Several Big Factors Could Affect Fifth Third River Bank Run

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– We’re just a few weeks out from the Fifth Third River Bank Run. Race officials are constantly working to keep runners and spectators updated on the latest security measures after the Boston Marathon bombings, as well as ever-changing flood conditions that are already impacting the race course.

Grand Rapids Police will beef up security along the route.

“Maybe do a few things we haven’t done in the past,” said Lt. Patrick Dean. “We’ll have extra security down at the key points, namely the start and finish lines, and maybe some other points where there are high spectator areas during the route.”

Following the Boston Bombings, spectators and runners at the River Bank Run are being asked to help police be their ‘eyes and ears’ on race day, reporting anything suspicious, including bags left alone along the route.

Runners will get an official race day sack, and have more options on where to safely store them, instead of dropping them around the course.

But, organizers don’t want to overlook one main reason for this year’s race.

“We”ll be encouraging people to wear Boston colors: Blue and yellow,” said race director, Kristen Aidif. “I know that’s difficult for Spartan fans but it’s really about showing Boston solidarity and helping people remember.”

There will also be 26.2 seconds of silence before the race.

And then, there’s the flooding, which already has some parts of the course underwater and closed to traffic. But, race officials have a back-up. They’ll use the 25K course runners experienced during the last major flood in 2009.

While the water may go down, it’s the clean up that could be extensive. That’s why race officials are waiting till May 6th to make the final decision on whether to change the course of the race.

The Fifth Third River Bank Run is May 11th.

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