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updated: 4/17/2013 7:36 AM

Wisconsin marathons react after Boston explosions

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Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Marathon organizers in West Bend, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Medford said Tuesday they are considering stepping up security or already plan to do so in light of the deadly Boston Marathon explosions.

The Adenaline Marathon on the Eisenbahn Trail in West Bend is set for Sunday, less than a week after bombs went off in a crowd at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 170.

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Organizer Mary Simon said she's been in touch with local law enforcement and plans to increase security at the start and finish lines, which are at the same location, and increase bag checks. They also plan to be more vigilant along isolated parts of the route, she said.

The marathon and other weekend races attract about 275 people, and Simon said about 20 people had registered Monday and Tuesday since the bombings.

"I was pleased to see that people were continuing to register and this didn't deter people from participating in the event," she said.

One was Amy Kaftan, 49, who registered Tuesday for the half marathon. She said she never had a second thought about participating.

"Running people are a really unique group of people," she said. "If anything I think it will get people more motivated."

Sean Ryan, race director for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, plans to meet with his public safety committee Wednesday to talk about changes. He said they likely will concentrate on the areas where most people will congregate.

"The challenge we face is we are not controlling an arena or stadium," he said. "It's 50 feet wide and 26.2 miles long. It's not economically feasible to say we will beef up security for all that."

He doesn't expect the bombings will affect next month's participation, which typically is about 7,500 people.

Sue Emmerich, president of the Medford Area Chamber of Commerce, which is organizing the Pine Line Marathon in Medford, said the may not be in a big metropolitan area and may only attract about 300 runners, but officials still are taking precautions.

"We are always concerned for the safety of our runners," she said.

There will be increased security along the route and the start and finish April 27 and there will be more bag checks, she said. Besides on-duty law enforcement, they've also had people volunteer to be on the look-out along the route.

"I think you have to think outside the box," she said.

The Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee, which attracts about 3,100 runners, isn't until Oct. 6 but spokesman Matt Braun said organizers will review their crisis plans, discuss the matter with local law enforcement along the route, look at upgrading security at the start and finish lines and consider increased bag checks.

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