ALLOUEZ - The Boston bombings have race organizers in our area thinking safety. The Oshkosh Half Marathon is this weekend – and the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, as well as the Bellin Run 10K are right around the corner.
About 18 people, representing area agencies – as well as Bellin Health and St. Vincent Hospital – began the Bellin Run 10K public safety meeting by going over contingency plans for the June 8 race day; from inclement weather to what resources might be needed for additional safety.
The media was made aware of the regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday. But Bellin officials closed the meeting to reporters – except to get video or pictures for storytelling purposes.
"Our goal here is to make sure that their safety is prominent in our minds," said Capt. David Konrath of the Brown Co. Sheriff's Office, who was one of those present at the meeting.
Konrath says some considerations include beefing up security and providing more resources if an attack were to take place. While there's no reason to question the 10K's safety, Konrath says safety must be addressed after the Boston bombings.
"This is a safe event, we want people to be comfortable coming to this, we don't want it to look like overkill, but we want people to feel that they see the presence of law enforcement, that they feel a little more comfortable," said Konrath.
"With an event of this scale, it is very important to have key communication, key contingency plans," said Bellin Run Executive Director Randy Van Straten after the meeting.
Van Straten doesn't believe the Boston terror attacks will impact race participation which attracts nearly 20,000 runners. Security and safety measures are improved upon every year, Van Straten says, and any changes are in the very early stages.
"We will be having an additional security meeting, which has been planned to just go over our entire security layout and really, take another look at it.
Cellcom Green Bay Marathon race director Sean Ryan, also present at the Bellin Run meeting, serves as a local representative of Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises. DMSE, which also operates the Boston Marathon, is contracted by the Bellin to help operate the annual race that winds through neighborhoods in Green Bay and Allouez.
On Wednesday morning, Cellcom Marathon organizers held a closed door meeting to reflect on the Boston events and review what is important for the mid-May race.
"Safety will always be our utmost priority for our participants, for our volunteers and our spectators," said Ryan in his capacity as race director for the Cellcom. "We are going to be meeting with public safety next week to get into the operational details."
The Oshkosh Police Department says it is working with Oshkosh Half Marathon organizers to maintain security at the event, just as has been done before. The race is this Sunday. A statement says the department will not release any security operations to the public as it would be "counter-productive."
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