Boston Marathon adopts ‘no bags’ policy as part of stepped-up security

  • Associated Press
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014 4:44pm
  • SportsSports

BOSTON — This year’s Boston Marathon will have a “no bags” policy as part of stepped-up security following last year’s deadly bombing, the Boston Athletic Association announced Wednesday.

Marathon runners typically are allowed to bring bags or backpacks to keep personal items. Those bags are bused between the starting line in Hopkinton and the finish line in Boston.

But this year, runners will not be allowed to bring backpacks or bags, which will also not be allowed in certain areas near the start or finish line, or along the 26.2-mile course.

Runners will be given a chance to check gear on Boston Common on the morning of the marathon to allow them to have a change of clothing at the end of the race. The athletic association said it will provide clear plastic bags for that purpose.

Twin bombs placed in backpacks near the 2013 finish line killed three people and injured more than 260. Prosecutors say two spectators were responsible.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, is awaiting trial and faces the possibility of the death penalty on 30 federal charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died following a gun battle with police several days after the marathon.

State, local and federal law enforcement officials have been meeting for months to prepare a stringent security plan for this year’s April 21 marathon.

The new rules were outlined in an email sent by the athletic association to registered runners.

The BAA said unregistered runners, known as “bandits,” who traditionally jump into the race at various points along the course, will be strictly prohibited this year.

“Anyone on the course for any distance who has not been assigned, or is not displaying, an officially issued bib number from the B.A.A. is subject to interdiction,” the association said in its email.

Costumes covering the face or non-form-fitting, bulky outfits will also be prohibited.

Runners were told they cannot bring backpacks or any similar item carried over the shoulder or handbags of any size. Those items will be prohibited from all marathon venues, including along the course, near the start or finish areas and at all official marathon events.

Glass containers and any container larger than one liter will also be banned.

The list of prohibited items for runners also includes strollers, suitcases and rolling bags, weight vests or any type of vest with pockets, except for lightweight running vests, which will be allowed.

Props, including sporting equipment, military and fire gear, and signs or flags larger than 11 inches by 17 inches are also prohibited.

The BAA said runners will be allowed to wear small fanny packs to carry food, medicine, identification, cellphones or other necessary small items. They can also bring water bottles, but they must be one liter or smaller. Organizers are discouraging runners from wearing headphones, but they will be permitted.

Kurt Schwartz, the state’s undersecretary for public safety, said officials are trying to maintain the excitement of marathon while at the same time ensuring the safety of the thousands of marathon participants and spectators.

“It will still feel like a great day and it will be a great day,” Schwartz said.

“We are going to strike a good balance between public safety and security, and ensuring that this is a celebratory and festive event like it has always been.”

More in Sports

Everett’s Garrett Pilon controls the puck in the first period Sunday afternoon at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett on February 18, 2018. The Silvertips won 4-0. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Silvertips complete a season sweep of the Kamloops Blazers

Martin Fasko-Rudas joins the Silvertips’ top line and helps spark Everett to a 4-0 victory

Dillon puts the No. 3 car back to Victory Lane at Daytona

Dillon earns the victory for his grandfather’s team, Richard Childress Racing

Team LeBron edges Team Stephen in NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James earns MVP honors as his team scores a 148-145 victory

Pairings announced for regional basketball playoffs

Lynnwood and Stanwood girls face each other Saturday at Jackson High School

Jackson swimmer wins 2 more titles, Glacier Peak claims a pair

Snohomish County schools were well represented on the podium at the state swimming championships.

BLOG: Onyebuchi, Centazzo return with Blazers in 4-0 Everett victory

Two former Everett Silvertip fan favorites returned to Angel of the Winds… Continue reading

Girls reign: Glacier Peak, Snohomish wrestlers win titles

Glacier Peak’s Kiley Hubby, Snohomish’s Joessie Gonzales work out together, created a ‘special bond.’

Lake Stevens’ Malachi Lawrence celebrates his 182 weight championship in the 30th Annual Mat Classic Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma on February 17, 2018. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Stanwood, Lake Stevens wrestlers crowned again at Mat Classic

Mason Phillips wins his third state title in a row while Malachi Lawrence goes back-to-back.

BLOG: Ormsby gets assist, Luding last laugh against former teams

Both the Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds gained three out of a… Continue reading

Most Read