Race organisers said the London Marathon would go ahead on Sunday despite the death of at least two people in explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, but police said they would review security plans.
While it has yet to be confirmed that the Boston explosions on Monday were caused by a terror attack, the shocking scenes quickly prompted fears of a similar incident at the London race.
“We will not be cancelling, what we are doing, we are reviewing,” London Marathon Chief Executive Nick Bitel told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“You look at what has occurred, if there are steps we can take to increase security and all sorts of measures one could deploy.
“We run through the city, when you have an event of any nature, a marathon, parade, it’s only as safe as the city itself, if it’s not held in a stadium you can’t do a lockdown like you may do in a building,” he added.
Thousands of people, including leading international athletes, compete in the London Marathon every year and, with the race just six days away, there was earlier speculation the event could be cancelled on safety grounds.
Bitel said he was “deeply saddened and shocked by the news.
“Our immediate thoughts are with the people there and their families,” he said in a statement. “It is a very sad day for athletics and for our friends and colleagues in marathon running.
“Our security plan is developed jointly with the Metropolitan Police and we were in contact with them as soon as we heard the news.”
Met Police Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry added: “A security plan is in place for the London Marathon. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon.”
The explosions in Boston took place after the elite race had finished.
Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopa won the men’s race with Rita Jeptoo winning the women’s event.
Paula Radcliffe, the British women’s marathon world record holder, said she was “horrified to hear news of bomb explosion near Boston marathon finish.
“Really hope there are no serious casualties. Situation looks awful, thoughts with everyone. There are some very sick people out there, who would do something like this?”
The Boston race, the world’s oldest annual Marathon, is held each year on the United States’ Patriot’s Day.
‘Rather than leading — he lies’: MSNBC panel says Trump is a ‘danger to the country’ because he can’t be trusted
MSNBC commentators, former assistant US Attorney Maya Wiley and Rick Wilson, explained that President Donald Trump's most significant barrier is making it past his own lies to save America from the coronavirus.
"There's a case tonight being tested in Walton County, Florida. The heart of Trump country," said Wilson, referring to the panhandle county east of Pensacola. "That's not going to be something you can just walk away from if it turns out to be a real case. We're seeing these things popping up all over. The safe bet was always to say, 'This could be bad. We'll do everything we can to stop it.' But he can't stop himself from self-aggrandizing and lying about things. And it's actually -- setting aside my normal criticism of Trump -- this is a danger to the country that he is not a trustworthy person for the American people. Even people who like him now he BS's them all the time. Now, if he says it's not a problem and people are being hospitalized, it is a problem."
Trump ‘just wants this problem to go away’: President desperate to get coronavirus ‘off his plate’
President Donald Trump is desperate for the coronavirus problem to go away, and he doesn't exactly care how it happens.
According to New York Times reporter Annie Karni, sources are telling her that the biggest concern Trump has is more about the markets than the deaths of Americans from the virus.
"First, let's establish, this is a president who tried to change science with a Sharpie when it came to hurricane path prediction," said MSNBC host Brian Williams. "That picture lasts forever."
"Even his allies on Fox and his allies outside the White House were kind of channeling to that proverbial audience of one that this was a great opportunity to look presidential and to tell the facts," said Karni. The Donald Trump we saw out there in the briefing room was very casual, kind of left the facts to the other people that accompanied him out there. But he clearly publicly and privately just wants this problem to go away. He wants to downplay it. He thinks -- he has called people who are talking about fears about it alarmist. He doesn't want to be alarmist, and he's kind of holding on to any comment that makes it sound like this will naturally be a problem that is removed from his plate. That's what we saw publicly, and that's what he's been saying privately as well."
Seth Meyers: You know Trump isn’t the chief law enforcement officer because he couldn’t pass the physical
"Late Night" host Seth Meyers warned that the United States is sliding into authoritarianism under President Donald Trump.
Sounding the alarm Wednesday evening, Meyers cited reports that Trump was making lists of disloyal people, purging them from their jobs, hiring unqualified cronies in top posts, and claiming he has the right to interfere in criminal cases.
While speaking to the press last week, Trump even announced that he's allowed to be involved in all criminal cases because he's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. It's actually a title used for the attorney general.