Security tightens for Anthem Richmond Marathon - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Security tightens for Anthem Richmond Marathon

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The anticipation of one of the River City's most popular events is gaining momentum, as each moment passes. Nearly 20,000 runners are expected at the Anthem Richmond Marathon Saturday.

There are some security changes this year, after the devastating Boston Marathon bombings.

"Boston was the game changer. All police departments around the country took a look at Boston… see what lessons they could learn from it, and changes are made," said Gene Lepley, spokesperson for the Richmond Police Department.

Masses of uniformed and plain clothed officers will canvass the event, including some officers running the marathon.

The event's organizer, Sports Backers, has been prepping since the attack on Boston's race.

"We've been planning on some enhanced security and safety measures," said Jon Lugbill, executive director of Sports Backers.

However, many of those tactics will stay a secret. What is being asked is for spectators to try to leave bags at home.

"Don't bring bags down to the race, if possible. Don't leave them unattended," continued Lugbill.

This year runners will have to keep all of the items they're storing in bag check in clear plastic bags. That way, security will know exactly what's being kept on the premises.

Police are also encouraging anyone who spots anything suspicious, to speak up.

"We're enlisting all the public, the tens of thousands of people who are coming into the city. They're our eyes and ears. We hope if they see something, they'll say something," added Lepley.

"Hopefully the runners hardly notice a difference. Hopefully the spectators hardly notice a difference. Hopefully, everybody is just as happy and everything is as smooth as ever," said Lugbill.

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