Long gone are the days when marathons were simply safe athletic events that benefited society and various charities. It seems we’re living through an increasingly dangerous time, as just last month the biggest news stories were accounts of various terror threats directed at the Winter Games. With nearly four times the standard amount of security personnel, Sochi remained safe.
The attack at the 2013 Boston Marathon shocked and disturbed the country and has since led to a review of security measures. On Wednesday, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced increased security measures that will be implemented at the 2014 race.
New regulations focused on disallowing bags from major areas. According to the BAA webite, bags will not be allowed on shuttle busses from Boston to Hopkinton (the start). No bags will be transported from Hopkinton to Boston and all items should be checked in Boston on the morning of the race. See-through plastic bags will be provided to keep runners gear; no personal bags will be checked.
Extra layers may be worn on the bus to Hopkinton and before the race begins. Runners will leave the extra clothes in Hopkinton where they will be donated to charity. A Heatsheet Warmth Retention Cape will be provided to runners at the end of the race.
The following is a list of all items that are off limits to participants:
- Backpacks, any similar item carried over the shoulder, or handbags of any size
- Glass containers
- Any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid
- Strollers, including baby strollers
- Suitcases & rolling bags
- Personal hydration system products (such as CamelBak®, Thor®, etc)
- Weight vests or any sort of vest with pockets (Note: lightweight running vests are allowable)
- Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body
- Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire/gear and signs or flags larger than 11 inches x 17 inches)
- Any item larger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches
Any items the participants bring are subject to search and security personnel have "the authority to disallow other products or materials it deems inappropriate."
According to the BAA website, there will be changes to the finish area, including three exits prior to Arlington Street. There is no additional information about the exits at this time. For those who elect to check their gear, they will need to walk about half a mile to retrieve it.
Additionally, and expectedly, unofficial participants are not allowed on the course.
“We are aware that many people want to participate in some way in this year’s Boston Marathon as a display of support, but we ask that those who are not official participants to refrain from entering the course for the safety of the runners and themselves”