Organizers boost security for Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

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Rock 'N' Roll MarathonSAN DIEGO — The 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon set for Sunday will be run amid increased security due to last month’s bombing terror attack at a similar urban long-distance run in Boston, organizers announced Friday.

“Security protocols (already) in place are being enhanced,” said Scott Dickey, president and CEO of Competitor Group Inc., which puts on the annual event. “We are adding more private security and police officers.”

The new safety measures also include intermittent bag checks and more service dog patrols, Dickey said during a late-morning briefing at Petco Park.

“There will be other behind-the-scenes security measures undertaken that we can’t share,” Dickey said.

Officials also announced that for the first time, the run will start at Balboa Park and finish at the Padres’ East Village ballpark, traveling through Little Italy, Old Town and Bay Park.

In addition, participants in the simultaneous half-marathon will head up to Normal Heights for the first time.

More than 40 bands on 38 stages will provide musical entertainment along the courses of the event, which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Bill Earley, president of the LLS’s San Diego chapter, said fund-raising for this year’s run has generated $4.5 million.

“Over 16 years, the marathon has raised more than $254 million for cancer research and patient services,” Earley said, adding that participants should be proud of what they are “doing to help save lives.”

The event also is an annual financial boon to the city, Dickey told news crews.

“Over the weekend, the marathon accounts for 54,000 hotel nights and more than $70 million of economic impact,” Dickey said.

It is one of the top 10 marathons in the nation, with 8,000 marathoners registered for the 2013 race, 57 percent of whom are women and 32 percent from out of state, according to organizers. About 30,000 runners from 50 states and 30 countries are expected to take part.

There will be a new champion crowned this year, as the 2012 winner will not be returning, officials said. Meb Keflezighi, a San Diego High School graduate who was the half-marathon winner the past two years, will be return to try for a third straight victory.

City Council President Todd Gloria said information about road closures related to the event, which takes place in his district, are available on his office website at sandiego.gov/citycouncil/cd3/.

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