New policy is amended after participant complaints.
New York Road Runners and City officials today jointly announced modifications to the ING NYC Marathon baggage policy that will allow runners the option of either checking a bag for this year’s race on Sunday, November 4 or choosing a No-Baggage “Early Exit.”
In a letter to runners issued by e-mail this afternoon, NYRR President & CEO Mary Wittenberg said, “We have some good news to share with you. We’ve heard your feedback regarding the No-Baggage policy we announced recently, and we understand your concerns. We have worked with our city agency partners and have developed a new solution for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. You’ll now have the option of either checking a bag for this year’s race or choosing a No-Baggage ‘Early Exit’ option.”
The letter continued, “This adjusted 2012 marathon plan includes the use of reconfigured space that will enable us to offer a baggage option for those of you who prefer it, while still easing finish-line congestion and providing a better and safer post-race experience.”
Howard Wolfson, Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs and Communications, added, “As an avid runner and an NYRR member, I’m pleased we were able to find a solution that offers runners the safest racing experience possible, and allows a runner to check a bag if necessary. This continues the Bloomberg Administration’s effort to join NYRR in making the ING New York City Marathon the world’s premier race. We needed to reduce post-race congestion for the 47,000 runners, and through cooperation with NYRR, the Mayor’s office, NYPD, Parks and other stakeholders we’ve produced a plan that does just that.”
In the letter, the two options were explained to runners as follows:
1. New No-Baggage “Early Exit” option: Runners choosing this option will have the earliest exit from Central Park. They will receive a Marathon Finish Line Poncho and a limited-edition long-sleeve t-shirt, and have quickest access to the Family Reunion area, “Call Home” stations, and public transportation.
2. Baggage option: Runners choosing this option will check baggage in the Start Village and pick up their bags at exits farther up on Central Park’s West Drive. It should be noted that congestion is still anticipated. As in the past, it could take up to an hour for runners to retrieve bags and exit the park. The bag will be smaller than in years past (although large enough to hold shoes, warm clothing, and small personal items).
On August 23, NYRR announced that runners would no longer be permitted to check baggage at the start of the race, under a new policy developed to ease finish-line congestion and provide a better and safer post-race experience given then-current space constraints.
Wittenberg added in the note to runners, “Please know that all of us at NYRR are deeply committed to you. We hope that having two options to choose from will help you have the very best marathon-day experience.”
More information about the new policy and what it means to race participants can be found at NYCMarathon.org.