The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is in in its 36th year, and 45,000 runners are registered for the October 13 event, which starts in Grant Park. Millions of people gather each year to line the 26-mile route and cheer them on. "We're very close to the Boston Marathon, and it's something we're keenly aware of," Carey Pinkowksi, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, said.
Pinkowski was in Boston on April 15 when two bombs went off near that marathon's finish line. Like runners around the world, he says he felt a deep sense of sorrow that someone had targeted the innocent sport of running for terrorism.
Chicago Area Runners Association Director Wendy Jaehn was there, too. She said the Boston bombing has had an impact on races around the area since.
"It's a marathon, so they're doing what they can, and, again, these additional little tweaks, they're nothing I haven't seen in other races," Jaehn said.
After working with police and other city authorities, Chicago Marathon officials announced a few changes to beef up security – including in-person packet pickup, bag screening at the runner-only entrance, and runners will only be allowed to carry transparent, race-provided bags into Grant Park.
"We're very confident that the police department, our city agencies we work with, volunteers, everyone involved in the production of the event will deliver a safe, secure, positive race experience," Pinkowski said.
Chicago Marathon officials said there were also be other security measure in place, but those will not be made public.
Officials released the following details:
More details on the race are available at chicagomarathon.com.