The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will host the seventh annual National Marathon and Endurance Events Safety and Security Forum on Dec. 8-9, 2020, in a virtual format.

Road races and other participatory sports events attract large numbers of athletes and spectators, making safety and security a top priority for race organizers, public safety and host communities. These high-profile events give rise to a host of potential risks and threats that must be addressed to ensure the safety and security of people, property, and infrastructure.

“The importance of the NCS4 Marathon and Endurance Events Forum, now more than ever is a means for all participants to share ideas, expand skills, and improve qualifications,” said Todd S. Metro, Senior Manager, Safety & Security, New York Road Runners – New York City Marathon. “As local, state, and federal regulations during the global pandemic become more demanding for mass gathering events, the topics covered will focus on information sharing, collaboration, and finite decision making thus making the Forum another great ‘tool in the tool box’ for sporting event production professionals and our various partners.”

In addition to keynote speakers and panel presentations, attendees will participate in moderated discussions and mini-exercise workshops. The small group discussions and case study analyses will take attendees through a deep-dive examination of specific topics relevant to running and endurance events. The workshop-style sessions will focus on problem-solving, lessons learned and moving forward.

“Marathon and endurance events have been impacted worldwide with events being canceled, postponed, or transitioned to a virtual format. This year, participants will hear from decision-makers and the planning factors considered while making important business decisions. We will cover topics that are at the forefront of this industry’s mind, including civil unrest, organizational resilience, the use of drones, and vehicle intrusion prevention,” said Dr. Stacey Hall, NCS4 Director and College of Business and Economic Development Sport Management Professor at The University of Southern Mississippi. “A unique offering will be a table-top exercise utilizing the latest technology and tools to ensure our attendees obtain a hands-on learning experience.”