Bloomsday security changes prompted by Boston bombing

Author: Annie Bishop, KXLY4 Reporter , annieb@kxly.com
Published On: Apr 18 2013 07:23:05 PM PDT   Updated On: Apr 18 2013 07:24:12 PM PDT
Bloomsday
SPOKANE, Wash. -

If you want to watch your sister, or maybe dad, take off at the start line of Bloomsday this year you won't be able to, as race officials are making a big change to the start after the Boston Marathon bombing.

On Bloomsday morning Riverside is a sea of people, runners and spectators alike; this year, however, only people with a race bib can stand in the start area.

When runners start Bloomsday this year they won't have friends or family cheering them on. They'll have to wait for encouragement until they get further down the road.

"We think its just another safety thing that will people will appreciate," race director Don Kardong said. "Everyone is a little concerned about safety right now, so I think this is a way that can help settle peoples nerves a little bit."

Thursday race officials went over the logistics of the race. Kardong said they're moving spectators out of the starting area on Riverside because of what happened at the Boston Marathon earlier this week.

Kardong himself has finished four Boston Marathons, and the images are still hard for him to see.

"It's just awful to watch, because you know everyone involved in Boston, they all put their heart and souls into it," he said.

Registration is right on track with 54,000 people signed up for the race but what happened in Boston could change that, Kardong added.

"It's hard to know, everyone has to make their own decisions on that, but we think people may see this as an opportunity to show their support for Boston, what happened in Boston. In that sense it could help get more people entered in Bloomsday. And there will be some people that will say 'I'm nervous and I'm not going to do it,'" he said.