Connecticut sporting events taking precautions after bombings - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Connecticut sporting events taking precautions after Boston Marathon bombings

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In the wake of Monday's bombing at the Boston Marathon, two of Connecticut's biggest sporting events are taking precautions.

Both the Hartford Marathon and the Travelers Championship attracts thousands of spectators each year, so they're keeping a close eye on what's taking place in Boston.

Thousands will come to Cromwell for the Travelers Championship, which is in 62 days, and tournament Director Nathan Grube told Eyewitness News safety is a priority.

"My first thought, I had buddies running in the race. You're hoping is everyone OK, the families, and then you start looking at it from an events standpoint," Grube said. "It's an event, just like how we would, you start looking at the response, the safety. You invite these people out and you're responsible for them."

Officials with the tournament continue to take a close look at security, making sure everyone is safe as the tournament approaches.

"That's something we look at every single year with our event," Grube said. "How many people we have coming out, whether it's the weather, or a scenario like this, we take it very seriously. There are lots of meetings with Cromwell police, our security, the PGA tour security."

Grube told Eyewitness News they took a look at when the crowds are the largest and how to cover certain areas of the course.

He added a couple years ago, Homeland Security came in to look at their procedures.

Hartford Marathon Foundation Executive Director Beth Shluger is also focused on security for the Hartford Marathon.

Every year, roughly 17,000 runners and tens of thousands of spectators line the course in downtown Hartford to watch the runners tackle the 26.2 miles.

Following the heels of Boston, Shluger said she knows runners and spectators will have questions and concerns. The issue now is letting them know about their process and the steps they're taking to prepare for the Oct. 12 race.

"We will learn from this tragedy and make us stronger, quicker to response to things," Shluger said.

Director of Stadium Operations at Rentschler Field Jack Freeman said there was an initial security meeting Monday morning before the explosions happened.

Following the explosions at the Boston Marathon, Freeman said he has emailed his security force, the East Hartford Fire Department, UConn police, UConn administration and the East Hartford Police Department to reconvene on Thursday at 9 a.m. to deal with new security measures.

He added security will be increased following the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Freeman said they are urging anyone who is attending the game to refrain from bringing backpacks into the stadium.  

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