NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Organizers of the New York City Marathon have backpedalled on a controversial no-baggage policy.
The reversal came just two weeks after the policy, intended to improve traffic flow after the race, was announced.
“We knew it was going to be hot, we knew it was going to be not a popular decision,” New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.
WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reports
Many runners check a bag with a change of clothes, cell phone and wallet to pick up at the finish.
The rule was so unpopular an online petition drew 1,400 signatures from angry runners, causing the marathon to change course.
“We understood their concerns and as always work to really ensure the best marathon experience we can for our runners,” Wittenberg told Diamond.
“The important message for the runners today is that everybody will have the option to have a bag. We strongly encourage people who would consider it a benefit to keep the exit no baggage,” Wittenberg added.
Some Upper West Siders had complained of overcrowding near the finish line. There will now be a reconfigured space will give runners the option of checking a bag.
Those who do not check a bag will receive a long-sleeve t-shirt and a fleece-lined poncho.
“We think we’re got a terrific win-win situation at this point and very hopeful that this will ensure a terrific marathon day for our runners, for the community and all of the city of New York,” Wittenberg told Diamond.
Last year, 47,000 people finished the New York City marathon. Race day is November 4.
Are you running in this year’s marathon? Share your thoughts on the reversal of the no-baggage policy below.