Security will be heightened Sunday for the Philadelphia Marathon in light of the bombing at the Boston Marathon in April. Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan advises participants and spectators not to bring a cooler or backpack. Both items will be banned as part of the tighter security.
“We just ask people to cooperate to help us create a safe environment by not bringing those items,” he said. “You’ll see a very strong police presence and we will be screening and re-screening throughout the entire event.”
Runners are being issued see-through bags to carry their clothing and other race items. The goal is to keep everyone safe so runners and the crowd can focus on the race, said Michael Resnik, deputy mayor for public safety.
“People will see added police, they will hear the helicopter and a lot of things they are not going to see that we are not going to get into, but we have all come together to make a safe and secure environment for the runners and participants,” Resnik said.
The start and finish areas will not be as open as in past years, and metal detectors will screen people before they can enter.
Philadelphia officials say the security plan was put together after consulting with authorities securing the Boston and New York marathons.