Boston Marathon 2014 Security: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

boston marathon finish line


After two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon last year, killing three and wounding hundreds, the illusion of safety at one of the most popular sporting events in the world was shattered. Now, authorities face the challenge of keeping over 26 miles and around 1 million spectators safe.

Here is what you need to know the security at the 2014 Boston Marathon:

1. There Will Be 9,000 More Runners Than Last Year

On the day of the marathon, Boston will have to protect 26.2 miles and an estimated 36,000 runners, 9,000 more than last year’s marathon. B

Boston is also expecting around 1 million spectators along the course.

2. Over 3,500 Police Officers Will Be There

boston marathon police


New York Times reports that over 3,500 police officers will be at the marathon, double the amount on staff at the 2013 marathon. These include undercover police officers, private security contractors, and officers to operate security checkpoints with metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs.

3. There Will Be a Ton of Cameras & Behavior Specialists

boston marathon cameras


Governor Patrick told ABC that there would be many cameras, and in the picture above you can see additional security cameras being set up. In addition, officers, including behavior experts, will monitor the footage. Patrick said, “People who are behavior specialists and so forth are just trying to keep an eye on people without sort of freaking them out.”

4. Spectators Are Encouraged Not to Bring Backpacks & Carry Belongings in Clear Plastic Bags

Above you can read the visitors guide to the 2014 Boston Marathon. In order to prevent causing long lines at security or being turned away, the Boston Athletics Association advises that people not carry bags, handbags, suitcases, bulky packages, large blankets, sporting equipment or flagpoles, costumes, fireworks, glass, liquid containers containing over 1 liter of liquid, or coolers.

You can read the full list here.

5. Bandit Runners Are Banned This Year

boston bandit runners

In past years, many Boston College students would illegally run the Boston Marathon as bandit runners, but due to expected increased security in this year’s upcoming race, BC students organized their own unofficial Boston marathon one week before, running the exact same route as the real race. (Getty)

Because it’s not easy to get an official spot to race in the marathon, so-called bandit running was a popular pastime with Boston College students. Bandit runners would typically jump into the race and run it illegally without an official number. According to the Boston Athletics Association, this practice has been banned.

In an FAQ, the BAA said of bandit running:

No, please do not run if you have not been officially entered in the race. Race amenities along the course and at the finish, such as fluids, medical care, and traffic safety, are provided based on the number of official entrants. Any addition to this by way of unofficial participants, adversely affects our ability to ensure a safe race for everyone.

In a reaction to this, bandit runners scheduled their own marathon, which took place on Sunday.