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Boston Marathon

Photo via Boston Athletic Association’s Boston Marathon Facebook Page

The 2014 Boston Marathon will be run on Patriot’s Day, Monday April 21st. This year, 36,000 registered participants – 9,000 more than last year – will run the 26.2-mile course that starts in Hopkinton and passes through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, and Brookline before reaching the finish line on Boylston Street in Boston.  An estimated one million spectators will line the streets to watch this year’s marathon.

Local, regional, state, and federal public safety stakeholders have collaborated to develop a comprehensive plan that ensures the safety and security of the runners and spectators while maintaining a traditionally festive, family-oriented event.

Public safety officials are asking spectators to follow reasonable and common sense guidelines when coming to, and standing along the Marathon course.  These guidelines, if followed, will reduce concerns of the public and help ensure a safe and secure day:

  1. Spectators watching the 2014 Boston Marathon from anywhere along the 26.2 mile course should expect a significant lisa of banned item for the marathonpresence of uniformed and plain clothed police officers.  Spectators approaching or within viewing areas on the course may be asked to pass through security checkpoints, and law enforcement officers or contracted private security personnel may ask to inspect bags and other items being carried.
  2. Spectators are asked NOT to carry backpacks or other over-the-shoulder bags, or other bulky items. In addition, spectators are asked not to bring weapons, suitcases, coolers, glass containers, large packages, costumes, or other props. For more information about these and other items asked to be left at home, see the Spectator and Participant Information guide.
  3. If spectators are going to carry personal items with them, they are asked to carry them in clear plastic bags.  Using a clear plastic bag to carry personal items will enhance public safety and speed security screening.  In all cases, spectators should keep their personal items under their immediate control at all times.
  4. The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) and all public safety agencies supporting the Boston Marathon encourage the public to actively participate in the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.  Spectators are asked to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious conduct or items to the closest law enforcement officer or by calling 9-1-1.
  5. The BAA is partnering with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to ensure that runners and spectators receive important public safety and emergency information in a timely manner.  Massachusetts Alerts is a communication tool used by MEMA to disseminate critical information to smartphones.  Massachusetts Alerts is powered by a free downloadable application app (called ping4alerts!) that is available for Android and iPhones.  During the Boston Marathon, MEMA will use Massachusetts Alerts to share important public safety and emergency information, including possible severe weather information and information about course disruptions. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto Android or iPhone devices, go to

For information and updates on the day of the race, follow MEMA on Twitter (@MassEMA).

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