Security Tightened For 20th Philadelphia Marathon - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Security Tightened For 20th Philadelphia Marathon

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PHILADELPHIA -

Athletes are lacing up their sneakers in preps for this weekend's 20th annual Philadelphia Marathon.

The premier race has plenty of fun for the entire family. But along with it comes stepped up security.

Thousands will hit the streets during the weekend for various races, and the city is taking every precaution to keep everyone safe.

FOX 29's Jeff Cole walked us through the enhanced security measures Friday night.

In all, 30,000 participants are expected to pound the pavement in the marathon. But while city leaders put a cheerful face on the event, the horrible specter of the Boston Marathon bombing hangs heavy.

An official in the Nutter Administration tried gamely to rouse the crowd gathered for the race kickoff. But the fact that clear plastic bags will be given to runners is evidence of the security concerns.

Unlike last year, security checkpoints will appear between 20th and 25th streets on the Ben Franklin Parkway, where volunteers will screen runners, and those carrying backpacks and coolers will be turned away.

Police will take up positions along the 26.2-mile route on the lookout for anything suspicious. Leave a bag unattended say police, it's gone.

On Friday, Mayor Nutter spoke of the Marathon's success over two decades, saying the marathon has seen amazing growth both in registration and in reputation because of the ongoing mission, which has been to provide runners with the best possible experience.

Organizers say a helicopter will be used to monitor the crowd and security cameras will be rolling all in an effort to try to make sure the deadly attack in Boston is not repeated here, Cole reported.

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