NEW YORK – New York Road Runners is enhancing baggage security measures for a 4-mile race on Sunday in Central Park in response to the Boston Marathon bombings — and the New York City police department is bringing in extra cameras for added surveillance.
The NYPD purchased 100 mobile cameras it will use at the race as a result of the bombings, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Friday. There will also be significantly increased police presence at the race as well as at a 5K run/walk to the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum on Sunday, he said.
Runners were being encouraged not to bring bags to the City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks, but people who do will be asked to put all their belongings in a clear, plastic bag provided by race officials. The NYRR cautioned runners that any unattended bags will be confiscated.
Runners in shorter-distance events have traditionally been allowed to use their own bags to stash their clothes and other post-race items, which are stored in a designated area staffed by volunteers. But many longer, larger races tightened their gear-check policies several years ago, requiring all runners to use a bag — often clear — provided by organizers. Organizers of the half-marathon and marathon in Austin, Texas, for example, have been providing runners with clear plastic bags for their belongings for almost a decade.
At Sunday's London Marathon, only gear stored in the official bag provided by race organizers will be accepted. Next weekend's Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and Half-Marathon, organized as a tribute to the victims of the 1995 bombing that killed 168 people at that city's federal building, only accepts gear in the clear plastic bag it provides runners.
New York Road Runners puts on dozens of races a year, including the New York City Marathon. The club did not say if the policy for Sunday's run will extend to future races.