BAA Boston Marathon New “NO BAG” Policy

Less than a day ago we all received news that the terrorists won, we are fully living in a life of terror and oppression even while paying high racing fees to run, all in the form of the BAA’s new Boston Marathon “no bag” check policy.

You might think I’m being a little dramatic? Yea well I’m sure the Nazis said the same thing before Hitler took over.  Okay I’m joking, I won’t compare the BAA to the third Reich but let’s review the new changes to the Boston marathon.

  • No bags will be allowed on buses from Boston to Hopkinton at all
  • Bags will not be transported from Hopkinton back to Boston
  • Bags will also not be allowed in certain areas near the start or finish lines or along the course.
  • Runners will be given a chance to check gear on Boston Common on the morning of the marathon to allow them to have a change of clothing at the end of the race.
  • Fanny pack (no larger than 5 inches x 15 inches x 5 inches) to carry food, nutritional products, medicine, identification, cell phone, home/hotel key or other similar and necessary small items

Okay, they got rid of bag check because quite frankly they’re just being lazy. Just give me a clear bag and I’ll put all my goodies in that. They already increased their registration price and with 9,000 extra runners paying up, I’m sure their funds are more than enough to figure out a better solution.

Majority of runners will be getting on the BAA buses at 7AM in Boston. Those who don’t take the buses, will be dropped off at the village around 7AM as well because they close off the roads hours and hours before the race. Unless you’re an elite, you don’t start racing until almost 10AM or way later if you’re older or a charity runner. I heard they’re going to have 4 waves this year going almost into a Noon start. Up to 6 HOURS of waiting without anything you own?

Fanny packs? First of all who owns these anymore. What is this? A 80s family road trip? Okay, say I bring this “fanny pack” with some of my stuff that a person may need, I still need to check it somewhere? Or, wait I’m suppose to throw everything out? Or better yet I’m suppose to be running with all my stuff on me? I don’t know, unlike most races, a lot of Boston Marathon runners don’t carry giant fuel belts. We paid to be there to race. I rely on the water station and my one Gu for fuel. I know that back in the 70s or whatever, races used to have no support, but I’m pretty sure they also didn’t have outrageous race fees as well. I’ve never ran with a fanny pack before and I’m not about to start. I couldn’t even tolerate those water belts that bruised my hips.

I listened to an interview this weekend with the director from this summer (I’m a little behind on podcasts). He said he wanted to keep the sanctity of the Boston Marathon and not turn it into a tribute race. However, as a friend put it the 2014 Boston Marathon is set up for people who are going to go through one marathon in their lives to cross it off their bucket lists and who just want to finish so who cares if they get enough to eat or anything else before it happens.

The Boston Marathon is usually my A race, even though it’s at a horrible time of year for me since I work in tax. I’m there to race, not check off an item on a stupid list. I got my 50 states for that.

It took me a few tries, but I finally had my list of things I need to make Boston work down. I took two pieces of toast with PB on the bus with me. I took a small snack of some chocolate. A magazine and a blanket to sit on because even with 90 degree weather, they don’t set up extra tarps. Sometimes I bring arm warmers or a long sleeve and decide as the start time approaches if it’s too cold or too warm and if I’ll need it. It’s hard to judge the weather at 7AM in the morning for a 10AM start. And no, aside from the magazine and food wrappers, I would like to keep my stuff and not throw out my racing layers. Running clothes don’t come that cheap. And no, I don’t want to run in a throw away layer. It’s wasteful and gross and just plain uncomfortable.

I’m not even sure how this new policy will affect those who use private/charity buses or those who don’t go through Boston to get to the race start.

You may say the NYRR did the same thing with NYC marathon this year with their 50,000 runners and I’ll say that’s where you’re wrong. They tried and failed and finally gave in. Instead they gave us an option. Check your bag or take the orange hood.  I did end up taking the option of the orange hood, having to shed, and donate layers and layers of clothes because I couldn’t check my stuff. Looking back, would I do that again? I’m not sure, but I can tell you one thing that orange hood is doing. Not much as it sits on the floor of my coat closet.

Dear NYRR can I return my orange hood for a refund?

I can tell you that the same thing with be happening to my Boston marathon silver hood. At least this one is less ugly?

The NYRR also allowed everyone to have a clear athlete village bag to put all the stuff we would be using in the hours we waited. And it was a lot bigger than the BYOF  (Bring your own fanny) the BAA is trying to make us do. Maybe I could settle if the BAA at least did that.

I don’t feel more secure and safe. There’s nothing out there to stop a crazy person from running into the race. You can’t guard all 26.2 miles every second of the race. Sometimes, you just need to trust your fellow runners and humanity. BAA and other security measures need to end this farce.

What do you think of the new BAA racing policy?

3 thoughts on “BAA Boston Marathon New “NO BAG” Policy”

  1. I understand the changes they made but it doesn’t mean that I like it. I certainly don’t see why we couldn’t stick to clear bags and they bring them to finish for us. Like you said–sitting and waiting for HOURS. Ridiculous. So I want to meet up with my friends at the start village, but now I need to bring my phone and run with it or just hope I run into them in the crowd of 937523059 people at the start village? I think not. I’m frustrated, we are letting the terrorists win like you said. Gear check is a big deal at start line, especially for point to point courses where you don’t have family, friends cars or anything nearby to put your stuff.

  2. Boston is way outta my league because I don’t run marathons, and the one I did was a pretty sad time. But, I hate that this assumes RUNNERS will do the acts of terrorism. Running Boston is an honor for any runner and why would the runner sabotage or terrorize a marathon?

    Our local Charleston Marathon went to a special checked bag this year, had to be a clear one they gave you at the expo. I thought that was fine, very acceptable. I personally cannot imagine doing a marathon without a checked bag. That is a really long time not to have something you might need in your bag like food or after the race, dry clothes, shoes, etc.

    But, it’s the Boston Marathon and they can do what they want… I mean they’ve got people. It’s not a race like Charleston that doesn’t even sell out. People qualify for Boston and get in, they will run it, checked bag or not. It’s just crazy.

  3. Hmmmm! That’s rough! At Philly we had to get clear bags and were not allowed liquids other than water that was unopened. I thought that was bad enough, but this is even more extreme! The checking into the meet area took a lot longer than usual with all the security checks, but once you were in it was fine. I was lucky to be in an elite athlete tent, but I felt bad for all the people who had to stand outside in the cold! This has to be much worse! I am sure this will make people consider their choice in the future, but I can’t really think of a solution right now 😦

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