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Manitou Springs considers possible changes to Pikes Peak races

Leaders to decide whether Ascent & Marathon need more security

Manitou Springs Learning From Boston Bombing

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - Manitou Springs leaders wonder how they'll afford to provide extra security if needed for the annual Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon in August.

Mayor Marc Snyder and race director Ron Ilgen said they've begun the process of determining the necessity for more security in light of the Boston Marathon bombing.  With four months until the race, Snyder and Ilgen said they have plenty of time to consider the matter.

Both men said they absolutely don't want metal detectors used at the race.

"I think there will be special security or certain security," said Ilgen.  "Bags will be checked."

"We have a lot of events that occur in public spaces that aren't very easy to control, to search people on the way in and out," said Snyder.  "Security and policing are now issues that used to be routine but now require consideration."

Snyder said the the two weekend races Aug. 17-18 usually attract 2,600 runners and hundreds of spectators.  The combined cost of setting up both events, he said, is around $20,000.

"More security means more police officers, more overtime," said Snyder.  "We may have to rely on help from spectators by asking them to be more alert for suspicious activity before, during and after the races."

On Tuesday night the Manitou Springs City Council expected to approve permits to allow the races to be held, but the issue of possible changes in security remains undecided.

Snyder said it's important that life remain as normal as possible after the bombing tragedy.

"If we can not let it get to us and let these so-called terrorists know that they're not winning with this strategy, in the long run I think that might be our best approach," said Snyder.

Ilgen said a run to support Boston and the bombing victims will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday outside the Colorado Running Company, 833 N. Tejon St.  The public is invited.

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