Runners Gear Up For 2017 TCS New York City Marathon Amid Heightened Security

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Anticipation is building ahead of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon.

As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, heavily armed police officers now stand at the ready near the finish line in Central Park, and reinforced security can be seen across the city.

“What we’re talking about today are the access points and exits through the Metropolitan Area – the tunnels, the bridges, airports,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The governor said that while there’s no apparent threat, security will be ramped up everywhere in wake of Tuesday’s deadly terror attack.

FULL LIST OF MARATHON STREET CLOSURES

The number of state troopers will be doubled at various locations, the number of National Guardsmen tripled, and city sand trucks will block off intersections, along with strategically placed concrete barriers.

“There will also be a full security plan for the route itself,” Cuomo said.

Organizers say the huge police presence at the five-borough race is welcome, with so many people to protect.

“We expect over 50,000 runners from across the world – 125 countries, all 50 states,” said Michael Rodgers, of New York Road Runners. 

New York Road Runners released a statement Saturday, extending their “deepest sympathies to victims, their families, and all who have been affected by the tragedy in Lower Manhattan.”

“We are monitoring the situation closely with our city, state, and federal agency partners, particularly the NYPD. For this weekend’s marathon, as with all of our events, the safety and security of our runners, staff, volunteers, and spectators is our top priority,” the statement continued. “Together with our agency partners, we have extensive safety and security measures in place, both visible and behind the scenes. We are constantly reviewing our plans with law enforcement and will consider any necessary modifications or enhancements.”

There was also a visible police presence at Saturday’s 5k race in Midtown, which drew about 10,000 runners.

Meanwhile, many of the marathon runners are unfazed by the heightened security. 

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria spoke with some at the Jacob Javits Convention Center as they picked up their race bibs with their running numbers.

Bill from London was very excited to see what New York crowds are like as he runs through the five boroughs. As for security amid the threat of terrorism, he said he isn’t giving it a second thought.

“I used to be a soldier in the British military, I served with the Department of Defense in Iraq for well over a year, I’ve served in Baghdad and Tikrit, so if they couldn’t get me after two years there it doesn’t overly concern me if I’m running a marathon in New York,” Bill said.

Patrick, from Connecticut, felt the same way.

“I’m very comfortable,” he said. “I have trust in the security.”

Patrick added he’s more concerned about the weather. He hopes there will be a mild drizzle. 

Yvonne Smythe was carbo-loading at the annual pasta dinner. She traveled from Australia to compete in her first ever marathon. Like others, she had no plans to cancel.

“Basically, you’ve just got to keep living your life,” she told Borg.

At Central Park, the focus was on the finish line. It’s what runners have been training for and dreaming of, and they say they have faith they’ll be safe crossing it.

“I know you guys have stepped up security, so I feel safe and I feel like it’s going to be a great race tomorrow,” said Loan O’Brien.

“We do the Thanksgiving Day Parade. We can’t be afraid, because we love this city,” Debbie Goldberg said.

Officials said they will also have aerial surveillance, including sniper teams on top of roofs and helicopters, to keep an eye on things from above.

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