Friday, March 07, 2014 4:13 PM
Published on: Thursday, April 25, 2013
By Donna Broadway
ROCKVILLE- The sun is shining, people are dancing as Rock ‘n’ Roll entertains the spectators, and there is a line of eager children waiting to use a moon bounce. This is the scene at the Kaiser Permanente Pikes Peek 10K run on April 21.
There is another side to this light hearted atmosphere. Many of the runners are wearing blue and yellow ribbons in memorial of the Boston Marathon Explosion victims, where three people were killed and 160 were injured when two bombs were detonated near the finish line. There is an increased police presence at the race where more than 2,700 people registered with over 2446 crossing the finishing line. Jane
MCPD Officer Rebecca Innocenti says it was just a precaution and there was no immediate danger or any threats made against the runners.
“We are not here because there is any perceived threat but because we do realize that people are concerned because of what happened in Boston and we will do our due diligence to create a safe running environment,” said Officer Innocenti.
Organizer Jane Arthur says registration did not taper after the April 16 attacks.
“Runners are resilient and you keep running regardless. It’s senseless and horrible, but we keep on running regardless. If you ask most runners, they say the people who are directly affected by it would want everyone to keep on running,” said Arthur.
Girma Gebre,22 of New York City, NY. took first place overall with a time of 28:23 and Jane Murage,25 of Royersford, PA took first place for the women with a time of 32:20.
Mulugeta Weneimu, 28, of Silver Spring was the first person from Montgomery County to cross the finish line.
Arthur says the reconfiguration of White Flint Mall into an outdoor shopping center will have more of an effect on future Pike Peak’s races than the bombings.
“I don’t see any huge changes because of that but I see changes because of where we end and White Flint is coming down. With security, I don’t see any huge changes with that. As far as whether this will affect races, I think it will definitely affect races because there are a massive number of people congregating in one place,” said Arthur.