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Heightened security up in Cebu City race

/ 10:24 AM January 07, 2014

Expect tight security and a venue filled with armed police officers and K-9 units during this Sunday’s Cebu City Marathon.

This after the Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC), the organizing team behind the prestigious annual international marathon, said it will prioritize the safety of runners.

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After the bombing incident last year in the Boston Marathon, organizers around the globe have tightened the security of their races to ensure the safety of the participants and spectators. The CERC, which is accredited by the Association of International Marathons, is no exemption.

John Pages of the CERC said the group has already conducted a series of meetings with the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and City Traffic Operations and Management (Citom) to discuss issues about the race. They are now fine-tuning every aspect of the race that will start and end at the Cebu IT Park in Lahug and will be featuring around 3,000 runners coming from more than a dozen countries and neighbouring provinces.

“We have coordinated with a lot of agencies here in the city to make sure that our runners are safe,” Pages said.

He also mentioned that they hired private security just to make sure everything will be safe.

Pages, meanwhile, announced that some of the major thoroughfares in Cebu City will be fully closed while the race is ongoing. This includes major highways and roads leading to some heritage sites. This is also done to ensure the safety of the runners.

CERC local coordinator Joel Juarez said they will be deploying 250 road marshals and have also requested for 75 police officers from CCPO aside from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) personnel, 150 CITOM traffic enforcers and K-9 units.

“Everything’s set up and ready to go,” Juarez said. “We also coordinated with the barangays that will be covered in the official route.

Taking care of the medical side of the race is the medical director of the annual Cobra Ironman Philippines, Dr. Peter Mancao.

Meanwhile, the race packs for the local runners who enlisted for the race will be available tomorrow until Friday at the race expo of the CCM at the Ayala Center Cebu’s The Terraces. Visiting runners will get their race packs this Saturday.

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