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Security Beefed Up At Weekend Events In Wake Of Boston Bombings

Five Boro Bike Tour, NJ Marathon, LI Marathon All Being Held Sunday

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Boston Marathon bombings is leading to tighter security at several events being held this weekend.

The Five Boro Bike Tour, the New Jersey Marathon and the Long Island Marathon will all take place on Sunday. In an effort to keep participants and spectators safe, organizers from each event have stepped up their security measures.

Five Boro Bike Tour

Backpacks, panniers and hydration packs will not be permitted at the Five Boro Bike Tour and restricted items will be confiscated and not returned, according to Bike New York, which organizes the event.

The tour is a 40-mile long ride that travels – as its name suggests – through all five boroughs of New York City.

The Finish Festival on Staten Island will also be strictly limited to participants and volunteers.

“I think most people understand that these are the precautions we need to take,” Ken Podziba, president and CEO of Bike New York, told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

In addition to the increased security, officials said Sunday’s bike tour will be dedicated to Boston and will raise money to those affected by the bombings.

“It just feels good to know that people in other cities are supporting Boston,” one participant told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

“We’ve received an overwhelming response from our heavy-hearted riders who want to be able to express their solidarity with Boston,” Podziba said.

The new rules are bringing with them some mixed feelings, however.

“I’m really upset because now I have to buy all this other gear,” another rider told Aiello.

“We worked very closely with city state and federal agencies and after a lot of meetings we determined it was in the best interests of safety,” Podziba said.

“In some ways it shows the terrorists have won,” rider Shaya Eisenman said. “They’re making us fearful to go about our normal activities, how we ride our bikes and what we do.”

“Well you don’t really need backpacks anyway, they have everything set up with waterstops and food,” rider Jeff Bottjer told Aiello. “It’s not going to be a really big deal, and I thinks it makes a lot of sense.”

Organizers hope the bag ban will not be the “new normal,” and will be lifted next year, Aiello reported.

For more information, click here.

Long Island Marathon

There will be multiple checkpoints, bomb-sniffing dogs and radiation detectors at the Long Island Marathon in Uniondale.

In addition, only runners will be allowed in the starting line area on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard and only clear bags that are distributed by the Long Island Marathon will be permitted in the runner baggage check, according to the race’s website.

Spectators will also not be allowed to bring bags into the finish line area.

“There will be security checking out all the participants and all the spectators around the area,” David Katz, technical director for the marathon, told 1010 WINS. “It’s going to have a slightly different look, a slightly different feel but it’s all a good thing.”

Like the Five Boro Bike Tour, marathon runners and Long Island officials will pay tribute to the victims of the Boston bombings at the start of the race.

As part of the formal opening ceremony, 26 seconds of silence will be observed — one for each mile of the Boston Marathon, officials announced.

For more information, click here.

New Jersey Marathon

The New Jersey Marathon runs through eight communities in Monmouth County.

As part of its security measures, all bags and backpacks will be banned, spectator access at the start and finish lines will be limited and some parking areas will be closed, Joe Gigas, executive race director, said last week.

Runners will only be allowed to have one clear plastic bag issued by the marathon and will be able to bring a fanny pack, a hydration belt or a water bottle to be used during the race, but those are subject to search.

Bomb-sniffing dogs will also be on duty.

For more information, click here.

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