The Army Marathon will proceed as planned Sunday despite the tragic Boston Marathon bombing Monday that killed three and injured more than 140.
Army Marathon race director Ed Bandas said the race, which is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants, already commands security detail from multiple Bell County agencies from Belton, Killeen and Temple among others, but added that Monday’s events at the finish line of the Boston Marathon have heightened their awareness.
“We’ve got phone calls going through all of our law enforcement agencies right now just to do a double-check on any threat assessments,” said Bandas. “It’s on everybody’s radar and we’re going to be very, very vigilant. But, so far, all of the threat assessments that we’ve done to this point have shown nothing on our radar.”
The inaugural Army Marathon begins at the Killeen Convention Center Sunday morning and finishes in Temple. Most of the 26.2-mile route will be along Farm-to-Market 439.
Bandas said no extra security was being planned for the finish line of Sunday’s race at the site of the developing Temple Bioscience Center on Hilliard Road, just south of State Highway 36.
“As soon as this happened, we already had phone calls flying. I’m actually very impressed by the fact that by the time I was calling them, they were already on top of it,” Bandas said.
Two bombs exploded about 10 seconds and 100 yards apart near Copley Square in Boston on Monday for the 117th running of the prestigious marathon, which is run every year on Patriots' Day.
Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and at least 144 were injured. Of those, 17 were listed as being in critical condition. The victims’ injuries included broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.
Because of events like the Feb. 5, 2009, shooting at Fort Hood, which left 13 people killed and injured 32 others, Bandas said security for the Army Marathon has always been a focus in the event’s planning.
“The fact that we hang the Army word on our race, obviously, it crossed our mind and has always been a part of our planning ,” Bandas said, “but so far nothing has shown up on the radar and we are constantly looking at it for that very reason.”