Heavy security presence at New Orleans Ironman Triathlon - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Heavy security presence at New Orleans Ironman Triathlon


New Orleans, LA -- Six days after the Boston Marathon explosions, the 5th Annual New Orleans Ironman 70.3 Triathlon went off successfully.

There was tight security from members of the New Orleans Police Department, which could be seen from start to the finish line.

Organizers of New Orleans Ironman credit phenomenal weather with helping push Andres Raelert across the finish line first.

"Oh, it's an awesome feeling if you cross the finish line and if you won the race," says Raelert of Germany.

Raelert, finished the 70.3 mile course in 3 hours, 46 minutes and 54 seconds.

More than 200 participants endured a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike course, ending with a 13.1 mile run at Armstrong Park.

Hundreds of spectators supported them along Sunday's route, the explosions at the Boston Marathon still fresh in their minds.

Race Director, Bill Burke worked six days with the New Orleans Police Department and EMS to increase security measures along the route.

"I've been told that this is the largest number, police presence outside of a Mardi Gras parade here in the City of New Orleans, I mean you've got to cover 70 miles of race course," says Burke.

 "We added extra EMS personnel, we added two more ambulances, and also crews in the water," says EMS Deputy Chief, Ken Bouvier.

Boston's tragedy forced Burke to do something he's never done.

"I generally don't drive the actual race course, I drove the race course today with two other officials and we just drove it slowly just looking out of the windows to see if anything looked peculiar or does anything look strange," says Burke.

Most athletes said they felt very safe along the route after seeing all of the security.

Burke says in the coming days he'll meet with the city's emergency personnel to find out what worked and what security adjustments they may need to make for next year's Ironman 70.3.

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