Times Colonist 10K beefing up security after Boston marathon bombings

Author: 
Katherine Dedyna

The Times Colonist 10K will take place April 28 with extra security in light of the terrorist attack at Monday’s Boston Marathon.

Race director Jacqui Sanderson met Tuesday with Victoria municipal and police officials to discuss the issue.

Sanderson said she doesn’t think runners or other participants will notice any difference, but declined to divulge specifics of what will be done.

Race registration remains strong, with about 11,000 participants expected, similar to the 2012 run, she said.

“Something that really needs to come through is that there is no evidence to suggest there is increased risk to the TC 10K participants, volunteers or spectators,” she said.

“The bottom line is that this is a phenomenal community event, it’s a family event. … We’re just going to monitor the situation closely and make decisions based on current information.”

Whether 10K runners will be invited to wear Boston’s blue and yellow race colours as a sign of solidarity or hold a moment of silence on race day are expected to be decided Monday, when the board of the Victoria International Running Society meets.

Two Victoria runners still in Boston say they’ll be back for another marathon there.

About 2:50 p.m. Monday, two bombs exploded near the finish line.

Lori Stenson was almost finished her run and could see the finish line when the second bomb went off.

Her partner, Don Costello, who was a spectator this year, was waiting for her about five blocks away.

“We’d be back in a heartbeat — quite honestly, just to show Boston our support,” said Costello, who ran the marathon in 2012 and 2009.

Stenson credits a bathroom break with keeping her out of the finish-line chaos.

Bostonians have made her feel “like a rock star” and she’s determined to cross the finish line another year. “You cannot let this sick, twisted individual or individuals spoil something so special.”

The Boston bombs, built with nails and ball bearings packed in pressure cookers, were not sophisticated and suggest homegrown terrorists, not international extremists such as al-Qaeda, who would likely have claimed responsibility, said Kenneth Christie, head of the human security and peace-building program at Royal Roads University.

“What happens now that’s important is the reaction,” Christie said. “Do we go back into lockdown and over-react? To me, the best way to deal with terrorism is to treat it as a criminal offence and do criminal investigations. The problem is when it crosses the line into politics and we start to exaggerate all sorts of threats to us.”

A ceremonial fundraising run in Victoria is under consideration for Boston victims, said Rob Reid, director of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in October

“The thing to remember is there are more of us doing good than harm and we’ll always win out in the end,” he said, echoing comments online made by comedian Patton Oswalt.

Reid will be in the TC 10K with the Every Step Counts group.

He said he and fellow organizers of the Victoria Marathon will be guided by how other marathons respond to the Boston attack. “We have to be reasonable and make it safe for the runners but don’t overreact to the threat of terrorism.”

kdedyna@timescolonist.com