NYC Marathon to be run under massive security measures

Fri Nov 1, 2013 7:17pm EDT
 
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York City Marathon returns to the streets of the Big Apple on Sunday after a two-year absence, with massive security measures in place after the tragic April bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Last year's 26.2-mile run through the city's five boroughs was canceled in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated areas of New York about a week before the race.

Some 48,000 runners are expected for the renewal of the marathon, which draws hundreds of thousands of people along the race course in a city-wide celebration.

Off the course, scuba divers will check for explosives under city bridges and helicopters will provide overhead surveillance following the tragedy in Boston, where three people were killed and hundreds injured by bombs set off near the finish line.

Elite professional runners will lead the women's and men's fields from the starting line at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that connects Staten Island with Brooklyn, before heading into Queens and the Bronx before the finish in Manhattan's Central Park.

Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya, returning to defend his 2011 title, said runners would not let the Boston tragedy affect them.

"What happened in Boston is terrible. As an athlete, we always feel free," Mutai told reporters on Friday. "All security, I'm OK."

Two men and two women will be going head-to-head with a chance to claim a share of the $1 million World Marathon Majors (WMM) jackpot in addition to the $100,000 prize for winning the NYC Marathon.   Continued...

 
A runner makes his way past New York City Police (NYPD) officers near the finish line of the New York City Marathon in New York's Central Park November 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar