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A closer look at policy changes for 2014 Boston Marathon

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  February 26, 2014 03:58 PM

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A new style of postrace wrap, called a Heatsheet Warmth Retention Cape, will be distributed at the Boston Marathon finish line this year. (Photo courtesy Boston Athletic Association)

Runners in the 2014 Boston Marathon will not be allowed to carry bags on the buses from Boston Common to Hopkinton on race day, and bags will be prohibited in parts of the start and finish areas and along the course, the Boston Athletic Association announced Wednesday.

The BAA, in an email to participants, outlined that and other policy changes for this year's race on April 21. We have a full story here, but here's a summary of the changes.

  • The elimination of bag transport from Hopkinton to Boston
  • A new gear check on Boston Common using a clear bag provided at number pickup
  • Runners must claim their own bib number at the Marathon expo

From the BAA's email to runners:

What's allowed:

  • Fanny pack (no larger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches) to carry food, nutritional products, medicine, identification, cell phone, home/hotel key or other similar and necessary small items

  • Standard manufactured "fuel belt" (bottles must be one liter or smaller)

  • The use of headphones is discouraged, but permitted

What's prohibited at all Marathon venues, including the course, athletes' village, start and finish area, and at all official Marathon events:

  • Backpacks, any similar item carried over the shoulder, or handbags of any size

  • Glass containers

  • Any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid

  • Strollers, including baby strollers

  • Suitcases & rolling bags

  • Personal hydration system products (such as CamelBakŪ, ThorŪ, etc)

  • Weight vests or any sort of vest with pockets (Note: lightweight running vests are allowable)

  • Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body

  • Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire/gear and signs or flags larger than 11 inches x 17 inches)

  • Any item larger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches

Also, the BAA issued a warning that unregistered participants who try to join this year's event will be "subject to interdiction." Translation: Not a good year to run as a bandit.

The official wording regarding unauthorized participation:

For the safety of our participants, spectators, and partners, public safety officials and the B.A.A. strictly prohibit unofficial participation, and those in violation will be subject to interdiction. Those who are not officially registered in the Boston Marathon will not be allowed to participate. We ask official participants to discourage family and friends who are not officially registered participants from entering the course in any manner. 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. There are several other opportunities which enable a show of support for the Boston Marathon, including the B.A.A. 5K on April 19, the Boston Marathon World Run, attending the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, volunteering, or spectating. Anyone on the course for any distance who has not been assigned, or is not displaying, an officially issued bib number from the B.A.A. is subject to interdiction. The B.A.A. reserves the right to remove any person from the course who is not displaying an official bib that has been assigned by the B.A.A. Similarly, units or groups such as military ruck-marchers and cyclists, which have sometimes joined on course, will not be allowed to participate.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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