As state and local police prepare their security plans for this year’s Boston Marathon, runners are already being warned about new dos and don’ts for the race, specifically around any area that is part of Marathon events.
The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the race, issued a series of new rules and restrictions today in a mass e-mail.
Runners who like to run in costume won’t be allowed to wear anything that covers their face or bulky clothes; strollers won’t be allowed at the Athletes’ Village near the starting line in Hopkinton or around the finish line on Boylston Street; neither will backpacks, glass containers, any container that can carry more than 1 liter of liquid, vests with pockets, or suitcases and rolling bags.
People will also be forbidden from wearing backpacks that carry water — such as CamelBaks. Props like sports and military equipment will be banned, as well as flags or signs that are wider than 11 inches and longer than 17 inches.
Bags, used in the past by runners to carry clothes and other personal items, will be banned on the buses that carry runners from Boston Common to Hopkinton, where the race starts. And no bags will be brought by those buses back to Boston.
Instead, runners can check bags with personal items on Boston Common, take the bus to Hopkinton, run back, and then retrieve their bags.
Runners can carry fanny packs and fuel belts.
The association said there would be changes to the finish line, including three areas just before Arlington Street where runners and others can exit. “More information on these exit areas will be forthcoming,” the e-mail said.
The new restrictions also boded ill for “bandits” — the unauthorized runners who join the race every year. The rules said that this year bandits would be “subject to interdiction.”
“We are aware that many people want to participate in some way in this year’s Boston Marathon as a display of support, but we ask that those who are not official participants to refrain from entering the course for the safety of the runners and themselves,” the e-mail said.
“Similarly, units or groups such as military ruck-marchers and cyclists, which have sometimes joined on course, will not be allowed to participate,” the e-mail said.
“For the 2014 Boston Marathon, with an increased field size and for everyone’s safety, we will work with public safety officials to ensure that we preserve the exceptional race day experience that makes the Boston Marathon an icon in the world of sport while making race day safe and enjoyable for all,” the e-mail said.
The last running of the Marathon — normally an upbeat celebration of world-class athletes’ prowess and average runners’ determination — turned tragic when twin terror bombs went off near the finish line. The explosions killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. One suspect in the bombings is dead and the other is awaiting a federal trial that could bring him the death penalty.