Under heavy security, TCS-sponsored NYC Marathon starts with 51,000 runners

November 05, 2017 10:16 PM

Punjab News Express
NEW YORK: Unfazed by the terror strike in the metropolis earlier this week, the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)-sponsored New York City Marathon got underway on Sunday under heavy security.

More than 51,000 runners from about 125 countries are participating in the race officially known as the TCS-New York City Marathon, an important promotional event for the Indian tech giant.

About 2.5 million spectators were expected to line the 26.2-mile (42-kilometre) route snaking across all the five city districts.

Heavily armed police and National Guard troops guarded several locations. Garbage trucks and lorries loaded with sand blocked off many intersections to prevent terrorist attacks using vehicles.

Counter-terrorism commandos stood-by, snipers took positions on buildings, and bomb-sniffing dogs worked their way through some spots.

New York City police chief Carlos Gomez said the number of security personnel "will be the most deployed at this event".

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio assured the city that the event of global importance in marathons will "be well protected".

The marathon was flagged off Sunday morning on Staten Island and is to finish at the Central Park in Manhattan.

A terrorist attack by an Islamic State (IS) sympathiser using a truck as a weapon killed eight people in Manhattan earlier this week. The attack allegedly by an Uzbek immigrant, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, near the site of the 9/11 terrorist strike in 2001 put the city on edge, especially because of an attack on the Boston Marathon.

In 2013, two brothers from another former Soviet republic, Kyrgyzstan, had set off bombs made with pressure cookers at the Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring about 500.

Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran, an avid marathoner himself, was instrumental in getting TCS to sponsor the high-profile event when he was the CEO of TCS.

Along the route, TCS logos and signs were on display raising the visibility of the tech company in the city as well as reminding the city of community involvement by Indian companies operating in the United States.

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