Officials Ramp Up Security at Long Island, New Jersey Marathons
Security was stepped up along the routes of the Long Island and New Jersey marathons on Sunday, nearly three weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings killed three people and injured hundreds.
Officials on Long Island didn't allow spectators at the starting line for the first time in the event’s history. Bags were searched and banned from the finish-line area, while police helicopters were monitoring the event from above. On Saturday, officers were out in force, walking the route with bomb-sniffing dogs.
"We are deploying every asset that we have to help protect the public, from our K-9 Unit, to radiation detectors, to additional security protocols," said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.
Runners remembered the victims of the Boston bombings with a moment of silence before the race.
The marathon began on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, near the Nassau Coliseum. Runners then made their way up to the Northern State Parkway, down the Wantagh Parkway to Sunrise Highway, and back to Eisenhower Park.
Organizers of the New Jersey event banned all bags and backpacks. They also limited the access spectators had to the start and finish lines.
Joe Gigas, the executive race director, said more bomb-sniffing dogs would check buses and more security personnel would be monitoring the race. Several New Jersey police departments along the route of the race said they would increase security for the event.
The New Jersey Marathon runs through eight communities, from Oceanport to Ocean Grove, before finishing at the Long Branch boardwalk.