Flying Pig Marathon conducts security audit after Boston Marathon bombings
WCPO Digital Staff
4:05 PM, Apr 15, 2013
8:09 PM, May 1, 2013
CINCINNATI - Only hours after the Boston Marathon bombings, Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon staff conducted a security audit with local police and fire officials Tuesday, a spokesperson for race director Iris Simpson Bush said.
The meeting started at 8:30 a.m. and ended at approximately 2 p.m.
After the meeting Capt. Kim Janke with the Cincinnati police stated the city would be prepared for the Flying Pig weekend, May 3-5. He also confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigations would be at the table.
A message was also posted on the Facebook page of the Flying Pig Marathon. Iris Simpson-Bush, executive director of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, reiterated the race organizers resolve that "the 2013 Flying Pig Marathon weekend will go on as scheduled."
Over the coming weeks Simpson-Bush stated organizers would continue to work with local police and fire officials on a continuing safety audit in order to ensure the highest level of safety precautions and plans. Pig organizers are also working closely with Running USA, the national governing body of U.S. road races, to share best practices in safety and security with other marathons taking place within the next three weeks.
Additionally, Simpson-Bush indicated that any changes to the start and finish line that may impact participant experience to increase security would be communicated to the public.
A news conference to announce the results of the audit is expected later this week, a race spokesperson said.
Police and fire officials addressed City Council's Public Safety Committee Tuesday night, saying they've been planning for this year's marathon since last year's ended and assured council they're ready.
"We do feel we have a very good plan in place, but we are meeting with everybody. We have another meeting scheduled for tomorrow," said Capt. Janke.
Race officials are expecting 33,000 people to participate in the Flying Pig weekend May 3-5. The marathon is May 5.
In an earlier interview Simpson-Bush told 9 On Your Side reporter Jay Warren that she feels secure going into Flying Pig weekend.
"I will be there. If all goes well, I will get to stay at the finish line until the last person crosses," she said. "Yes, this is certainly disconcerting. I would be less than honest if I didn't admit it creates a heavy heart. It's disappointing. It's hard to recognize that these kinds of things happen, but it doesn't deter us."
In years past, Flying Pig officials mainly focused on crowd control and avoiding accidents involving runners, Flying Pig Marathon founder Bob Coughlin said.
"When I read about (Boston), it made me sick," said Coughlin, CEO of the payroll-processing firm Paycor Inc. "I know what a positive event a marathon is, all the people who are there for this life-memorable thing. I think about the spectators. I think about the city of Boston. I haven't even thought about [the impact on] the Flying Pig Marathon."
As a safety precaution Cincinnati police requested FBI presence at this year's race.
The Flying Pig Marathon is a qualification race for entry into the Boston Marathon.
The Flying Pig Marathon issued a statement on the incident in Boston:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the staff and participants of the Boston Marathon after today's incident near the finish line. We are closely following the situation with our local police and fire leadership to understand the circumstances of today's events and will continue to do so as information is released."