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Security, Bag Rules Tightened at Marine Corps Marathon

Hydration bags will be among those items now banned at the Marine Corps Marathon

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    Hydration bags will be among those items now banned at the Marine Corps Marathon, just one of the new security measures being implemented seven months after a bombing at the Boston Marathon killed three and injured hundreds at the race's finish line.

    The sold-out Marine Corps Marathon and the MCM 10K run are scheduled for Saturday in Arlington, Va.

    Planners say that -- as in previous years -- runners and spectators must pass through security checkpoints to access the start and finish areas.

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    With 30,000 registered runners, the Marine Corps Marathon is bigger than the Boston Marathon. After Monday's tragedy at the Boston race, organizers of the local Marine Corps Marathon tell our Northern Virginia Bureau that changes are inevitable. News4's David Culver has more from the race's headquarters in Quantico, Va.

    But this year, they've made changes regarding the items permitted inside. The following items are prohibited for both runners and spectators:

    • Hydration vests and backpacks such as CamelBaks
    • Backpacks and suitcases
    • Glass containers
    • Masks, such as Halloween masks
    • Flammable liquids

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    News4's Angie Goff spoke with Betty Smith, a 72-year-old grandmother who has run 75 marathons and 18 ultra-marathons. Smith is prepping for her favorite event, the Marine Corps Marathon.

    Runners will still be able to bring their own supplies of fluids such as water and Gatorade, and to use hydration belts.

    Participants will each be issued a clear plastic drawstring bag at Packet Pick-up. Planners say this will expedite the screening process. Backpacks, suitcases and other types of bags will not be accepted at the drop-off area and may not be left unattended.

    Planners ask that runners and attendees actively observe their surroundings and cooperate with safety procedures.

    Security was also beefed up at the marathon in 2010 after a gunman fired twice at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. An ex-Marine from Virginia pleaded guilty in 2012 for those and two other shootings. No one was hurt.

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