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Jeff Kolpack, Published May 14 2013

Security increased at Marathon

FARGO – Predictably, the Fargo Marathon has beefed up security for this year’s event that begins Thursday with the Youth Run and concludes Saturday with an all-day activity extravaganza.

The reason, of course, is Boston, where last month two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, injuring numerous people.

“We’ve walked through scenarios and how we would react,” said marathon executive director Mark Knutson.

The marathon has had meetings with the Fargo Police Department, Cass County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, the Fargodome and F-M Ambulance. Knutson said he couldn’t go into the specifics of the advanced planning for security reasons.

Only two people withdrew from the event and that happened almost immediately after the Boston bombings, which happened near the finish line of the historic race. The apparent culprit was bombs placed in two backpacks left near the side of the road.

Runners this weekend will see numerous signs that unattended bags will be immediately confiscated.

“Don’t be leaving anything around,” Knutson said. “We’ve been getting a lot of questions but I think what we’ve done is solid.”

Jeff Kolpack