Adventures In Running

IT'S NOT HOW FAST YOU ARE, IT'S HOW FAST YOU LOOK!

Racing, Terrorism and Reality

Written By: The Hornet - Apr• 29•13

Boston Marathon logo 2015 1024x1024 300x300 Racing, Terrorism and RealityPolitics and running have crossed paths.  The past couple weeks I have seen articles from runners and posts on Facebook wondering, “Why us?  Why the Boston Marathon?”  Maybe I just read the news too much, but the answer seems clear.

Security measures are at an all time high in this country’s history and large races provide a soft target that can be easily exploited.  There are literally thousands of gym bags and backpacks in one area at the same time and it is impossible to put effective security measures in place.  Why wouldn’t Muslim terrorists want to strike at an event such as a marathon?  People from all parts of the country (and sometimes the world) come together to participate in a sport that accentuates our similarities rather than our differences.  Runners and spectators are old and young, conservative and liberal, black and white, etc..  A brief celebration where we can all leave any controversy miles behind us and support one another in a common goal.  This is everything a Muslim terrorist hates.

security1 184x300 Racing, Terrorism and RealityWhat are some solutions?  I am running in the Wisconsin Marathon/Half Marathon next weekend and their website states that security will be increased, but gives no specific details.  I’m okay with that.  Another reasonable idea that was thrown around by the sports media was to have large marathons finish inside a local stadium where the flow of spectators can be regulated and searched before entry.  I’m alright with that as well.  In most cases it’s private property and you must go through similar security screening to see a football game.  What I am not okay with are the knee jerk reactions that are being implemented.  This morning a friend posted a text message he received from a race he will be competing in this weekend.  (Click to view full size on the left).  Bullet point one states, “Participants are asked not to bring or wear backpacks or duffel bags to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.  Please be aware that all bags and backpacks will be subject to search by security personnel.”  With this statement I have numerous problems.  Why is this just limited to participants and not spectators?  Seems like a pointless effort when it’s unlikely a Muslim Jihadist is actually running the race.  Second, this is a nearly unenforceable practice given the amount of runners at some events.  Are we now going to sit through intrusive searches and airport style security lines to run a race while the most likely people to commit a crime are in the crowds of fans and exempt from said searches?  Runners have to get there an hour ahead of time as it is.  Everyone reading this can do whatever you decide and I support your freedom to choose, but I speak for myself when I say that I will not give my money to any race that wants to instate some “feel good” security measure that does nothing to keep anyone safe.  What it does do is waste my time, needlessly inconvenience me and stomp all over the 4th amendment of the Constitution.  Let’s be realistic, you cannot police an open-air event that is 26.2 miles long.  To believe you can is about as foolish as thinking Williams-Sonoma removing pressure cookers from local store shelves in the days following the attack was somehow useful.  This is a problem we all better come to terms with instead of implementing some kind of ridiculous policy that will destroy the sport of running.  Attacks will likely happen again and we can only do so much in a free society to maximize our security.  So I suggest we use our heads and choose the best solutions rather than a quick fix illusion of safety that benefits no one.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. – Benjamin Franklin

 

 

© Copyright 2013 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running
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2 Comments

  1. Laura says:

    I completed a race this past weekend in my home city (Rochester, NY), and after the race, while jogging home my fiance and I stumbled upon a ton of security. There were fire trucks and police communication trucks with computers, guys in suits and lots of people on phones. I knew there would be added security going on, but I am glad they didn’t interfere with the race environment. There were more police and such on the course, but not in a way that felt overwhelming.

    Yes it’s impossible to secure a long or even short course race, there are too many options/things that you can’t control. The fact is, we can’t change the way we do everything or the terrorists win. The chances of being in a terrorist attack are much smaller than you think. And yes it’s all real and hit home happening at a big Marathon like Boston. Every race I am currently registered for (big & small) have sent emails saying security will be heightened. Yes that’s great, I appreciate the protection. BUT I don’t want to see it happening to much and so overwhelming that the race environment is compromised.

    The chances of another attack on a race, are just as high as the chance of any city being attacked without a race going on. We will NEVER understand why the events took place in Boston and at that time, terrorists don’t have rhyme or reasons to why they do what they do, all that matters to them is they make a statement (all it proves is they’re idiots and monsters), it doesn’t say anything about their cause other than the fact that its a bad cause.

  2. The Hornet says:

    Very good points. My only concern is that the human scum of the world will attack soft targets with high concentrations of people. Stadiums are too difficult. Now that it has been shown we are vulnerable in this area they will continue to target races. From their point of view, “Why not?”. I wholeheartedly agree with your statement that the race environment should not be compromised.

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