Organizers for this weekend’s GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon are taking extra security precautions in the wake of last spring’s Boston Marathon bombings and a botched bombing attempt at the B.C. legislature.
While details are being kept secret, participants and supporters should anticipate random bag checks throughout the Oct. 13 event, which begins and ends in front of the legislature grounds on Belleville Street.
“We are working with the City of Victoria and the police to make sure everything is safe for our volunteers as well as for all the participants and supporters,” said Kathy Noel, marathon general manager and technical director.
The nearly 1,600 volunteers have also been briefed on proper security preparation for the event, which is expected to draw at least 11,000 runners, she said.
The Victoria Police Department is ramping up its resources to help ensure public safety as well, said Const. Mike Russell.
“Details of what is involved can’t be released for obvious reasons, but sufficed to say, we’re taking extra precautions,” he said. “Make sure you bring all your items with you and have a secure place to store them. And as always, report anything suspicious to (police officers) on scene.”
The full marathon route loops north through Oak Bay, where police will have more reserve constables out on the street to assist with traffic flow, said Staff Sgt. Rob Smith.
“We haven’t put anything special in place this year,” he said. “But a uniformed presence seems to keep things running smoothly.”
The majority of barricading and directing of runners will be handled by marathon volunteers, Smith said.
Police at the B.C. legislature will liaise with VicPD throughout the day Sunday, but don’t anticipate any problems, said Staff Sgt. Ron Huck with the Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms.
“It should be a fun time,” he said, noting the marathon’s high number of volunteers is beneficial to security. “We’ll be keeping the regular tabs.”