The Corporate 5K held in downtown Orlando has beefed up its security more this year than ever before, days after the bombings at the Boston Marathon than killed three people and injured more than 60 others.
About 16,000 runners were expected to run in Thursday night's race, which started near Eola Drive and Central Boulevard, moving toward Bumby Avenue where runners turned turn north and headed west on Robinson Street, then to Rosalind, before hitting the finish line on Central Avenue.
At least 67 officers were assigned solely to patrol the race route, five more than last year. In addition, race organizers and Orlando police say there are several other new security measures in place. They wouldn't discuss specifics because they don't want to give opportunities to potential attackers.
More than 100 volunteers were also on the course, and were taught to keep their eyes open. Emergency crews were on site and standby.
Many runners and their families say the extra security gives them comfort at a time when the Boston Marathon bombings are at the top of everyone's minds.
"You can never have enough security and it's going to make people feel more free as they're coming out and expressing themselves," said Tawni Edwards.
"People can expect searches," Natalie Casey, vice president of communications, said earlier in the week.
John Hughes, owner of Track Shack, which hosts the 5K, was in Boston and had already completed the marathon when the bombings happened. He says the deadly explosions won't prevent him from attending other races.
"I think Americans as a whole -- we're going to get through this. It's not going to stop us from doing what we all love," he said. "We are going to make sure that everything is done as it should be. Obviously, security will be heightened more than it ever has been."
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