Photo Video
Security at the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo courtesy of Kareem Elgazzar.
Hide Caption
Prev
Safety top priority at 2013 Flying Pig Marathon Security major issue for Flying Pig Marathon Safety precautions at the Flying Pig Security at the Flying Pig
Next

Safety plan means secure Flying Pig Marathon

Planning done in wake of Boston bombings

a a a a
Share this story

CINCINNATI - The 15th running of the Flying Pig Marathon was safe, secure and successful, according to Executive Director Iris Simpson-Bush.
 
That was due in large part to the extra security planning that took place after the bombings during the Boston Marathon on April 15.

"I think our entire community should feel good that the resources are here when we need them," Simpson-Bush said. "They're responsive to our needs, careful to preplan and those plans were seamlessly carried out."

Police were hard at work along the 26.2-mile course several hours before the 6:30 a.m. start of the race on Mehring Way outside Paul Brown Stadium.

Explosive-sniffing dogs checked cars, bags, trash cans and anything else that might pose a security threat.

Cincinnati Police SWAT team members were dressed in full assault gear.

Members of several branches of the military assisted hundreds of volunteers in staffing checkpoints.

Runners immediately noticed the heightened activity.

"I was a little nervous seeing all of the extra people and police officers down here guarding, but it makes me feel a lot safer out here running," said Rachel Yarman of West Price Hill.

Mike and Lynn Carney stopped to gaze at the security maze laid out before them and lamented that a sport as pure as running needed such protection.

"Pretty soon, I expect to see it in any venue that has this many people involved," Mike Carney said.

"We can't let it stop us," Lynn Carney added. "We gotta have fun."

Runners and spectators had been warned for weeks that anything brought to the course had to be in clear plastic bags that were widely distributed.

Delhi Township resident Jill Lapari said that part of the security plan made her feel extra safe.

"It was really easy," she said. "They supplied us with the bags and told us exactly what to bring and I don't think anyone's having a problem."

People who didn't get the word and still brought backpacks to the area had to empty the contents into clear plastic bags.

The race began without incident at 6:30 a.m. after a moment of silence for the Boston victims and the singing of Boston's favorite song, "Sweet Caroline."

Cloudy skies that had produced a few early raindrops cleared to let the rising sun create a rainbow set against a striking background of orange-shaded clouds.  

In just over an hour, Justin Scheid of Sparta, N.J., crossed the finish line to win the Border Energy Half-Marathon. Leslie Kraus of Cleves repeated as the women's champion.

Sergio Reyes was a repeat winner in the full marathon with a time of 2:21:51 and admitted that Boston was on his mind at times during the race.

"No amount of pain that I go through today will even compare to what people went through there," he said.
"It's great to see local law enforcement doing their job and really just maintaining a presence throughout the race."

The women's champion, Rebecca Walter, of Bloomington, Ind., finished her first marathon in her first visit to Cincinnati in 2:53:58. She noticed the extra security along the course.

"It's sad and it's maddening all the way around, but it's still nice to see a record crowd of 34,000 people come out today," she said.

Most runners concentrated on the pavement in front of them to finish their particular race.

"When I saw people with Boston shirts on during the race, I thought of it, but at the finish line I didn't think of it at all," said Debbie Bereda of West Chester Township.

Amelia's Baron Hill said he liked the extra safety forces on the course -- especially when many of them cheered on the runners.

"I don't know if it really impacted my personal race or anything like that, but I definitely could tell there was a lot of security," he said.

Spectators couldn't miss the large number of law enforcement personnel at the finish line, but Anderson Township's Becka Logan said it didn't deter from her family enjoying the race.

She was cheering on her husband along with their children plus her niece and nephew.

"I think it's good," she said. "My whole family's from Boston so we were happy that we had security here at the race."

Despite the success of the 15th Flying Pig, it's a safe bet that organizers will sit down soon with police to review everything that happened during the race.

If changes need to be made, they'll be in place for the 16th race in May 2014.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Flying Pig
Man pleads guilty to bringing gun to Flying Pig
Man pleads guilty to bringing gun to Flying Pig

A man pleaded guilty to stalking a Flying Pig official and carrying a concealed weapon during this year's marathon.

Runners partner jobs, Pig training
Runners partner jobs, Pig training

How do Tri-State runners train to win and work to live?

Bond set in Flying Pig gun incident
Bond set in Flying Pig gun incident

A man accused of stalking the executive director of the Flying Pig and bringing a gun to the race has been indicted.

Officials: Man brought gun to Flying Pig
Officials: Man brought gun to Flying Pig

A man has been accused of stalking a Flying Pig official and carrying a concealed weapon during this past Sunday's marathon.

Winners of the Flying Pig Marathon
Winners of the Flying Pig Marathon

The Flying Pig Marathon kicked off in the early hours Sunday with more than 30,000 runners participating in the events.

Flying Pig Marathon safe and secure
Flying Pig Marathon safe and secure

Organizers credit pre-planning for a safe, secure and successful Flying Pig Marathon on Sunday.

PHOTOS: Flying Pig Marathon 2013
PHOTOS: Flying Pig Marathon 2013

Cincinnati's annual Flying Pig Marathon kicks off Sunday, May 5!

Security precautions at the Flying Pig
Security precautions at the Flying Pig

The Flying Pig Marathon took place in Cincinnati Sunday.

Man proposes at the Flying Pig Marathon
Man proposes at the Flying Pig Marathon

Applause echoed in the race recovery area as Joe Schmithorst got on his knee and pulled out a small white box with a diamond ring inside,…

Flying Pig 5K, 10K top runners announced
Flying Pig 5K, 10K top runners announced

A runner from Kenya preparing to compete in his first United States marathon at the Flying Pig on Sunday took first place in the Toyota 10K…