BOSTON (WHDH) -
Just weeks before the Boston Marathon the Boston Athletic Association has announced new security changes for runners.
"The Boston Marathon has always been about joy and celebration," race organizers said.
This year add security to that list.
Wednesday the B.A.A. announced a major change for runners participating in this year’s marathon.
"They're not going to be allowed to bring backpacks, you know, only certain things like a fanny pack or an energy belt," Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said.
Runners can bring clothes to change into after the race. They can put that gear in a clear plastic bag provided by the B.A.A., those bags will be stored at the Boston Common.
These changes come in the wake of last year’s bombing that claimed the lives of three and injured hundreds more.
"We are committed to ensuring a positive atmosphere where everyone can feel safe and enjoy the events before and during the marathon,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.
That means increased security, but without the look of a police state.
"We're going to step our security up, but in a way that people shouldn't feel intimidated coming to this event," Evans said.
Runners are also prohibited from bringing containers that can carry more than a liter of liquid, props and baby strollers.
They also can't wear costumes that cover the face and aren't form fitting.
The backpack ban won't extend to spectators, but Boston Police have a message for anyone who does bring a large bag.
"If they're going to bring large bags everyone has to realize they're going to be subject to search. We don't enjoy searching anybody but if the safety of the public is in danger then they're going to be subject to it,” Evans said.
On the anniversary of the bombing there will be a tribute at Hynes Convention Center and then a procession to the finish line of the race.
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