Skip to content

Boston Marathon announces increased security

Mar 10, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon organizers detailed what they called a comprehensive security plan Monday for the April 21 race, following last year’s bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260.

Some 36,000 runners — 9,000 more than last year — and perhaps more than one million spectators are expected for the 26.2-mile race on Patriots’ Day.

They will face measures such as 3,500 police officers — uniformed and in plain clothes and more than double last year’s amount, according to The Associated Press. Also, bomb-sniffing dogs, more surveillance cameras and increased barriers separating runners from spectators.

A joint terrorism task force under supervision of the FBI will be involved in safety and security operations.

A goal is to preserve the traditional feel and character of the Boston Marathon, in its 118th running this year.

“We never forget the tragedy and the suffering that occurred last year,” said Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, in a press conference. “We also want to do our part in supporting the resilience that we all have come to know as Boston Strong. Our role at the Boston Athletic Association will be to do what we do, which is mainly putting on athletic events.”

Officials are promoting a simple slogan — if you see something, say something.

“Our security plan has been informed by what happened last year, and our collective evaluation of what worked well, what could have worked better and the lessons we learned,” said Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Runners won’t be allowed to wear backpacks, though fanny packs and fuel belts are OK.

Spectators are asked to abide by common-sense guidelines. They are discouraged from bringing backpacks or large coolers or wear costumes or masks.

Some areas of the course may include screening checkpoints for spectators, who are asked to carry items in clear, plastic bags. Further threat assessments and intelligence analysis will be conduced in the six weeks leading to race day.

“One of the lessons learned here, I think, is that the public, the spectators, the participants in this marathon are another part of the security of this marathon,” Massachusetts State Police Colonel/Superintendent Tim Alben said. “Be more vigilant, to pay attention what’s around them, who’s around them, strange things that might occur.”

There hasn’t been specific intelligence indicating threats for this year’s race, but organizers are taking precautions should one pop up.

They are confident, though, encouraging people to visit popular areas, such as Boylston Street, the road where the finish line lies and where the two bombs went off last year.

U.S. Olympians added to Boston Marathon field

Latest Posts
  1. Jeremy Abbott to sit out figure skating season

    Sep 2, 2015, 4:02 PM EDT

    Jeremy Abbott AP

    The four-time U.S. champion isn’t retiring yet.

  2. Los Angeles’ ties to the Olympics

    Sep 2, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Some of the names most associated with Los Angeles professional sports teams are Olympians.

  3. Five events to watch at Zurich Diamond League

    Sep 2, 2015, 11:27 AM EDT

    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Tori Bowie Getty Images

    One event includes 2015 World champions from three different events.

  4. Mesut Özil open to Rio Olympics, but German coach dismisses

    Sep 2, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Mesut Ozil Getty Images

    “I can hardly imagine that it is possible given the schedule.”

  5. Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid is official

    Sep 1, 2015, 5:11 PM EDT

    Los Angeles 2024 logo

    Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome previously announced bids.

  6. Kerri Walsh Jennings done for season after this week

    Sep 1, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Walsh Jennings and April Ross will have little to no wiggle room in Olympic qualifying next year.

  7. Can Venus Williams qualify for a fifth Olympics?

    Sep 1, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Venus Williams AP

    She could become the second oldest Olympic singles player since the sport returned to the Games in 1988.

  8. Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo scrapped after plagiarism allegations

    Sep 1, 2015, 8:58 AM EDT

    Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo AP

    A competition will be held to pick a new logo.

  9. Top ten storylines from World Track and Field Championships

    Aug 31, 2015, 4:20 PM EDT

    Usain Bolt, Mo Farah AP

    Olympic champions came through and potential future Olympic stars broke out.

  10. Ten best performances from World Track and Field Championships

    Aug 31, 2015, 2:47 PM EDT

    Wayde van Niekerk AP

    One world record and many near marks on the track and in the field.

  11. Ten memorable quotes from World Track and Field Championships

    Aug 31, 2015, 12:09 PM EDT

    Usain Bolt AP

    Kidney failure, a Segway and goat blood.

  12. USOC, Los Angeles agree to 2024 Olympic bid, reports say

    Aug 30, 2015, 5:01 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Coliseum Getty Images

    It can’t become official until later this week.

  13. U.S. finishes World Championships with fewest medals since 2003

    Aug 30, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT

    U.S. 4x400m relay intro

    “I’m going to cut the goat … and drink the blood.”

  14. Ashton Eaton breaks decathlon world record, wins World Championship

    Aug 29, 2015, 11:23 AM EDT

    Ashton Eaton AP

    Eaton was competing in his first decathlon in more than two years and wore a cooling hood.

  15. Kayla Harrison stunned at World Judo Championships

    Aug 28, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT

    Kayla Harrison AP

    “That feeling of wanting to crawl out of your skin.”

  16. Anthony Davis would rather win second Olympic gold than first NBA MVP

    Aug 28, 2015, 11:13 AM EDT

    Anthony Davis Getty Images

    Davis, the second youngest U.S. Olympic basketball player ever in 2012, played the fewest minutes for Team USA at the London Games.