Photo by Boston Athletic Association
Security will be a priority for the first Boston Marathon held on Patriots’ Day since the pandemic began
On April 12, Mayor Michelle Wu announced the public safety preparations that will be in place for the Boston Marathon to make sure that April 18’s race is a secure one. Now in its 126th year, the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annually held marathon. According to a press release, “Thirty thousand participants from all 50 states and nearly 100 countries are expected to run the Marathon and nearly 10,000 volunteers will take part in the event.”
“Two Boston Marathons in six months is unprecedented, but we are delighted to hold the 126th edition of the race on its Patriots’ Day date again with the support of Mayor Wu and the City of Boston,” said President and CEO of the Boston Athletic Association Tom Grilk. “The 2022 Boston Marathon will inject more than $200 million into a Greater Boston economy that is still recovering from the pandemic, and we are honored to do our part in the reopening of society.”
The following safety measures will be adopted:
- Boston Police Department (BPD) will have uniformed and undercover officers along the marathon route.
- Cameras will be active along the Boston portion of the Marathon route, and observation points will be set up around the finish line area in the Back Bay to monitor the crowd.
- Spectators are encouraged to leave large items such as backpacks and strollers at home. These items are not banned; however, individuals may be subject to search.
- Call 9-1-1 in an emergency situation and follow @bostonpolice for race safety updates.
- Boston Fire will have walking patrols along the course to respond to incidents. Patrols can call-in additional assets, utilizing the alleys and adjacent roadways to the course. Air quality monitoring will also be carried-out along the route.
- Boston Fire will stage its specialized units for Tech Rescue, HazMat, Decon, and additional apparatus at strategic locations on both sides of the course.
- Boston EMS will have enhanced medical coverage, including additional personnel in the field, dispatch and special operations.
- Units will be deployed along the Boston route and in the finish line area, ready to serve anyone requiring medical assistance, including runners, spectators and volunteers. This will include EMTs and Paramedics working on ambulances, bikes and carts, as well as in medical stations.
- Through close coordination with medical volunteers, Boston EMS works to treat and release as many people on scene as possible, which is intended to mitigate the impact to the hospital system.
- Boston EMS plans to increase the number of ambulances citywide to ensure there will be no disruption in services to residents.
- Vehicle traffic will be prohibited and parking will be restricted on many streets in Boston in the days leading up to the Boston Marathon and on Monday, April 18, 2022.
- Using the MBTA to travel to and from Boston on Marathon Monday is strongly recommended. Detailed information on MBTA service can be found at www.MBTA.com. For a faster return trip, the MBTA advises riders to purchase a round-trip rather than a one-way ticket.
- On Marathon Monday, Newbury Street and Huntington Avenue outbound will be closed to vehicle traffic to allow easier spectator movement in the area.
- Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the City’s Bluebikes program.
- Read all posted signs and variable message boards carefully.
- The City’s Emergency Operations Center will be open on Monday to monitor the races. The EOC will be staffed by our City departments, state agencies and our non-profit partners to coordinate the City’s operational plan. Additionally, the EOC will monitor the weather, maintain situational awareness regarding the various Marathon events, respond to any resource requests from public safety and manage family reunification if needed.
- Boston EMS, Police, Fire, and the Office of Emergency Management will have personnel assigned to the multi-agency coordination center at the Massachusetts Emergency Operation Center in Framingham.
- BPHC will have staffing at the Dispatch Operations Center and Central Medical Emergency Dispatch (CMED) Center where ambulance to hospital communication throughout metropolitan Boston is coordinated.
- Sign up for AlertBoston to receive emergency notifications from the City at boston.gov/emergency. Alerts are available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, Cape Verdean Creole, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
- The BAA (Boston Athletic Association) and City of Boston have worked together this year to ensure the safety of all participants, staff, volunteers, and spectators.
- We strongly encourage everyone to practice personal responsibility for the 126th Boston Marathon. Guests traveling with athletes and spectators cheering on participants are encouraged to take efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- These efforts may include:
- Being fully vaccinated
- Getting tested for COVID-19 prior to any travel
- Only using B.A.A. provided course nutrition in lieu of accepting hydration or food from spectators
- This is an entirely outdoor, open-air event. It is encouraged, but not required, to wear masks.
- Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are at higher risk of suffering severe illness or death from COVID-19 infection.
- Any participant, volunteer, or spectator exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home.
- To get vaccinated, find a location near you on boston.gov/coronavirus.
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.