Heightened security Cox Providence Rhode Race - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Heightened security Cox Providence Rhode Race

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Andrea Medeiros

amedeiros@abc6.com

It's a day of joy and celebration at the Cox Providence Rhode Race, marathoners and fans cheering them on as they cross the finish line. This year, there was heightened security, like most marathons following the attacks on Boston.

Part of that heightened security was gates surrounding the finish line and police stationed at every corner. Runners were forced to use clear plastic bags for their belongings, and whatever was left on the ground was checked by bomb sniffing dogs.

"Yeah I think everyone has a little anxiety," said Joan James, "I feel like there are less spectators than there have been in the past."

That fear paired with overwhelming support for Boston. 

"I swear half of the shirts I saw out there were Boston commemorative in some way, including my own from last year's marathon," said Tom Bishop

There was free admission, Sunday, for 200 people who never got the chance to finish the Boston marathon.

"We had a lot of our venders and friends who were at the finish line," said Cox Rhode Race organizer John Mathews, "A lot of our runners run both races. We just thought it was the right thing to do, obviously a lot of runners are emotional about finishing the race."

And they're emotional about that day, where two bombs took three lives and injured dozens.

"I work a block away. I heard the explosions. We were evacuated from the Pru," said runner Tom Rita.

Rita is not letting that stop him for qualifying to run next year's Boston Marathon. He's, in part, proving a point to the men who planned the bombings.

"Can't stop me, can't stop Boston, can't stop us," said Rita

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