Roanoke runners honor Boston marathon victims, Police prepare fo - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke runners honor Boston marathon victims, Police prepare for Blue Ridge race

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ROANOKE - The running community is traditionally a close knit community. When tragedies occur like the Boston Marathon Bombings, runners take it personally. This week, the usual Tuesday night Fleet Feet Pub Run in roanoke started differently as athletes recognized those who lost their lives in the Boston Marathon Bombings.

"This is something that has certainly bonded people together" said Lisa Nielsen, Fleet Feet runner. "I know a lot of people ran our marathon in Roanoke last year because of what happened in Boston."

The day of rememberence came less than two weeks before the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon. Last year, the event was the first time marathoners nationwide raced after the Boston bombings. Roanoke city police continue to take extra precautions to keep runners safe.

"Concerns would range anywhere from a prank call to where someone may leave a package somewhere as a joke" said Capt. Sam Roman.

In an effort to secure the entire 26.2 mile route, police plan to increase patrols and use improved technology. For instance, the new I-STAR center will serve as command central for this year's race. In addition to advanced equipment like virtual maps and various camera angles, police will have better resources to closely monitor the race.

Despite last year's bombings in Boston, many said they feel safe running races. Although the running community is resilent, athletes continue to run with heavy hearts.

"I think it can be a little more emotional for people that think about the events that took place last year" said Andrew Holbrook, Fleet Feet runner. "But I think people in general are not concerned."

As runners get ready for one of the toughest road races, police are taking steps to make sure Blue Ridge Marathon runners cross the finish line safely.

Police say medical personnel will also be placed throughout the race route. As you may have heard two runners died after a race in North Carolina this past weekend. Crews in our area are taking all the necessary steps to make sure people enjoy the Roanoke race and that it ends safely

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