Up goes more fencing in Grant Park, which is now catacombed with a six-foot chain link. It lines Columbus Drive where the triumphant reach the end of their 26-mile quest. There will be some bleachers at the finish line, but they're reserved for ticketed guests only. The general public will not be allowed near the start/finish points in Grant Park.
Already in place is shorter fencing on both sides of Michigan Avenue south of the finish, which will cover the last mile of the marathon. That fencing is meant, in part, to discourage spectators from joining the runners. That's OK by WeatherMark Tavern owner Mark Stern, who considers marathon day one of his favorites - fencing or not.
For non-registered runners to jump on the course and run a stretch with someone they know has never been sanctioned, but it always happens. Police say "not this year." If you're not registered, remain a spectator.
City officials reaffirmed that there will be a heavy police presence for the marathon - uniforms, undercover, bomb-sniffing dog teams along with random bag checks for people who carry bags or containers. The runners must use clear plastic bags to carry their belongings. Race organizers say the security enhancements are necessary and will not muddy the experience.