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Organizers Say Security Is In Place For The Big Race

CHICAGO (CBS) --The start of the Chicago Marathon is just hours away.

Runners from every state and more than 100 countries will take part and security is top of mind.

CBS 2's Jeremy Ross has the story near Grant Park where the race will kick off.

It comes on the heels of Chicago police officers preparing for the Jason Van Dyke verdict and possible civil unrest. That never happened but officers certainly worked long hours. Despite that, runners said the city looks ready.

"An act of violence can happen anywhere and at any time so you can't always go through life every step of the way being nervous about that," said marathon runner Chris Lemon.

More than 40,000 runners and an estimated 1.7 million spectators will line the streets. Law enforcement will oversee a course taking runners through 29 neighborhoods.

Organizers said they're in constant contact with law enforcement on all levels: local, state, county and federal.

That includes the Chicago police department that was out in force Friday after the high profile verdict. Could there be officer fatigue or staffing issues due to the court case?

Organizers said absolutely not.

"We've got a marvelous partnership with the Chicago Police Department and city agencies," said Carey Pinkowski, executive director for the Chicago Marathon. "The resources will be there to ensure a safe and secure event."

CBS 2 reached out to CPD for comment on the story and it has yet to respond.

The Chicago Marathon kicks off Sunday at 7:30 a.m.

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