THREE LOCAL EVENTS - WHAT ARE THE PLANS?
The Race to Robie Creek is one of Boise's most high-profile running events, and Saturday's race will includeincreased security, officials said Tuesday.
"We have had discussions with all the police and sheriff departments on both sides - Boise County Sheriff, Boise City Police - and we have upped our security and our awareness," Robie committee member Brian Rencher said. "You will see an increased presence. ... We do feel like we will be very secure. We've done everything reasonably possible to protect volunteers, spectators and participants."
Rencher said there will be an increased focus at the start line (open to the public) and the finish line (where 800 spectator passes have been handed out). The 36th annual race - a half-marathon with more than 2,400 runners and walkers - starts at noon at Fort Boise.
There will be a tribute to Monday's Boston tragedy.
"Our start has always been somewhat of a secret," Rencher said. "We decided to keep the tribute quiet and not announce what we're going to do, but it will be fitting for the situation."
Two other high-profile events are scheduled for Downtown Boise this summer: the Ironman 70.3 triathlon June 8 and the Twilight Criterium bike races July 13.
Twilight race director Mike Cooley said safety will be a primary issue. "You scratch your head and wonder if you should go on with an event like ours, but (terrorists) win out if you hunker down and hide,'' he said.
"There's a protective measures guide published by the government. We're going to use that as a template."
The Florida-based World Triathlon Corporation, which runs Ironman, issued a statement Tuesday saying it is "committed to the security of our athletes, spectators, volunteers and public at large."
MERIDIAN WOMAN HELPED BLIND RUNNER
Runner Tracy Wasden received more than 100 text messages from friends after Monday's bombings - but she wasn't able to get to her cellphone until Tuesday.
The 43-year-old mother of four was four-tenths of a mile from the finish line when she heard the explosions. Until that point, it had been a beautiful race - perfect weather and huge crowds.
She was running as one of two guides for blind runner Diane Berberian, a 55-year-old from Florida. They were running a little faster than they expected. Then the unexpected happened.
Bystanders were on the course. People without race numbers were running. Course officials told them the race was over and to get out of the area.
"It was just the most confusing thing," Wasden said. "We just thought at any time more (bombs) were going to go off."
The trio walked two miles to the offices of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind. Back in Meridian, Wasden's husband, who had been tracking her progress online, was frantic with worry. She was able to call him from the association's office.
Berberian was OK after the traumatic day. "She's processing it like we are," Wasden said.
A RUNNERS' FRATERNITY
Bob Fries, the race director for the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon on May 18, organizes marathons and runs in them.
"My wife and I grew up watching our parents crossing the (finish) lines until we were able to participate in marathons ourselves," he said. "We were actually engaged at a finish line at a marathon, so it's a different day today."
Fries knows the resolve of most runners and what the sport means to them.
"You can't explain the emotions and accomplishments that are at the finish line of these races," he said. "The races mean so much to the community. We are runners and we are going to run. That's what we do.
"Our hearts go out to everyone. That is our marathon family that was at that finish line.''