HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A first-ever, three-day event at The University of Southern Mississippi is focusing on making long distance running events safer.The National Marathon Safety and Security Summit is being hosted at the Trent Lott Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship.
USM's National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) organized it in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Attendees are discussing issues such as event day planning, crowd dynamics and management and emergency action planning.
"This has been a tremendous opportunity to bring together the thought leaders in the sport of road racing," said Rich Harshbarger, CEO of Running USA. "And it's been invaluable to pull together the leaders of the organizations to talk about spectators and safety and medical preparedness for the sport of marathoning and distance running," he said.
"I had the chance to meet with colleagues from the Chicago Marathon, the Boston Marathon, the New York Marathon, but also, small marathons as well," said Demetrios Pyrros, medical director for the Athens Marathon. "And the exchange of information is really, really important," he said.
One of the summit's goals is to develop a "best practices" guide for marathon events.
The summit wraps up Thursday at noon.