Terror Alert Prompts Increased Security Ahead Of NYC Marathon, Election Day

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As the city prepares for two major events, the NYPD is on high alert.

Sunday’s TCS New York City Marathon and Tuesday’s Election Day will both take place as counter terrorism officials confirm a threat from al Qaeda.

Runners loaded up on carbs Saturday to fuel their bodies for the 26.2 mile race, but along with the traditional trays of pasta, there were also concerns about potential terrorism and what may be the tightest marathon security ever, CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported.

That security is giving some a sense of safety.

“When you see so many police sometimes you are scared, but you can see security everywhere,” one marathoner, Denise Amaral, said.

As runners got in one last training session, the NYPD maintained a very visible presence in and around Central Park, with heavily armored counter terrorism teams, bomb sniffing dogs and portable traffic barriers to deter would-be car bombs.

“We work very closely with local city and state authorities, particularly with the NYPD, and we are confident in all of our plans and everything we put together to make sure this is a safe day for everybody,” Chris Weiler, of New York Road Runners, said. “The safety and security of our runners, staff, volunteers, really everyone, spectators, that’s our primary concern.”

Unfortunately, the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon bombings are still casting a shadow.

“I think about it, I thought about it last year, but you know things like that happen, they can happen anywhere. You still have to live life,” marathoner Kristin Strobelt said.

As U.S. intelligence officials warn of an unspecified al Qaeda terror threat, possibly targeting New York, Texas and Virginia the day before Election Day, no one wants to take any chances. New Yorkers can expect tight security not only at the marathon Sunday but also at polling places Tuesday.

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