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Pittsburgh Marathon Organizers, Runners Offer Support For Boston

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Local runners, preparing for the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, are offering prayers and support for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

With thoughts of the Boston Marathon tragedy still heavy on their hearts and minds, members of the Steel City Road Runners held a training run Saturday to get ready for the Pittsburgh Marathon.

In 15 days, an estimated 28,000 runners and 30,000 to 50,000 spectators will take part in the race. No doubt Boston will be on everyone's mind.

"We want to let them know we stand behind them, and our thoughts are with them, and that we're united in our goals," said Patrice Maramoros, the director of the Pittsburgh Marathon.

Because of what happened in Boston, new safety and security measures will be in place during the marathon.

"We're asking you not to bring any backpacks into those zones. Once you get through the actual areas, you will not be permitted to have a bag," said Dee Stathis, the director of operations for the Pittsburgh Marathon. "So please, use our gear check."

Officials say 500 police officers will be on patrol along with bomb-sniffing dogs and bomb sweeps. And like Boston, lots of eyes will be watching.

"We obviously have our marathon coming up in a couple of weeks, and knowing that there are cameras everywhere along the race route at the start and at the finish, people are going to be watching," said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

"If you see something, say something. If you see bags on the side of the road, please say something," said Stathis. "Make an effort please to get to the race early."

On Saturday, members of Team Red, White and Blue, a local veterans organization, participated in their first race since the Boston Marathon.

Some members who were trained first responders assisted people injured during the bomb explosions in Boston. Kate Bielak says they also plan to run in the marathon in Pittsburgh.

"We're saying in response to what happened in the Boston Marathon, we're going to run," said Bielak. "We're not going to take that. We're not going to stand down. We're not going to hide."

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