Security a top priority ahead of Boston marathon, officials say
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 00:59
April 16 - Attendees of the upcoming Boston Marathon are urged to report any suspicious behavior following last year's deadly bombing. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Security is of utmost concern as Boston prepares for the marathon on Monday, April 21st, officials said Wednesday (April 16) at a news conference.
It has been one year since the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured 264.
"This year, the events are designed both to provide athletic challenge for people, because that's what we do at the B.A.A., but also to provide a variety of ways for people to begin to move forward, to experience any emotions they need to after last year and going into this year," said Tom Grilk, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association.
Record turn-out is expected for the 118th Boston Marathon.
"Initially we were actually wondering ourselves - will they want to come back?" said Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon Race Director.
"And they're coming back. We know that 5,600 weren't able to finish [last year], and of those, 5,000 of them decided to sign up again. That's a strong, strong statement that we will not be denied."
McGillivray also noted that runners will be allowed to wear fanny packs and fuel belts, and that clear zip lock bags will be provided.
Kurt Schwartz, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director, told the public, "if you see something, saying something."
"We are asking spectators to follow simple, common sense guidelines. This year, please, no backpacks. No over-the-shoulder bags. No large items, no bulky items, no masks, no costumes that protrude out out from your body," he added.
A large number of police personnel will be deployed to the race route, including undercover law enforcement.
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