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April 20, 2013

Plattsburgh Half Marathon ready for Sunday

PLATTSBURGH — As always, police will be at Sunday's City of Plattsburgh Half Marathon and Relay, but this year they will be "hyper-vigilant," Police Chief Desmond Racicot says.

Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon have left people more concerned about safety, he said.

“It’s so tragic,” he said of the all-too-fresh tragedy.

His officers have been trained on how to handle coverage of large crowds, Racicot said. They also receive awareness training that they will apply when patrolling the race route.

The ratio of officers to spectators and runners is much better in Plattsburgh since the community here and the size of the event is a lot smaller than in Boston, said the chief, who has been meeting with race organizers this week to discuss security and other matters.

“We’re going to have a good event.”

Medical staff will also be available for runners as needed.

MOMENT OF SILENCE

The Half Marathon and Relay will begin with a moment of silence, as a tribute to the victims of the Boston race tragedy.

And then, Plattsburgh Race Director Jennifer Boyer said, she expects all will run smoothly.

“Like (SUNY Plattsburgh professor) Nancy Elwess told WPTZ, you have to continue to run, otherwise those people who did the act will win."

Elwess suffered cuts from flying glass as she neared the finish line in Boston.

"That’s what (the bombers) would want — people to be scared. They shouldn’t be scared,” she said.

“And that’s why people should run. They will be running for such a positive cause, too.”

The race, which begins at 8 a.m. on the U.S. Oval near the City Recreation Center, benefits Team Fox, raising money for Parkinson's disease research.

Boyer said she knows some people will not show up for the race, and others might not run as far as the finish line.

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