After the bombing at the Boston Marathon earlier this year, the NYPD and New York Road Runners Club have implemented new security for the tomorrow's NYC Marathon. For instance, there will be a lot of counterterrorism resources used—like dozens of bomb-sniffing dogs. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, "This will be the best-protected race that they can enter. There are no guarantees in our post-9/11 world, but we’re doing everything we reasonably can to protect the runners and the spectators and have this be a safe and enjoyable event."
The dogs, like K9 Ray pictured above, will be at the start and finish line (the Boston bombing took place at the finish line). The NY Times reports, "Let off a leash, Ray took a few seconds to locate a packet of black powder hidden among reporters." Sigh, remember when last year we were just debating whether the marathon should even be held after Sandy?
NYPD boats will escort ferries taking runners to the start line in Staten Island. Additionally, scuba divers have been inspecting NYC seabeds for bombs under the bridges. There are also 1400 private sector cameras along the marathon route, and Kelly added, "We've brought on board about 100 new portable cameras that we've positioned along the route where we saw gaps."
The NYPD and NYRR emphasized that non-runners should not be near the finish line. NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg said, "Whether it is resident New Yorkers, fans of the race... stay away from that area," and instead urged friends and family meet runners at hotels or restaurants.
There are new security rules for the marathon this year as well—from the marathon's website:
For spectators and runners
, the following items are prohibited from entering any Marathon venue, including but not limited to the Expo, Marathon Opening Ceremony, Start Village, Family Reunion, Finish Line Bleachers, and all Marathon Pavilion events:
- Weapons of any kind, including firearms, knives, mace, etc.
- Any dangerous items or “dual use” items that could be dangerous
- Flammable liquids, fuels, fireworks, and explosives
- Large packages, coolers, and tents/lean-tos
- Duvets, sleeping bags, and large blankets/comforters
Additionally, for runners, the following items are prohibited from the Start Villages, start corrals, and race course:
- Glass containers
- Containers of liquid larger than 1 liter
- Suitcases and rolling bags
- Backpacks* and any bag other than the Official Start Village Bag and Official UPS Bag
Camelbaks® and any type of hydration backpacks* (Note: Water and Gatorade Endurance Formula are available at the start and at fluid stations every mile starting at mile 3. Runners may run with fuel belts and handheld water bottles.)
- Weight vests and any sort of vest with pockets
- Costumes covering the face or any non-formfitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body
- Props (including sporting equipment, military and fire/gear, and signs larger than 11˝ x 17˝)
* These items have been prohibited from all NYRR events since April 2013; these prohibitions are based on enhanced safety protocols established in collaboration with the NYPD, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority Police, U.S. Park Police, U.S. Coast Guard, and other city, state and federal agency partners.