The rule changes announced on Wednesday stem from security talks
over months between local, Massachusetts, and federal officials in
preparation for the world-famous race that could draw some 36,000
runners and spectators on April 21.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of two ethnic Chechen brothers, could
face execution if convicted on charges that he and his now-dead
brother Tamerlan planted the two homemade pressure-cooker bombs used
in the April 15, 2013 attack.
It was the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since September
Surveillance photos showed the two men, wearing baseball caps and
carrying backpacks, near the site of the blast.
Tamerlan died in a gun battle with police.
Runners hoping to conquer the 26.2-mile race typically are allowed
to bring bags carrying personal items that can be shuttled between
the start and end points.
The Boston Athletic Association said runners cannot have backpacks
or handbags at or near the start or the finish, or along the course,
which passes through eight cities and towns.
Bags also cannot be carried on buses running between the start and
finish, it said.
Instead, runners will be able to stow changes of
clothing and shoes in designated clear plastic bags on Boston Common
- about half a mile from the finish area - in the morning, before
taking transport to the starting point.
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Runners are allowed to pack food, medicine, identification, mobile
phones, and keys in smaller waist packs, although headphones were
Organizers nixed glass and other containers larger than 1 liter,
baby strollers, suitcases, on-the-back hydration pouches, and any
non-form fitting, bulky clothing that covers the face or extends
"beyond the perimeter of the body," they said.
Race security officials would target unregistered runners - known as
"bandits" - as well as ruck-marchers and cyclists, and others who
have joined previous races.
(Editing by Catherine Evans)
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