CHICAGO (CBS) — Organizers say the planning and extra security helped the 40th Chicago Marathon go off without a hitch.
The skies were blue and there was very little wind, however, weather conditions weren’t the main concern; this year, safety topped the list.
In light of recent events, security was tight, arguably tighter than it’s ever been. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF), K-9s and Chicago Police visibly supplemented the marathon’s security teams. Furthermore, the crowds at the finish line were kept behind gates.
“I told my wife before I left, I said, ‘I’m a little on edge, you know, after what happened in Vegas.’ It’s a little unnerving,” said Jeff Young, a runner from Alaska.
Chicago Police said they were going to amp up the number of undercover officers deployed along the marathon route, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city is “prepared for any eventuality.”
“We trained for any possible circumstances in this type of event so everybody can enjoy a great marathon,” Emanuel said earlier this week. The mayor said the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications is double and triple-checking security plans.
“We added additional security screening access points that worked very well,” said Carey Pinkowski, who is the director of Bank of America’s Chicago Marathon.
All of this was a comfort to most runners, with Meredith Bushman adding, “I felt really safe. In light of everything that’s going on in the world, I think that if you let that really concern you and bother you, what’s left?”
The marathon’s medical director says 2,000 runners required medical care and 44 people were taken to the hospital, due, in part, to the warm weather.