Skip to main content

Policies for 2015 Boston Marathon Spectators and Participants

Apr 15, 2015 08:00AM ● Published by Kieran Gilman

While this year’s Boston Marathon is expected to draw great interest from the community, leading to a significant number of fans and spectators, those interested in attending the race are also being asked for their cooperation in following reasonable and common sense guidelines that will help ensure the safety and security of all participants, volunteers and spectators.

Spectators intending on watching the 2015 Boston Marathon from anywhere along the 26.2-mile course should expect a significant presence of uniformed and plain clothed law enforcement officers. Spectators approaching viewing areas on the course, or in viewing areas on the course, may be asked to pass through security checkpoints, and law enforcement officers or contracted private security personnel may ask to inspect bags and other items. To avoid delays, spectators are encouraged not to carry any of the items listed below.

Additionally, spectators along the entire race route – including in Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and Boston – are encouraged to carry personal items in clear plastic bags. Using a clear plastic bag to carry personal items will enhance public safety and speed security screening. In all cases, spectators should keep their personal items under their immediate control at all times. Unattended items may cause delays.

The B.A.A. and all public safety agencies supporting the Boston Marathon encourage the public to actively participate in the ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign. Spectators are asked to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious conduct or items to the closest public safety official or by calling 9-1-1.

Spectators along the course are discouraged from possessing any of the following items. Possession of any of these items may result in delays when passing through security checkpoints and enhanced screening. 

• Weapons or items of any kind that may be used as weapons, including firearms, knives, mace, etc.

• Backpacks or any similar item carried over the shoulder.

• Suitcases and rolling bags/rollers.

• Coolers.

• Glass containers or cans.

• Flammable liquids, fuels, fireworks or explosives.

• Any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid.

• Handbags or packages or bulky items larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches.

• Large blankets/comforters, duvets, sleeping bags.

• Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body.

• Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire gear).

 

The entire route of the Boston Marathon will be a ‘No Drone Zone.’ The public is being advised NOT to operate any type of drone (unmanned aerial vehicle), including remotely controlled model aircraft, over or near the course, or anywhere within sight of runners or spectators.

RULES FOR B.A.A. VENUES 

The B.A.A. has several official venues, including the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo in Boston, the invitation-only grand-stand seating at the Finish Line, the Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, B.A.A. buses/vehicles (from Boston Common to Hopkinton, and shuttle buses within Hopkinton), and several secure spectator viewing areas around the start line in Hopkinton.

1. Expo in Boston: All persons entering the Expo are subject to security screening, and all bags may be inspected by contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and law enforcement officers.

2. Invitation-Only Grandstand Seating in Boston: Admittance to the grandstand seating area at the finish line in Boston requires an invitation from the B.A.A. All persons entering the grand stand seating area are subject to security screening, and all bags may be inspected by contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and law enforcement officers.

3. Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton: The Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton is reserved for official entrants in the 2015 Boston Marathon. All persons entering and in the Athletes’ Village must visibly display an official bib that has been assigned by the B.A.A. Family members and friends of official participants may not enter the Athletes’ Village. The rules for Allowable and Prohibited Items for Official Participants on Race Day (see below) apply to all persons in the Athletes’ Village. All persons entering the Athletes’ Village are subject to security screening by B.A.A. personnel, contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and law enforcement officers.

4. B.A.A. Shuttle Buses from Boston Common to Hopkinton: B.A.A. buses from Boston Common to Hopkinton are reserved for official entrants in the 2015 Boston Marathon. All persons boarding and on B.A.A. buses must visibly display an official bib that has been assigned by the B.A.A. Family members and friends of official entrants may not board or be on the B.A.A. buses. The rules for Allowable and Prohibited Items for Official Participants on Race Day (see below) apply to all persons on B.A.A. buses. All persons boarding or on B.A.A. buses are subject to security screening by B.A.A. personnel, contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and law enforcement officers.

5. B.A.A. Shuttle Buses in Hopkinton: The B.A.A. will operate runner and spectator Shuttle Buses in Hopkinton.

B.A.A. Runner Shuttle Buses (Hopkinton Only): The B.A.A. will operate runner shuttle buses from South Street in Hopkinton to the Athletes’ Village. Runner shuttle buses are reserved for official entrants in the 2015 Boston Marathon. All persons boarding and on B.A.A. runner shuttle buses must visibly display an official bib that has been assigned by the B.A.A. Family members and friends of official entrants may not board, or be on, B.A.A. runner shuttle buses. The rules for Allowable and Prohibited Items for Official Participants on Race Day (see below) apply to all persons on B.A.A. runner shuttle buses. All persons boarding or on B.A.A. runner shuttle buses 3

are subject to security screening by B.A.A. personnel, contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and law enforcement officers.

