Diana Chepkemoi Sigei of Kenya leads the elite group of women runners near the 19-mile marker during the 2013 Boston Marathon.(Photo: Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports)
BOSTON (AP) - 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.
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
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.
placed in backpacks near the 2013 finish line killed three people and
injured more than 260. Prosecutors say two spectators were responsible.
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.
TRIAL DATE: Boston Marathon bombing suspect to stand trial Nov. 3
local and federal law enforcement officials have been meeting for
months to prepare a stringent security plan for this year's April 21
The new rules were outlined in an email sent by the athletic association to registered runners.
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.
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.
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.
including sporting equipment, military and fire gear, and signs or flags
larger than 11 inches by 17 inches are also prohibited.
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.
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
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