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"Running Lost A Bit Of Its Innocence"

TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) - Susan Harmeling left Boston early for shoulder surgery in Tampa on Tuesday.  If not for that, she says she would have been standing in the very spot where the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line.

Now, Hamerling, who is the executive director of Tampa's Gasparilla Distance Classic, says she'll be meeting with Tampa police to talk about the potential for expanded security for the February event.

"We'll listen to what the have to say and any suggestions that they make, as far as the safety of our runners are concerned, the security of the finish line, the security of the course, we'll follow their lead," said Harmerling.

In St. Pete, police will only say they, too, are reassessing security issues with organizers of the upcoming St. Anthony's Triathalon, which is April 28th. 

For Hamerling, the biggest impact of the Boston tragedy will be on the sport, itself.  She just hopes that will be restored by the time the Gasparilla Distance Classic rolls around next winter.

"Running lost a bit of its innocence. And now because of what's happened, the safety of the runners and the spectators of the communities that these events are run in is in question."


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