Heightened security at races in New York City Sunday in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon led to one man being briefly detained for a suspicious device in a backpack and a woman being ticketed for leaving a bag unattended.
Runners participating in the 4-mile City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks in Central Park and the 9/11 Memorial 5K in Lower Manhattan were encouraged not to bring bags.
Those who did bring bags were asked to put all their belongings in clear, plastic bags provided by race officials. New York Road Runners cautioned participants that any unattended bags would be confiscated.
The NYPD removed all trash cans from the race courses and runners also had to cope with fewer available bathrooms.
In Central Park, police were in full force, along with bomb-sniffing dogs. A brief security scare led to the bomb squad being called in to check out a suspicious package after a man on a bicycle rode through the race with a backpack.
Police stopped the man, searched his bag and found a box with a toggle switch that had a bottle with wires and a timing device inside. The man told police the device was used for timing kayak races. He was let go after police determined it was not an explosive device.
A woman also received a summons from police after she left a bag unattended in the park while taking her child to use a bathroom.
Runners at the event said they appreciated the added security and vigilant efforts of the police.
"I think it gives a really reassuring feeling to people running,” said race participant Inge Vanhecke.
At the 9/11 Memorial 5K, Gov. Andrew Cuomo dedicated the event to the people of Boston.
“Let’s say to them we are with you, you are in our thoughts, you are in our prayers," Cuomo said. "We know what you're feeling, we know the anger, we know the pain.”
Many of the runners Sunday wore T-shirts and signs that read: "I run for... Boston." Race organizers sold the T-shirts with proceeds going to the One Fund Boston, the official fund for those affected by the bombing.
“This is a very tight running community," said NYRR president Mary Wittenburg. "Boston was there for us on 9/11, now New Yorkers are there for Boston.”
Wittenburg said NYRR, which puts on dozens of races a year, including the New York City Marathon, would continue to work with the NYPD to reevaluate security measures for future races.