Runners in this year's Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth can expect a few security changes. The marathon has beefed up security following last year's bombing at the Boston Marathon.
This year, runners cannot check their own backpacks or bags into the gear check area and they must use clear plastic bags provided by the marathon organizers to hold personal items.
"Backpacks are not allowed. They can run with Camelbacks for water but no backpacks. Spectators can bring backpacks but we really encourage them not to," Cowtown Executive Director Heidi Swartz said.
"It's for security. We want to make sure our area is secure and so we want to make sure what's in the bags is what's allowed to be in our areas. So we will have a whole team of volunteers accepting these and making sure they're safe and sound," Swartz said.
Another significant change for this year — spectators cannot be with runners inside the corral area.
"No spectators will be allowed in the corrals before the races starting, so they'll have to stay outside of the bike rack and not be with their family members inside the corrals. So that's a big change for us for this year," Swartz said.
Both runners and spectators will see increased security personnel at the race as well. There will be more than 250 police officers manning the race course this year.
"We have added security on our start/finish line, and along the course we have some additional security, too," Swartz said.
A large turnout is expected for the marathon after a big wave of new runners signed up in January, largely attributed to the cancellation of the Dallas Marathon due to December's ice storm.