LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a 4th of July tradition in Lexington! On Thursday morning, thousands of runners will race on the streets of downtown for the annual Bluegrass 10,000.
This comes just a few months after the Boston Marathon bombings.
For 37 years, the Bluegrass 10,000 has been a huge part of Lexington's Independence Day celebration.
"We're usually here at the 4th of July, and it's something that we would to do. I love to race. It's a good race," said Jenny O'Halloran, a runner in the Bluegrass 10K.
Just like every other year, runners lined up to check-in the evening before. And with a couple hundred more signing up, the race director says she's hopeful this will be the biggest 10K yet. They expect more than 4,000 people to participate.
But those preparing for Thursday's race tell us they have one thing in the back of their minds which will also be on the back of their shirts while running.
"This year we have a little 'Remembering Boston 4/15/13' on the shirts for our runners, so we will be running for them in spirit," said Alana Insko-Kelley, who is the race director.
The Boston Marathon hit home nationwide but especially for runners.
"I wasn't at the marathon, but you think of the times you've crossed the finish line and your family has been waiting there for you and you definitely have that in the back of your mind," said O'Halloran. "And I know tomorrow we'll be thinking about that and the families that were affected."
Security has been a focus this year for those planning the race. Organizers tell us the biggest change will be a greater police presence throughout the course.
"The day that it happened, we immediately kicked into gear," said Insko-Kelley. "We did do a little extra this year. The police departments came and helped train our seasonal staff on suspicious items, but of course, we need the public's help."
So if you see anything suspicious, tell someone. Organizers want to insure everyone's safety.
"I know it's going to be safe tomorrow. I'm not worried," said O'Halloran. "I'm just looking forward to a great run."
Organizers are also asking runners not to re-enter the finish area once they are done with the race for security reasons. And as for the weather, if lightning is seen before the race begins, then it will be postponed every time they see a lightning strike. But if it starts to rain, lightning, or thunder during the race, then it's up to the runner whether they want to continue.
The Bluegrass 10K will start Thursday at 7:30 a.m. on Main Street near the intersection of Rose Street.