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Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon security was a 'seamless operation'

Uniformed law enforcement officers were out in full force throughout the entire 2013 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, as runners and spectators left backpacks at home.
BY LEIGHANNE MANWARREN lmanwarren@opubco.com Published: April 29, 2013

It was a beautiful, cool April morning for nearly 25,000 runners at the 2013 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, just as organizers hoped it would be.

“We had a fairly seamless operation considering the many moving parts and people,” said Leon Gillum, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum security director.

“It was exactly what we hoped it would be. We hoped it would be beautiful weather. We hoped it would be a good, safe race and a way for all these runners to come together and run, not only for themselves, but to remember and honor the 168 people killed in the Murrah bombing and those people touched by the Boston tragedy.”

As for the Oklahoma City police officers working at the marathon, it was nothing but the usual for them, police Capt. Dexter Nelson said.

Security plan evolved

For its 13th annual marathon, Gillum said he has seen the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon evolve from a few hundred runners to nearly 25,000 runners this year.

“Our security plan not only evolved because of the numbers but because we driven by current events happening in Boston,” Gillum said.

Marathon organizers immediately met with Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty after the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15 and developed a security “overlay” plan — to provide additional security should an incident happen — in adjunct to the current security plan, Gillum said.

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