Course, Security Set for Cleveland Marathon

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The course is set and so is security for Sunday’s 36th Annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. 

Last month's bombing at the Boston Marathon which killed three people, is fresh on the minds of runners and police.

Race organizers report more runners have registered for this year’s race than last year.  Some 22,000 runners and twice as many spectators are expected to participate in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.

Isaiah Douglas from Savannah, Ga., will be among those setting the pace.

This will be his first big race since last month's Boston Marathon. He crossed the finish line a half hour before the bombings.

"This is really going to be different for me -- just running in a marathon that I ran in prior to this that two bombs went off. So, it will be really different,” Douglas said.

This year’s Cleveland race will be different with increased security from past years.

Cleveland Police Commander Harold Pretel said hundreds of local, county, state and federal officers will be in place at all points of the marathon route.

"If we can detect it, we can disrupt it. And, that's the key here,” said Pretel.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Cleveland’s race security plans were reviewed and adjustments were made. Pretel said they include a new bag and backpack policy.

"Bags are a big thing. They should not be brought to the venue. If you have a clear bag that is one thing. Backpacks and such, just want to let everyone know will be subject to be searched,” he said.

Police are also looking for the public’s help. They said if you see something, say something.

"They're familiar when something doesn't look right, someone's not behaving right. They know what that looks like and they can make us aware of that,” Pretel said.

The Boston tragedy is sure to be on the minds of those participating in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, but it is not keeping them from running in the race.

“The safety officials, I think they have everything in control,” Douglas said.

Cara Bokovitiz, of Mayfield Heights, agreed.

"Actually gave me more motivation to run it because I want to keep that running community going."

Asked if she had any fears, Bokovitz responded “No. No worries."

For more on the Cleveland Marathon, click here.

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