By Hendrik Sybrandy
DENVER — Security will be tight but “discreet” for Sunday’s Colfax Marathon in Denver, according to the race director. One month after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Creigh Kelley said elaborate preparations have been made to ensure that runners and spectators stay safe along the race route.
“Probably what they (runners) see at the start/finish area will look a little different but it will also be discreet,” Kelley said Friday. “Nobody’s in the business of scaring people. In fact, what we want them to feel is comfortable.”
Kelley said security has been uppermost in his mind ever since the events in Boston. Hundreds of officers will be on hand on Sunday. 70 Halo surveillance cameras along Colfax Avenue will provide video images to a command center at the Denver Police Department.
“If, for example, the Chief said I’d like to look at what’s happening at Colfax and Broadway, we’d be able to go full screen on that particular camera immediately and then begin moving it around,” said DPD Technician Tony Weatherly.
People are urged not to bring backpacks, large purses, briefcases, diaper, camera or shopping bags, coolers and unattended strollers to within a block of the marathon route. Containers may be searched by police.
“I think people should enjoy themselves and feel very secure, ” said Kelley.
Runners picking up their race packets at Sports Authority Field said they were excited about Sunday and not worried about security.
“It’s a really fun course doing a half-marathon and this year getting to go through the zoo and through a fire station, it’s fun, it’s our neighborhood,” said Sarah Pilarowski of Denver.
“I’m not going to let people like that (terrorists) bother me,” said Dan Smith of Lakewood. “I’m going to live my life. Something happens, it happens, what are you going to do?”