A Boston Marathon Runner Shares his Experience
“There was tons of energy. You feel like you are in a movie, because Kenmore Square has people on your right, people on your left. There are thousands of people on the course…. It is the biggest marathon in the world, the world’s most prestigious marathon, so you just feel very excited to be there,” said Chris Battoo, a runner in this year’s Boston Marathon.
The city of Boston has to prepare for the marathon and make sure it is safe for all observers, workers, and runners. The city’s job is to provide security and the runners’ job is to run the marathon. Both are huge tasks.
Chris Battoo, elite marathon runner from Trinidad who is sponsored by Nike, Adidas, Boston Athletic Association, and Marathon Sports ran his first marathon back in 2013. He said, “It’s a big accomplishment and a lot of hard work.”
Unfortunately, the year that Battoo ran his first marathon, the Boston Marathon bombers struck. Despite the tragedy, he said, “That’s what made me run more… because I know some of my friends were injured from the bombing, so I train harder.”
After the tragic bombing on April 15, 2013, the security of the marathon is much more intense and strict. The police force is very involved with the security and the safety of everyone at the marathon.
The year after the bombing, Battoo said, “There were tons of officers, all over.”
Battoo explained how the process for runners is different since the bombing. Battoo said, “In 2013 you could take your bag on the bus everything and then the bus drives back to Boston to Copley Square and then you could pick up your bag as soon as you finish the race, but now they are doing it opposite, you leave your bag in the common and you just go [to Hopkinton] with your Gatorade.” Security is concerned people will bring in dangerous items. There are no bags allowed on the bus unless they are small and clear.
Spectators have to get their bags checked by security as well before entering some parts of the race. There are multiple security checkpoints. These rules were set in place to uphold the safety of all people at the race: the runners, workers, and spectators.
Battoo thought the police officers did a good job this year, saying, “I feel pretty safe running it because they had a lot of security.”