Boston attack spurs Toronto marathon security review
Caledon, Ont., man was 1 block away from blast site in Boston
Organizers of the Toronto marathon are meeting with police today to discuss security after Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon left three dead and 140 injured.
About 14,000 runners are expected to stream down Toronto’s Yonge Street on May 5 in the Goodlife Fitness Marathon.
Race director Jay Glassman said he's meeting with Toronto police Tuesday and wants to know if the usual deployment of 200 or so officers are enough given the new security concerns.
"I will take [police] direction on this," said Glassman.
"Everyone is waiting right now for what comes out of Boston — the report from the police and the FBI … as to exactly where this came from and who perpetrated this act."
The CBC's Trevor Dunn said Mayor Rob Ford has spoken with police Chief Bill Blair, and there haven't been any reports in Toronto of unusual activity. The Toronto Transit Commission has also asked its security staff for increased vigilance.
City manager Joe Pennachetti said he wants to "ensure the public feels safe" and that "all security will be appropriate" at events in the upcoming weeks.
'Runners are resilient'
Organizers of the Mississauga Marathon, also on May 5, plan to meet with Peel Regional Police this week to discuss the same issues.
Race director Ben McCarty said they'd already planned to have 200 officers along the route, but will make any changes depending on the direction given by police.
"If Peel police say it's necessary for more security, then there will be, especially in certain areas where there are groups of people," McCarty said in an email to CBC News. "But in terms of the continuation of our even, it will go on. Runners are resilient."
News of the Boston bombing has Toronto runner Elias Coupe questioning whether to enter any of the upcoming races he’s been training for.
"It's just ridiculous, so tough now, anything can happen; it's scary out there," he said.
Caledon, Ont., man near finish line
David Cracknell, of Caledon, Ont., was near the finish line on Monday afternoon with his wife, an elite runner who had finished the Boston Marathon earlier. The couple was two blocks away from the finish line when the first of two bombs detonated.
"There was a huge explosion, and then the ground shook under our feet. The first thing I thought was 'the grandstand is coming down,'" he said Monday on CBC News Network.
Cracknell, a marathon coach, said the blast left some runners who had just finished the race shocked and panic-stricken.
"Some were asking to use my cellphone. No one really knew what it was. It wasn’t until we got to Logan airport, and everyone was watching the TV monitors and then the magnitude of the situation was unfolding."
Cracknell and his wife left Boston yesterday afternoon for a planned trip to Orlando, Fla.
"It’s shocking how an incredible day turned into a nightmare in such a short time," he said.
With files from CBC's Natalie Kalata