By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
Following the bombings during the Boston Marathon, security measures will be stepped up for Danville’s marathon and half-marathon in May.
“I am going to meet with Chief (Eric) Gill this week and talk about additional officers,” said Bob Stoudt, executive director of the Montour Area Recreation Commission, which is sponsoring the events May 4 starting in Danville.
Among items they will discuss are backpacks. “We have had a bag drop location for people running the race to leave backpacks and stuff there and pick them up at the end of the race,” he said.
Gill and Stoudt will talk about whether they will ask people to voluntarily agree to a search of their bags. Stoudt said there possibly could be a sweep by a K-9 unit.
Registrations are down slightly for the marathon and half-marathon compared with last year. He attributes this to “we had a long, cold winter and people were not able to get out and train like they had hoped to.”
“We have just over 100 for the full marathon and are just shy of 400 for the half-marathon,” he said.
The marathon, covering 26.2 miles, will begin at 7 a.m. at the Montour County Courthouse and continue through Catawissa to Bloomsburg Town Park and return along the same route to the courthouse to the finish line.
The half-marathon of 13.1 miles begins at the courthouse at 9 a.m. with runners heading down Mill Street to officially kick off the annual Spring Fling, run along Ferry Street, Market Street and to River Road. They will continue to County Line Road where they will make a U-turn and head back to the courthouse.
Runners can register online at active.com or can download a mail-in form and send a check to the address listed.
“We want to encourage more spectators to cheer them on as they come down Mill Street and along Market Street. The marathon is truly the most intense race we offer. It is amazing the time and effort to do this race,” he said.”
“As people saw with the Boston Marathon, they really give their all to do this and it would be more fantastic if more people could come out and show Danville appreciates them and likes them here in town,” he said.
After they cross the finish, many of the racers will be going to the Spring Fling with the recreation commission giving each a $5 coupon to use anywhere during the fling.
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