Participants and all those watching the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on Sunday, June 2, 2013, may not notice the heightened security, but it will be there. The increased focus, of course, is due to the bombings at the recent Boston Marathon.
Neither authorities nor the event’s spokespersons wish to discuss any specific plans or information such as the number of staff that will be there. It is known that expected procedures to be utilized include sweeps of the marathon routes for suspicious packages, making use of trained bomb-sniffing canines, and employing a sizable contingent of undercover security in the crowd.
The general populace are being reminded to keep their eyes open. The police ask that anyone seeing anything unusual during the run contact the nearest officials.
Approximately 30,000 spectators are predicted to watch an equal number of registered marathoners.
While San Diego has had experience with major sporting events, including three Super Bowls, the nature of a race run over many miles of publicly accessible areas poses challenging problems in securing the venue. This year, the marathon route is different than in the past, and the half marathon run uses a route that shares less roads with the full marathon, increasing the size of the total area needing security.
The route for the complete race starts in Balboa Park, meanders to Clairemont to the north, then swings south again to finish in Petco Park. This is the first time the marathon finish line will be in the ballpark since its 2004 opening. Also for the first time, the half marathon route includes visits to the Normal Heights and North Park communities.
What won’t be changing is the large number of medical professionals, including doctors and paramedics, who will line the routes and be present at the finish of the races. Naturally, many of San Diego’s hospitals will be standing ready to assist under any circumstances.