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No one can guarantee a safe Broad Street Run

Mayor Nutter overstates the claim that Philadelphia can secure the Broad Street Run.

Let's pray that Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter doesn't end up regretting his bold proclamation concerning security for Sunday's Broad Street run.

"We're up to the challenge," Nutter said on Wednesday in response to questions about security for the race. "We do big things in Philadelphia."

Really? For sure? No doubt about it?

Philadelphia is 100 percent up to securing the largest 10-mile road race in America that has more than 40,000 runners registered and will likely have double that number of spectators watching the race that starts in the Logan section and winds south to Navy Yards?

"We're up to the challenge."

Because of an increased visible presence by the Philadelphia police force and extra security measures, Nutter, by his words, implies that he wants us to believe that there is no chance that the act of terrorism that killed three and injured hundreds less than a month ago at the Boston Marathon will happen here.

"We're up to the challenge."

Of course Nutter doesn't believe that – at least not to the point of the bravado that his comments put out there.

Nobody believes that.

Nutter was likely just too caught up in the moment of wanting to assure the city that increased security measures will be in place and overstated their potential effectiveness.

"We're up to the challenge."

There is no amount of due diligence that the police force and the citizens of Philadelphia, or any other city, can do to guarantee that it won't be the next Boston.

No backpacks or coolers at the Navy Yard although not along the course, only clear containers for runners to hold their belongings, mail boxes along the route being removed or locked are all great measures to let the public know that officials are aware of and take the threat of terrorism seriously.

But ultimately, in the grand scheme of actually stopping a bomb or some other kind of terror, they are measures that would involve a great deal of luck to be effective.

"We're up to the challenge."

No one is up to that challenge. There are far too many random variables involved to make that kind of blanket declaration of assurance.

Unless there is so kind of advanced intelligence, preventing an act of terror like what happened in Boston would be more the result of chance.

What are the odds of someone being in the right place at the right time along a 10-mile course lined with up to 100,000 spectators?

Heightened awareness will increase those odds, but that is far from a guarantee.

"We're up to the challenge."

The playing field has changed. The acts of random terror that happen in other parts of the world have come to America.

For us to be naïve about that would only make us more susceptible to successful attacks.

But let's not overstate the boundaries of what we are capable of. We cannot guarantee that we can prevent the next attack for happening

This is the world we live in – one in which fanatics to any cause can do harm to innocent people if they are determined enough to make that kind of statement.

We are not up to the challenge. We can only hope that nothing is planned or that we get damn lucky if something is.