SPOKANE, Wash – Bloomsday is the largest race of the year in Spokane, with some 60,000 people expected to finish – and it comes just weeks after the deadly terror attacks at the Boston Marathon, forcing security measures to take center stage.
Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub led a news conference on Tuesday, along with Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and partners with the FBI and Border Patrol, to discuss safety measure that will be implemented this year.
Among them, Chief Straub said expect to see more uniformed police officers on race day. He said there will also be plain-clothed officers throughout the course, and two helicopters overhead – the Spokane County Sheriff's Office "Air 1" and another from Border Patrol.
The Spokane County Sheriff's Office will be helping with security at off-site locations, such as busses transporting racers to the site.
Race organizers will also be with police at the command post, bomb-sniffing dogs will be along the course, and an emergency operations center will be set up at the National Guard building as part of a live-training exercise.
If you're running in the race, you will not be allowed to take any backpacks or gym bags into the race area. If you're a spectator, you're encouraged to also leave those bags at home.
But, despite all that, police don't anticipate any problems.
"Not only is there no threat for the event, there are no direct threats to the city, and we have nothing to suggest there's a threat in this part of the northwest," Chief Straub added.
Chief Straub also wants you to know, if you see something suspicious on race day, tell a uniformed officer or race volunteer, as the response on the ground will be faster than calling 911.
"The bottom line, as the Sheriff said, is enjoy yourself, have fun, relax. We've got this," Chief Straub said.
The 37th Annual Lilac Bloomsday Run will be this Sunday, May 5th. Stay with KHQ and KHQ.com for complete coverage.