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Last December, the Honolulu Marathon put on one of the largest races in the world. With the bombings in Boston, will there be any changes or added security for the next Honolulu Marathon?
Close to 30,000 people run in the Honolulu Marathon. Add in all the family and friends providing support and you have a huge crowd.
“I don’t think you can make anything 100 percent safe. I mean we would want to get more information about what happened at Boston,” Honolulu Marathon president Jim Barahal said.
Barahal knows Boston — he’s run the marathon three times. He says it could have been even deadlier.
“Having been at that finish line many, many times, and in the sort of VIP section, which is actually across the street from where the explosions actually occurred. There are bleachers there that go for a couple of blocks,” Barahal said.
For now Barahal says the Honolulu Marathon is in a “wait-and-see mode.”
“Certainly once more information is known about Boston we’ll take a look at it. We do have over 400 police, I don’t think it’s possible to secure everything,” Barahal said.
Security concerns are something the Honolulu Marathon has had to deal with in the past.
“Certainly after 9/11 we had to put on a race, three months later. So, there was a lot of security concerns then. We had a no-fly zone because there could be trouble coming for aircraft, helicopters,” Barahal said.
Honolulu has a different area of concern than where Boston’s focus is on race day.
“The starting line of our race is where everyone is gathered, and that perimeter is pretty much secured. We’ve had a couple of near perimeter breaches in the last few years, usually from intoxicated drivers,” Barahal said.
Barahal says it’s too early to tell if any major security changes will come to the 2013 Honolulu Marathon.