UK & World News

  • 27 February 2014, 11:31

Boston Marathon Bans Bags As Security Tightened

Bags, backpacks and bulky outfits will be banned at this year's Boston Marathon as part of stepped-up security following last year's deadly bombing.

The Boston Athletic Association outlined the new rules in an email to registered runners.

It said unregistered runners, known as 'bandits', who traditionally jump into the race at various points along the course, will be strictly prohibited this year.

Runners were told they cannot bring backpacks or any similar item carried over the shoulder or handbags of any size.

Glass containers and any container larger than one litre will also be banned.

Costumes covering the face or non-form-fitting, bulky outfits will also be prohibited.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

This year's event is held on April 21.

Kurt Schwartz, the state's undersecretary for public safety, 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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