B.A.A. Shuttle Buses (Hopkinton Only): The B.A.A. will also operate shuttle buses to downtown Hopkinton from Hopkinton State Park and the MBTA Commuter Rail station. Spectators and runners may utilize these shuttle buses. Spectators and runners boarding or on these B.A.A. buses are prohibited from carrying:

• Weapons or items of any kind that may be used as weapons, including firearms, knives, mace, etc.

• Backpacks or any similar item carried over the shoulder.

• Suitcases and rolling bags/rollers.

• Coolers.

• Glass containers or cans.

• Flammable liquids, fuels, fireworks or explosives.

• Any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid.

• Handbags or packages larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches.

• Large blankets/comforters, duvets, sleeping bags. Any type of mask or costume that covers the face.

• Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body.

• Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire gear).

New in 2015, spectators boarding or on B.A.A. shuttle buses may carry a clear plastic bag containing personal items. Using a clear plastic bag will enhance public safety and expedite the security screening process. All persons boarding or on B.A.A. shuttle buses are subject to security screening by B.A.A. personnel, contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and law enforcement officers.

In all cases, runners and spectators should keep their personal items under their immediate control at all times. Unattended items may cause delays.

Spectators in Hopkinton: Several viewing areas in Hopkinton will have heightened security rules. Spectators entering these areas will be required to pass through security checkpoints and all bags and items being carried will be subject to screening by B.A.A. personnel, contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and law enforcement officers. Spectators are strongly encouraged to carry personal items in clear plastic bags. Using a clear plastic bag to carry personal items will enhance public safety and speed security screening. In all cases, spectators should keep their personal items under their immediate control at all times. Unattended items may cause delays.

Spectators entering, and in, these viewing areas may not possess any of the following items:

• Weapons or items of any kind that may be used as weapons, including firearms, knives, mace, etc.

• Backpacks or any similar item carried over the shoulder.

• Suitcases and rolling bags/rollers.

• Coolers.

• Glass containers or cans.

• Flammable liquids, fuels, fireworks or explosives.

• Any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid.

• Handbags or packages or bulky items larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches.

• Large blankets/comforters, duvets, sleeping bags.

• Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body.

• Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire gear).

Rules for Unauthorized Participants on Race Day 

For the safety of official participants and spectators, the B.A.A. strictly prohibits unofficial participation in the Boston Marathon, and those in violation are subject to interdiction. Those who are not officially registered in the Boston Marathon will not be allowed to participate. Official participants are asked to discourage family and friends who are not officially registered participants from entering the course in any manner.

Many people want to participate in some way in the Boston Marathon as a display of support, but those who are not official participants are asked to refrain from entering the course for the safety of the runners and themselves. There are several other opportunities which enable a show of support for the Boston Marathon, including the B.A.A. 5K on April 18, attending the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, volunteering, or spectating.

Anyone on the course for any distance who has not been assigned, or is not displaying, an officially issued bib number from the B.A.A. is subject to interdiction. The B.A.A. reserves the right to remove any person from the course who is not displaying an official bib that has been assigned by the B.A.A.

Similarly, units or groups such as military ruck-marchers, unless officially sanctioned, and cyclists will not be allowed to participate.

POLICY FOR OFFICIAL PARTICIPANTS ON RACE DAY 

The B.A.A. and public safety officials from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the eight cities and towns along the 26.2-mile course are asking official participants to comply with these security policies, including a no-bag policy. Except as noted below, no bags will be allowed in certain areas at or near the start in Hopkinton, at or near the finish in Boston, or along the course. Additionally, bags will not be transported from Hopkinton back to Boston. At the conclusion of the race, the B.A.A. will provide participants with a Heatsheet® Warmth Retention Cape for warmth.

The exception to the no-bag policy is that runners may carry a one-gallon clear plastic bag for food items or sports drink only. Only one clear plastic bag per runner is allowed. This bag can be brought by participants on the buses from Boston to Hopkinton.

