Air Force Marathon organizers will review security procedures at the popular event that draws thousands to Wright-Patterson in the aftermath of bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon, an Air Force leader said Monday.
Col. Daniel Semsel, vice commander of the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson, said he expects “a lot of folks will be nervous” at a large gathering like the Air Force Marathon, but organizers will do all they can to reassure runners of their safety.
“Our experts right now are discussing what measures to take to be ready for just such an occurrence,” he said at a press conference Monday. “… I’m confident that we’re prepared to make sure that we primarily deter any kind of events such as what we may have seen unfold in Boston. Preparation makes all the difference in the world.”
The 16th Air Force Marathon is a series of races Sept. 21 expected to attract sell-out participation of 15,000 runners. About 11,500 runners have signed up already for the event that marks the anniversary of the Air Force becoming a separate military service. The main race, a 26.2-mile course, goes through Wright-Patterson and the city of Fairborn. A 5K race set the day before the main races at Wright State University’s Ervin J. Nutter Center.
Wright-Patterson has partnered with neighboring law enforcement agencies and other first responders to plan extensively how to respond to emergency contingencies, the colonel said.
“We try and take a look at any possibility that may happen during an event of this magnitude,” he said. “With 15,000 runners on the base, we want to make sure they are safe and secure the whole time.”
Wright-Patterson was reviewing the possibility of additional day-to-day security measures for the base, the colonel said.