BOSTON (WWLP) – What happened at the Marathon last year did change the way the event is celebrated. While it’s still a fun day of celebration, the victims and survivors are on the minds of many runners and spectators.
Above all, Boston police and Boston Athletic Association organizers want the Marathon to be the same treasured tradition that it always has been, but there are more security measures in place today than ever before.
For years, the Common has been a site where runners met in the morning and then board shuttle buses to travel to the starting line in Hopkinton. They check their bags, which are clear now instead of colored, and then head out. On that side of the common, not much seemed different. There was a police presence and frequent safety announcements over the speakers like you heard. But on the other side of the common, for the first time, there were huge numbers of media members gathered.
The crowds near the finish line are very limited and closely monitored this year, and so that changed the “free reign” of sorts that has been allowed in the past.
“We had an increase in the amount of news outlets, usually there is a handful or so and it’s by Boylston Street down by the finish line. This year, there are more than 200 news outlets that have requested to be here,” said Ryan Woods, Director of External Affairs for the Boston Parks Department.
“A lot more pieces to the puzzle today, but it’s worthwhile. We’re proud, we’re Boston strong. We’re glad to have it here on the Boston Common.”
Those who come in person to cheer on the runners will notice more security along the route, too. In previous years, you could just about reach out and high five runners as they passed. This year, spectators are moved back away from the participants.