I was pretty relieved. I was pretty ecstatic. It was first time and I was happy to finish it off,” said Trent Muhlenburg, a runner.
“It was a big weight off my shoulders,” said Lindsey Jere.
Spectators say they felt safe as they encouraged their runners down the final stretch.
“They know what they’re doing here at these races,” said Craig Michaelson, a spectator.
“These are individuals. These are amateurs just trying to have a good time,” said Bruce Clark.
It was not only a safe day at the marathon, but a fast one.
The winner on the men’s side finished the race in two hours and 17 minutes.
The winning woman finished in two hours and 33 minutes.