The safest place in the country may have been the route of the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday.
NYPD officers trolled the race, guarding runners and spectators alike, because of terrorism concerns caused by the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year, in which three people died and hundreds were injured.
A record 50,740 runners from around the world competed in this year’s ING Marathon, which was cancelled last year due to tremendous damage by Superstorm Sandy.
“My point of view is you can’t live like that,” said Joseph Gordon, a Queens Village resident who ran the marathon for the first time. “Living in New York it’s dangerous just to step outside my house. The NYRR [New York Road Runners] did a good job being careful and improving security.”
The marathon, which travels 26.2 miles around the five boroughs, featured more police officers along the course than previous years, some with bomb-sniffing dogs. Officers also checked spectators’ bags at certain locations, among various other reported counter-terrorism tactics.
As a result the race proceeded safely and featured fierce competition, dominated by Kenyan runners.
In the men’s race, Geoffrey Mutai defended his NYC Marathon 2011 crown with another win. He finished with an official time of 2:08:24. Priscah Jeptoo won the women’s division with a time of 2:25:07.
Gordon said the return of the race brings the city a little bit closer to normalcy.
“I think it’s really important to New York, the fact that it’s in all the boroughs and a lot of people were affected [by Sandy],” he said. “It’s not something that New York needs, but that the people of New York needed. It’s like a morale booster.”