Last year's marathon security measures to continue

Last year's marathon security measures to continue

Events are in full swing in connection with the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

A health and fitness expo, which was among activities that began on Thursday, will continue Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Activities and Recreation Center on the University of Illinois campus.  And the first round of races gets underway Friday evening at 7:30 with the 5K run and walk.  It starts on Oak Street just south of St. Mary's Road near the State Farm Center in Champaign.

Marathon Emergency Services Coordinator Scott Friedlein said a higher level of security that was put in place following the bomb explosions at last year's Boston Marathon will remain this year. He said a large part of the stronger security measures  involves increased staffing.

Friedlein also said you should be aware of your surroundings, and if someone or something looks out of place, call 911 so police can check it out to make sure the race remains safe.

Races Friday morning begin just before 7, with participants leaving the starting line at First and St. Mary's Road in waves.  The finish line for all races is inside Memorial Stadium where no backpacks, bags, coolers, containers or alcoholic beverages will be allowed. Small purses and fanny packs can be taken in but are subject to inspection.

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