Corporate tents are going up around Orlando's Lake Eola park. Jon Hughes, the owner of The Track Shack and organizer of the IOA Corporate 5K race to be held on Thursday in Orlando, came out to oversee preparations for the event.
Hughes on Tuesday returned from Boston after running the marathon. After having the scare of his life, he has been busy enhancing security for the Corporate 5K.
"We feel really good, had a really good meeting this morning with the city security is gong to be really good. Heightened obviously," said Hughes
Over 60 Orlando police officers have been hired to secure the race area around Lake Eola. The police department will not say exactly how many on-duty officers they intend to have, but they do say they will have additional staffing and their Iris camera system is a big part of their security plan.
We counted eight cameras that are highly visible along the race route. Officers back in a room at OPD headquarters will get a bird's eye view of the areas under surveillance.
"They can rotate around 360 degrees, so they get good views of what happens prior to, or after," said Orlando Police Sgt. Jim Young. "We'll make sure to monitor those closely. They have zoom capabilities they'll be able to zoom in to check different things that are noticeable to us."
Racers could be running next to officers too. OPD has a running club, and several officers took the night off to race, including Chief Rooney.
Hughes is excited for the big race, and he's encouraged by the community's support for his sport, his race, and the people who ran beside him in Boston.
"People have come in and said they want to show support for after what happened in Boston," he said. "They want to come out here and participate in it, and we're very proud to hear people say that."
Last year 14,333 athletes ran in the Corporate 5K, and so far, more than 16,000 have signed up for this year's race. Hughes said that, typically, sign ups are slow the week of the race. But not this year, as they have been averaging 200 a day this week.
Hughes is urging runners and spectators to leave coolers and backpack at home. He said if attendees do bring them, they will be searched by police or event volunteers.
Hughes said that, before the race starts, there will be moment of silence for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Elsewhere, in Paris, marathon organizers announced they will ask participants to put a hand over their heart as they finish. Hughes said he is going to ask the Corporate 5K runners to do the same.