Officials are spelling out more details of how security will tighten at this weekend’s Country Music Marathon.
Metro, state and federal officials say they’ve been reviewing safety plans with race organizers in the week since the Boston bombing.
They reiterate that there are no known threats against the Nashville race, but say security will be more visible than usual, with hundreds of personnel on site and some measures that go beyond what race veterans may be accustomed to seeing:
• Much like at an airport, everyone will be expected to keep belongings close at hand at all times
• While runners can still check their supplies, they’ll be issued clear bags for their belongings
• There will be bomb-sniffing dogs on site
• Highway Patrol officers will augment the Metro Police force
• A hotline has been set up to report suspicious behavior at the race: (615)880-1515
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson summed up the difference for attendees in a slogan: “See Something, Say Something,” while District Attorney Torry Johnson emphasized that any hoaxes or threats will be prosecuted, no matter where they’re expressed. “Whether it’s on social media or out there on the scene, it’s not going to be ignored.”
Tuesday’s announcement follows a press release last week, saying 150 private security guards have been hired for the event; everyone at the race will be subject to random bag checks; and certain areas will only be accessed with photo ID and an inspection of any bags, containers or equipment.
More than 35,000 runners are expected to compete on Saturday. The race organizer, Competitor Group, runs events like this all over the nation, but Nashville’s race will be their first since the Boston Marathon bombing.