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Bags basically banned from first NYC Marathon since Boston Marathon bombing

- September 29th, 2013
Marathon

An NYPD counterterrorism officer stands in Times Square while on patrol April 26.
(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Better safe than sorry, right?

The 2013 New York City Marathon, scheduled for November 3, recently sent a memo to runners outlining the various safety measures that will be taken in the post-Boston Marathon bombing era.

The memo promises the boost in security presence will have “minimal impact” on runners’ experience at the world-class event.

In short, organizers advise you to leave your bag at home.

Trust me, they really want you to.

Highlights from the security update:

  • As an overall point, all baggage will be inspected (“To speed access and avoid longer lines, we strongly recommend against bringing a bag.”)
  • Those marching in the Parade of Nations are forbidden to carry a bag (Also: “Spectators … carrying bags will be subject to bag inspection.”)
  • Anyone who wishes to enter the nearby health expo, Marathon Eve Dinner or other specialty venues will be subject to a baggage check
  • Some parting wisdom: “If you see something suspicious taking place on or before race day, make sure to report that behavior or activity to local law enforcement; in the case of emergency, call 9-1-1.”

Here’s the memo, in full:

Marathon Security Update

2013 ING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON
Marathon Safety

As you make your final preparations with only 37 days to go before race day, we want to briefly update you on some new race-week protocols.
The safety of runners and spectators has always been New York Road Runners’ highest priority. We are fortunate to work in close collaboration with the NYPD and our federal, state, and city agency partners to ensure the safety of all of our events.
This year, NYRR has partnered with one of the world’s top security firms to conduct a top-to-bottom analysis of our existing internal security program. We are confident that their recommendations will further strengthen our already comprehensive security plan. There are a number of visible security enhancements in place for this year’s race, as well as several behind-the-scenes security elements. It is our goal to be sure that we are implementing the needed security features while causing minimal impact on your race-week experience.
There are a few changes throughout race week that you and your family should be prepared for: Baggage Inspection

This year there will be more baggage inspection areas. All bags and items entering Marathon venues and events are subject to inspection by NYRR, contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and the NYPD. To speed access and avoid longer lines, we strongly recommend against bringing a bag.
Venues that will have some type of inspection/restrictions will include, but will not be limited to:                 •         Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines
Delegates marching in the Parade of Nations will not be able to march with bags. Spectators (standing and in bleachers) carrying bags will be subject to bag inspection. We suggest one bag per guest, no larger than the size of a woman’s purse.
•         ING New York City Marathon Health and Fitness Expo , Marathon Eve Dinner , Blue Line Lounge presented by Tata Consultancy Services
Any person entering these venues will be subject to baggage inspection. To speed your access, we strongly recommend that you do not bring a bag. However, you may bring one bag per guest, no larger than the size of a woman’s purse.
•         Grandstand Seating
Spectators with bags in any Central Park grandstand will be subject to baggage inspection before entering the bleacher seats. We suggest one bag per guest, no larger than the size of a women’s purse. Please note that no strollers will be allowed. Family Reunion

This year, everyone entering Family Reunion will be subject to baggage inspection and screening. We anticipate that this may cause some delays, so we recommend that runners make prior arrangements to meet family at a predetermined location away from Family Reunion. Please visit LincolnSquarebid.org for a comprehensive list of restaurants near the finish-line area.
Family Reunion will be located on Central Park West between West 60th and West 66th streets, with entry points on Broadway from 61st to 65th streets, depending on the last name of your runner. Family Reunion will be open from 12:00 noon to 5:30 p.m. A detailed map of Family Reunion will be available on ingnycmarathon.org . If you choose to meet in Family Reunion, we recommend that you not bring large bags, strollers, or other bulky items.
It is recommended that friends and family arrive at Family Reunion approximately 20-30 minutes after their runner’s anticipated finish time. Please keep in mind that it can take 30-45 minutes after crossing the finish to exit Central Park.
Friends and family can track their runner on race day with the free ING New York City Marathon Mobile App Presented by Tata Consultancy Services. TrackMyRunner™ Web and Track My Runner™ SMS will also be available to track up to three runners on any non-smartphone. We will make announcements when these offerings become available. For more details, visit ingnycmarathon.org . Friends and family can also call the Runner Information Hotline (800.496.6193) on race day if they’re unsure of a runner’s whereabouts after the race; they must know the runner’s race number. Prohibited Items

In order to ensure the safety of all Marathon participants, spectators, and partners, there is a list of items that runners will not be allowed to bring to the Start Villages or run with on the course. There have been some additional items added to this list this year (e.g. no Camelbaks® or hydration vests allowed), so please review the link provided with enough time to plan appropriately.
We are lucky in New York City to have some of the world’s best law enforcement partners in our corner. Still, we can all play a role in keeping our community safe. If you see something suspicious taking place on or before race day, make sure to report that behavior or activity to local law enforcement; in the case of emergency, call 9-1-1.
Thank you for attention to these very important matters. We will continue to keep everyone apprised of any new information, and the most up-to-date information can always be found at ingnycmarathon.org . We can’t wait to see you on race day!

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