BOSTON (WWLP/AP) — After destroying two unattended backpacks at the finish line, Boston and state police continue their preparations for an iconic event that draws hundreds of thousands of people to Boston.
Even after the bomb scare Tuesday night on Boylston Street, many people said they are not too concerned about security. They said Monday will be all about celebrating as a community all the runners and the City of Boston.
“I believe this will be the safest place on the planet on April 21,” said Dave McGillivray, the long-time race director for the Boston Athletic Association.
Now the focus is back on Patriot’s Day, when 36,000 runners will race from Hopkinton to Boston, with one million people cheering them on along the route.
Many western Massachusetts runners will be at the Hopkinton start line on Monday, the day both runners and spectators hope will be a celebration of life, unity and resilience.
“My son-in-law’s cousin, he finished three minutes before the bombs went off, but Boston is strong, and those people, it made them even stronger, especially the people who were hurt so badly,” Cindy Landers of Agawam said.
“People are coming together, and they are not here to think about a bomb. They are here to think about people that are running. They trained all year to run,” Jerry Rivera said.
Officials also expressed confidence in heightened security measures for Monday’s event while acknowledging the challenge of protecting an estimated 1 million spectators and 36,000 runners across 26.2 miles and eight Massachusetts communities.
Security plans include thousands of uniformed police, hundreds of plainclothes officers and about 100 strategically positioned video cameras that will monitor the crowds. Police also strongly discouraged spectators from bringing backpacks.
Spectators are advised to tell a police officer or call 911 if they see anything they consider suspicious along the route.
Police Commissioner William Evans said undercover officers with special training will be working the crowds looking for suspicious packages or anyone “who might be up to no good.”
This is part of 22News’ special coverage of the 118th Running of the Boston Marathon on April 21st, which we will be bringing you all week on-air, online, and on the go.