Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Much different feel to 2013 NYC Marathon, with cops, bomb dogs

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NEW YORK -- Bomb-sniffing dogs roamed the streets and police officers guarded nearly every corner. None of the heightened security, however, could keep a record number of runners from competing in the New York City Marathon.

On a crisp fall Sunday, 50,740 people started the race -- including the millionth in the 33-year history of the marathon -- that touches all five of the city's boroughs.

New York shined in all its splendor for a national television audience, a year after the race was cancelled because of Superstorm Sandy.

"This is one big showcase of the city," said Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners. "The marathon is a good analogy. Step by step this is a long recovery from Sandy. You can go to parts of the city where they aren't recovered. This is progress and that progress has to continue. I really hope that today is another good step forward for us."

Charles Breslin lost his home in the storm. He was volunteering at the marathon and welcomed the race's return.

"I don't know how the rest of Staten Island feels about, but it can only be a good thing," he said. "You have to get back to normalcy."

This was far from a typical NYC Marathon, with the Boston Marathon bombings in April bringing increased vigilance. While fans could walk right up to most spots along the course to cheer as in previous years, security was tightened throughout the city.

"There were zero incidents, zero threats," Wittenberg said. "It went really smooth. There was a very noticeable increased presence coming in."

Security was tightest at the start and near the finish line, where garbage trucks blocked entry to Central Park and everyone had to walk through numerous check points to watch the end of the 26.2-mile race.

"It's a lot different than the past ones," said Alem Kahsay, who has worked the finish line for the past 13 years.

 

-- The Associated Press

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 4, 2013 C8

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