Since 1970, the New York City Marathon has been one of the most-covered events of the year. Over 50,000 people finished the marathon in 2013, and the crowd is expected to be just as large this year.
However, providing security for such an event can be problematic. Given recent events in New York City and in Ottawa, Canada, police and security personnel need to be very strict in what can and cannot be brought into the race areas. Those areas that the participants’ bags and items that will be inspected by NYRR, NYPD and special event security at NYC Marathon include the grandstand seating in Central Park, TCS New York City Marathon Health and Fitness Expo, Marathon Eve Dinner, and the Blue Line Lounge.
To ensure the race experience is a pleasant one, keep these guidelines in mind:
All bags will be searched
When providing a secure environment for spectators and racers, you want to limit the possibility that people bring in knives, guns, or even explosives. To that end, marathon organizers have suggested bringing nothing larger than a woman’s purse into the race areas. This not only cuts down on the ways a weapon can be brought in, but saves time for security and police when performing searches during busy times of the event.
Those marching in the Parade of Nations will not be able to march with their bags as well, and strollers are forbidden in the grandstand area. While some may find this annoying, precautions must be taken even with baby strollers.
A number of items are prohibited
Any type of alcohol is prohibited as well as weapons, pets, flammable liquids, sleeping bags, tents and coolers. For runners, no backpacks, glass containers, costumes that cover the face, suitcases or strollers are allowed. Trash bags are allowed, but only clear ones; colored or opaque bags are banned as well.
Hydration backpacks are also banned, but there will be fluid stations every mile and runners may wear fuel belts or carry handheld water bottles. Vests with many pockets, props, and folding or camp chairs are also not allowed, and neither are suitcases or rolling bags. Runners must also wear their number or bib at all times.
For many people, this might seem like a long list and most of the rules are common sense. However, there will inevitably be someone that brings a banned item to the race area; in that case, it must be explained that not only are personnel looking for weapons, but for things that could potentially be weapons or could hide weapons.
Contact Expert Security Guards for Your Next NYC event
Event planning can be a stressful task. In the case of a large event like the NYC Marathon, it requires a number of companies working together. Good event planners know the necessity of delegating certain tasks to more professional people in order to ensure the safety of the event. We, as a special event security company, specialize in this area and can more effectively manage security concerns to help make an event memorable for all the right reasons. Call us at (212)509-5570 today to speak to a security consultant.