Nashville is set to host the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday April 27.
In light of Monday's events at the Boston Marathon, the focus now shifts to marathon safety here in Music City.
In a statement, marathon officials with Competitor Group, Inc. said:
“We were shocked and saddened to learn of the tragedy in Boston today. Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims, their families and all those affected. Out of respect to the Boston Marathon and the Boston Athletic Association, we will not be providing any additional comments at this time other than to say that we are working closely with our partners, both government agencies and law enforcement, to immediately review security protocol and safety procedures in light of the tragic events of the day. We will provide more details in the coming days as we engage in this critical dialogue with respective officials in each of our partner cities across the country.”
Metro Nashville Police Chief added:
“The Nashville Police Department is now and has been in the security planning process for the April 27th Country Music Marathon. Today's [Monday's] explosions in Boston will factor into that planning as we meet in the coming days with marathon organizers. We will be in contact with law enforcement in Boston and our federal partners with the FBI and ATF prior to finalizing our strategies. The Nashville Police Department is absolutely committed to the safety and enjoyment of this event by runners, their families and race enthusiasts.”
In 2012, more than 350 Metro police officers and supervisors were involved in staffing the Country Music Marathon.
They were supplemented by probationary officers, police officer trainees, Office of Emergency Management personnel and Metro Park police officers, bringing the total staffing level last year to more than 470.
For runners participating in the upcoming marathon, safety is a top priority.
“I think initially I was a little concerned maybe that it might not be so safe, that it might not be safe for the people that are going to be watching me cross the finish line but I think that hopefully this was an isolated incident and it won't disturb the running community or other races in the future,” runner Justin Rearden told Nashville's News 2
“It's pretty devastating because the running community is so strong and to kind of being it down by doing something like is pretty sad,” he continued.
The running community in Nashville is a tight knit group of athletes and on Monday night, several runners met up at the Nashville Running Company in East Nashville for a run in honor of those affected by today's tragedy.
The run was inspired by a Nashville woman who previously lived in the Boston area and completed the Boston Marathon in 2008.
“When I saw what happened it was one of those things you wish you could do something but I didn't know what it was and just knowing that there were so many runners who were unable to finish in addition to the massive tragedy that happened it seemed like hitting the streets was a reasonable response,” Bernadette Doykos told Nashville's News 2.
The group completed a 3.5 mile run in honor of those in Boston.