A gear check opportunity on Boston Common will be available on the morning of the Boston Marathon, allowing official participants to have a change of clothing (shoes, pants, shirt, jacket) at the conclusion of the race. The bag to be used for this purpose will be provided at Number Pick-up by the B.A.A. Only this B.A.A.-provided, clear plastic bag can be used for this purpose. No other bags will be accepted. Any items that participants would like to have at the conclusion of the race must be placed inside the clear plastic bag that the B.A.A. will provide. Participants must leave this clear plastic bag at the gear check area on Boston Common prior to boarding the B.A.A. shuttle bus to the start in Hopkinton. The gear check area on Boston Common is approximately one half mile from the exit of the finish area at Arlington Street. 5

Bus loading on race day will take place on the Tremont Street side of Boston Common, between Boylston and Park streets. In order to effectively transport all participants from Boston to Hopkinton, official participants will load buses by waves. Official participants should plan to arrive early for the event and be prepared for security screening.

OFFICIAL BIB AND BIB PICK-UP INFORMATION 

For the 2015 Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. is requiring that all participants claim their own bib number at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo during normal expo hours. Friends or family will not be allowed to claim bib numbers. The official bib that is assigned by the B.A.A. for the 2015 Boston Marathon must be visible at all times while participants are on/in official B.A.A. shuttle buses and other B.A.A. vehicles, entering, and in the Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, in the start area corrals and start area, on the race course, and in the finish area in Boston. Officially issued bibs may not be altered or copied in any way and may not be transferred to another participant; any individual who violates these rules will not be allowed to participate.

ALLOWABLE AND PROHIBITED ITEMS FOR OFFICIAL PARTICANTS ON RACE DAY 

In consultation with public safety officials and in order to ensure the safety of all Boston Marathon participants, spectators, and partners, the B.A.A. will enforce the following rules on race day. As always, official participants may be required to pass through security checkpoints when entering Marathon venues on race day and all items being carried are subject to inspection by the B.A.A., contracted private security personnel, venue personnel and law enforcement officers.

Allowable items for official participants: Runners may carry the following items on race day. Any such items are subject to inspection at any time.

• A one-gallon clear plastic bag to carry food items and sports drink only. Only one bag per runner will be allowed.

• Fanny pack (no larger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches) to carry food, nutritional products, medicine, identification, cell phone, home/hotel key or other similar and necessary small items. Only one fanny pack per runner will be allowed.

• Standard manufactured “fuel belt” (bottles must be one liter or smaller).

• The use of headphones is discouraged, but permitted.

Please note: Additional layers of clothing may be worn on B.A.A. Shuttle Buses and in Hopkinton for warmth before the race. Clothing that will not be worn during the race must be discarded in Hopkinton and will be donated to a local charitable organization.

Prohibited items for official participants: On race day, official participants are prohibited from carrying any of the following items when entering or within any Marathon venue, including B.A.A. shuttle buses and B.A.A. vehicles, Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, the start area corrals and start area, the race course, and the finish area in Boston:

• Backpacks, any similar item carried over the shoulder, or handbags of any size.

• Glass containers.

• Any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid.

• Strollers, including baby strollers.

• Suitcases & rolling bags.

• Personal hydration system products (such as CamelBak®, Thor®, etc).

• Weight vests or any sort of vest with pockets (Note: lightweight running vests are allowable).

• Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body.

• Props (including sporting equipment, military and fire/gear, and signs or flags larger than 11 inches x 17 inches).

• Any item larger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches.

Please note: security personnel at each location will have the authority to disallow other products or materials that they deems inappropriate.

Finish Area Information for Official Participants 

The B.A.A. will offer the opportunity to exit the secure finish area at three locations prior to Arlington Street. Participants who choose NOT to check gear at Boston Common will have the option of leaving the secure finish area early to meet with family and friends.

The order of our finish area services has been modified. Finishers will receive:

• Medals

• Heatsheet® Warmth Retention Cape

• Fluid replacement (Poland Spring Water and Gatorade)

• Food

Official participants who decide to take advantage of the gear check opportunity on Boston Common will need to walk approximately one half mile to the gear check area to retrieve their belongings.

About the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors, along with the international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. The 119th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.

Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yourtewksburytoday/ Follow us on Twitter at @TewksburyToday Follow us on Instagram at YourTewksburyToday
Sports, Public Safety, Today, Town Hall Boston Marathon Marathon Security Emergency Management Patriot's Day

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Tewksbury Farmer's Market

    09/26/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Tewksbury Farmer's Market is open every Tuesday, from 4 P.M. - 7 P.M. on the Tewksbury Town C...


  • Troop 49 Meeting

    09/26/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Troop 49 meets weekly from 7-8:30 on Tuesday nights in St. Williams Parish Center, 1351 Main Stre...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Tap Dancing with Val

    09/28/2017
    08:45AM — 09:30AM

    A fun, beginner level tap class that works on rhythm and basic tap steps put to upbeat music from...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.