Last April, the world changed for the running community in many ways. For the injured spectators at the Boston Marathon, to loss of innocence of race participants and event directors, race day would never be the same. As the fall marathon season gets underway, some of the ripple effects of that tragedy are now being felt in the tightened security implemented by many races. Both the Marine Corps Marathon and the NYC Marathon have banned hydration backpacks and vests on the race course, and the NYC Marathon has published a list of items banned from the race on event day.
All of these measures are very reasonable in the new climate that we now live in, but I find it sad that we now have to do this.
In order to ensure the safety of all Marathon participants, spectators, and partners, NYRR has added two categories of items to its list of prohibited objects at all marathon events. As always, all bags and items entering Marathon venues and events are subject to inspection by NYRR, contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and the NYPD.
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, Grandstand 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 Village, 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 or 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, and military and fire/gear and signs larger than 11”x17”)
*These items that 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, US Park Police, US Coast Guard & other city, state and federal agency partners.
Bibs must be visible at all times while on official Marathon transportation, entering and within the Start Village, in the corrals and on the race course. Amenities and medals will be denied to runners not displaying a bib.