Posted: Jul 12, 2013 9:04 AM by MTN News
MISSOULA - The deadly bombings near the Boston Marathon finish line in April prompted Missoula Marathon organizers to increase security.
One of the security measures includes prohibiting backpacks near the finish line.
"When the runners get onto the buses, they'll only be able to take the race bags that they're given, no backpacks," Missoula Marathon director Anders Brooker said.
Spectators are also not allowed to bring backpacks to the finish line area.
"So around the areas where the vendors are at, around the tent area in Caras Park where the race will conclude down there with the vendors, we don't want to see any backpacks," Missoula Police Sergeant John Weber said.
If officers do catch you with a backpack, you'll likely be asked to leave.
There's also a no re-entry policy for runners once they leave the finish area.
"Only volunteers and police officers will be allowed in the finish area, no spectators allowed in there," Brooker said.
Runners and spectators can expect to see a heavy law enforcement presence on the marathon route, especially near the finish line where some officers will be patrolling on foot.
"After the race is over, you'll see a larger presence on the bridge and around the Caras Park of officers patrolling in those areas," Weber said.
The Missoula County Sheriff's Office and the Montana Highway Patrol will be watching the marathon course out in the county area.
"We're not going to be in mobile patrol, we're going to have different stations with reserve deputies just stating on the side of the road, reminding people where the blind spots are. Montana Highway Patrol's actively going to be pursuing people who are speeding. So they're going to be doing traffic stops and talking to motorists about monitoring speeds during their race," Missoula County Sheriff's Office PIO Paige Pavalone said.
A bomb-sniffing dog from Malmstrom Air Force will also be at the race.