Marathon Organizers Reflect On Boston Implications

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Apr. 18, 2013
  • Updated Apr. 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM UTC
New York Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg knows that the New York City Marathon will never be the same after what happened in Boston. Photo:

Security is now top priority.

Back in the day, approximately 20 years ago, the primary responsibilities of a marathon race director included making sure there were enough post-race bananas and water bottles for the runners.

In the post-September 11, post-Boston-Marathon-bombing world, priorities have drastically changed.

“Now it’s the safety and security of runners,” said Rick Nealis, the Marine Corps Marathon race director.

Security is now an issue for not just the large city races like Boston and New York City, but also smaller races.

“What’s going to happen now is a lot of those next-level marathons are going to have to get there with security,” Nealis said. “The bar has risen for them, starting this weekend [at the London Marathon].

For big races like New York City, security is a year-round planning item.

New York Road Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg says that she was on her way home to New York City after Boston and immediately called New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

“It’s a new day,” Wittenberg said. “We had a major running event attacked, and we need to respond to that. We need to all take that very seriously in terms of plans going forward.”

For More: USA Today

FILED UNDER: Boston Marathon / News TAGS: / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter