In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, county officials are increasing security for Sunday’s Long Island Marathon, adding restrictions on large bags, such as backpacks and duffel bags.
According to Inspector Kenneth Lack of the Nassau County Police Department, a “robust screening process” will be in place for race spectators. Lack said that the bag restrictions would vary at different points along the course, and that there would be areas where no bags of any kind would be permitted. Race participants, he said, will be given clear plastic bags in which to store their belongings.
Prerace festivities begin on Friday, culminating with the 26.2-mile main event and the 13.1-mile half marathon on Sunday. Beginning on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in Uniondale at 8 a.m., the race will traverse central and northern Nassau County before finishing in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. Roughly 8,000 runners are expected to compete, according to police.
East Meadow resident Lori Polansky is running the half-marathon for 10th time. Ever since the bombings in Boston, she said, her mind has been occupied by “The weight of Boston … and what those people must have experienced.”
But Polansky, who said her race bib will read “I Run for Boston,” added that she is not too concerned about safety, and is excited about hitting the pavement. “I feel like we can be stronger by being out there and running this race,” she said. “We’re coming together. We’re not showing any fear. We’re going out there and uniting ourselves and representing the running community.”
Speaking at a recent public security forum in East Meadow, First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said that the events in Boston resulted in a “dynamic change in how we address the marathon.”
He said that the department sent detectives to Boston to meet with the city’s police intelligence units as well as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. “We wanted to know what was going on in Boston in order to prepare for the marathon,” Krumpter said.