New Security Taking Place at this Year’s Boston Marathon

Rachel Baillargeon, Staff Writer

Rachel Baillargeon ‘18

Staff Writer

It’s the 122nd race for the Boston Marathon, to be held on April 16, 2018. The Boston Athletic Association, State Police, FBI, Boston Police, and public safety will attend a meeting Tuesday, April 3, to discuss what security measures will be taken this year to ensure everyone’s safety.

In response to the 2013 bombing, killing three people, injuring more than 260 people, more security needs to take part every year. In the past, officials used drones, dogs, and aircrafts that were equipped with technology to find bombs.

The route of the race will go through eight cities and towns of Massachusetts: Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and of course Boston.

The race runs through 26 miles 385 yards, following Route 135, Route 16, Route 30 and city streets into the center of Boston where the official finish line is located at Copley Square, alongside the Boston Public Library.

This long course will leave it complicated for police to protect all areas of the race.

Out of 28,260 applicants for this years race, only 23,198 were accepted to run. Last year, 30,074 people raced in the 2017 Boston Marathon.    Ron Gibbons, Sergeant of Westfield Police as well as an every year runner in the Boston Marathon talked about why he feels safe running the race, even after what had happened in the past. “ Yes I do feel safe running the marathon. There are state police everywhere during the whole race in uniforms, undercover police, and also the FBI.”

Gibbons added, “There is a lot of security, but I guess the most dangerous part is at the beginning of the race, when all the athletes are together in athletes village. Anything could happen, so I believe to improve the marathons safety would be adding more officers in that section.”

When running the race, Gibbons said the only thing running through his mind is family,  and his life in general. “When I run, I talk to my father who is in heaven and ask him to help me along the way.”

The Boston race is a very intense race, and a difficult and long course competed by thousands of people. “The Boston Marathon was probably the most difficult race ever ran,” Gibbons said, “The uphills and downhills are hard, and play almost a game in your head, where you sometimes forget how many miles you’ve already ran.”

“The registration process is stressful, as either you have to qualify timewise in a race prior to that, or get a number through a charitable organization,” said Mr. Gibbons.

“Because I am a trooper, the Boston Athletic gives us so many numbers but expect a lot of us for help with the security during the race.”

An outsider view, Westfield High School Senior, Emra Toomey thinks they need the highest forms of security in order to keep people safe. “People are crazy, anything can happen anywhere anytime,”she said, “I really wouldn’t feel that safe, but I would probably still go the races. Just with a look out at all times.”

Toomey suggested maybe having to buy tickets in order to be an audience of the race, as if it were a concert, or sporting event. She said this would help the police, and the planners of the race to get an overall count of how many people will be there, and who.

“If money was an issue for lack of better security, the city could try to do fundraisers, or when selling tickets up the price,” Toomey added.