Richmond Marathon sees changes after Boston bombings

Posted at 6:55 PM, Nov 15, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Saturday will mark the first time racers will run the Richmond Marathon since the Boston  Marathon bombings nearly seven months ago.

Richmond city leaders are working to make sure the 20,000 participants and countless spectators set to line the course.

The bombings in Boston have put the focus on security for athletes and spectators in the River City.

"Boston was a game changer for us," Richmond Police Department’s Gene Lepley said. "Certainly all police departments learned from Boston. Those lessons learned are being brought here to Richmond and we're ready.”

In addition to new secret security measures, Richmond police will deploy a small army of uniformed and plain clothes officers to keep you safe.

Additionally, backpacks and knapsacks will not be allowed at the marathon. Each registered runner or walker will get one clear plastic bag to hold their belongings, like cell phones and keys

Isaiah Douglas from Savanna finished Boston last April before the terror attacks. The marathoner, who has 34 races under his belt, told CBS 6 News' Greg McQuade e is not concerned about security risks in Richmond.

"I know we will be safe I know the officials have everything in control," said Douglas.

Jim Sparks, who was just a six miles from finishing the Boston marathon when chaos erupted, is looking forward to running in Richmond and is not not letting any potential threat ruin his passion.

"Security I don't think about. I have the confidence in law enforcement to keep us safe,” said Sparks. "My hats off to the people who come out and spectate and continue to run and be scared away by a couple of lunatics," said Sparks.