By FELICIA KRIEG
---- — 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.
“It is scary," she acknowledged. "It could happen anywhere, whether it’s a big or small community."
The Half Marathon and Relay course is 13.1 miles long on city streets and bike paths.
Motorists are asked to drive with more vigilance and expect delays as the races move through the city.
Runners will head from the U.S. Oval to Ohio Avenue and Nevada Oval before running back the other way down the Terry Gordon Bike Path to Jay Street and around to Bridge Street.
From there, the race moves onto Brinkerhoff Street, turning onto Helen Street and out onto Rugar Street. The next turn will be at Olivetti Place, where runners will continue to Dennis and Erin avenues then to Cogan Avenue and the 6.33 mile transition point where the course changes direction and heads back toward Lake Champlain.
The route passes along Tremblay and Concord avenues, Haley Drive and Leonard Avenue, Park Street, Draper Avenue and onto Broad Street.
Runners will then turn onto Beekman Street and run along Bailey and Montcalm avenues and Elm and Miller streets.
They will follow Cumberland Avenue, looping back in the opposite direction via Sailly Avenue.
The race will continue back onto Bridge, Jay and Hamilton streets and then to Club Road.
For the last portion of the race, participants will run around the U.S. Oval until they reach the finish line right outside the Recreation Center.
For $5 each, non-runners can attend the after-party at the City Recreation Center that will immediately follow the race.
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