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Boston Marathon bans bags as part of security plan

Boston Marathon Security: What's Banned In 2014

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.

Marathon 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 26.2-mile course.

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.

Twin bombs placed in backpacks near the 2013 finish line killed three people and injured more than 260. Prosecutors say two spectators were responsible.

Dzhokhar 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.

State, local and federal law enforcement officials have been meeting for months to prepare a stringent security plan for this year's April 21 marathon.

The new rules were outlined in an email sent by the athletic association to registered runners.

The 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.

Runners 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.

The 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.

Props, including sporting equipment, military and fire gear, and signs or flags larger than 11 inches by 17 inches are also prohibited.

The BAA 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.

"We 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 always been."

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Barbara February 27 2014 at 8:50 AM

Did anyone on this committee know that it wasn't the RUNNERS who blew up the finish line????? Typical morons. The problem is all along the route. How are you going to put a cop on every inch of 26 miles? There aren't enough cops in the whole of New England to pull that off.

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mrfitman Barbara February 27 2014 at 9:05 AM

another False Flag.then?? marshall LAW!!

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frankz280 February 27 2014 at 8:56 AM

AND there goes more freedoms, all in the name of safety, and the bottom line is those that give up freedom for safety have neither! It is a false feeling for safety and a false feeling of security, each time terrorists figure out how to bypass the law because they are LAWLESS people and do not care about the laws that LAW ABIDING people follow.

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skitzlpk February 27 2014 at 9:07 AM

So they ban the runners from carrying personal items but I didn't realize the runners had anything to do with the actual bombing. The terrorists always win & freedoms get chipped away one by one by over compensation. Flashback before 9/11/2001, I remember walking basically into any local or state building to conduct business unimpeded. Now, I get frisked, empty my pockets & subjected to the shrillness of an alarm if I forget to take my money clip out my pocket. Yes, we're still a democracy but just barely a semblance of what our predecessors fought & died for. We've become a fragile shell of our past..

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clarkkentdlyplnt skitzlpk February 27 2014 at 9:16 AM

I was thinking the same thing. Especially after reading the items are BUSED to the finish line! How hard is it to check the bus with dogs??? Sounds more like a money saving regulation than a safety issue.

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Mike February 27 2014 at 9:19 AM

Way to go Boston...Instead of coming back stronger and defiant towards terrorists, you come back with crippling fear. And you wonder why so many other countries want a piece of us now. This was your chance to show up New York City, but instead you cower in fear just like them.

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jane341 February 27 2014 at 5:58 PM

Something which started out and was for many years such a fun and wonderful event has now become another "terrorist" nightmare. I can totally agree that these steps are needed, but how sad that the total focus will now be on security, rather than the wonderful spirit behind this event.

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Kathy February 27 2014 at 11:24 PM

OH MY GOD! Have Americans learned NOTHING about FALSE FLAGS set up by the feds to FURTHER entangle us in their web of becoming a total POLICE STATE??? Send all the MUSLIMS back to their country??? STILL with THAT STUPIDITY? WAKE UP! For GODS SAKE WAKE UP! Look at something OTHER than the fake state run network news!! Start with INFOWARS.COM.

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buzzyseed February 27 2014 at 9:59 AM

ANOTHER EVENT IN OUR LIVES CHANGED BY SCUMBAGS!! WONDER WHY PEOPLE LOOK AT ARABS DIFFERENTLY

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ae12wrangell February 27 2014 at 10:01 AM

I agree. Yet since last years Boston Marathon Bombing, ALL marathons, and track and field events. have been closely watched by the various police departments. Because those bonbs blew up killing 3, and injuring 260+, no sporting events have ever been the same.

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lkfman February 27 2014 at 12:16 PM

Sadly, once again, it looks like the terrorists were victorious. The noose just keeps getting tighter on the people of "the home of the free".

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arsewagon February 27 2014 at 11:46 AM

Reaction as opposed to Proaction seems to be our preferred policy. Will we ever learn???

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