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What you need to know about this year's Boston Marathon

Posted by Lara Salahi  March 10, 2014 03:45 PM

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This year's Boston Marathon will look and feel vastly different than previous years.

State authorities laid out a clear plan for this year's Marathon today. Whether you plan to run it, watch from the sidelines, or try to commute around it on April 21, here's what you'll need to know:

1. Don't bring a backpack. Spectators are urged to bring their personal items in clear plastic bags instead to help security officers and to ease the nerves of other fans. The 36,000 runners in the race have already been told that backpacks are banned.

2. No jumping into the course. For years, some spectators enjoyed running a part of the race alongside their loved ones who have committed to the full-distance.This year, don't do that.

3. Boylston Street is open to all. Spectators won't be turned away from the spots where the bombs went off last year.

“We are encouraging the public, spectators, to enjoy the day,” said Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said at Monday's press conference. “Come out and enjoy the day anywhere along the 26.2 miles.”

4. No threats have been made involving this year's race.

5. Cameras. Everywhere. Besides surveillance cameras that will be set up along the route by the Mass. State Police, many businesses along the route will turn their own outdoor surveillance cameras to face the course.

6. Expect to see more law enforcement than previous years. More than 3,500 police officers will be dispersed along the course. The National Guard will deploy 400 military police soldiers.

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