Elevated Security Remains for 2014 Chicago Marathon

Increased security in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings to remain in place this year

Bank of America Chicago Marathon organizers are prepping for another fast, festive and safe event this year.

The Oct. 12 race will feature approximately 45,000 runners winding their way through 29 neighborhoods, cheered on by more than 1 million spectators.

Chicago Police will deploy uniformed and plainclothes officers in and around the marathon course.

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Spectators carrying backpacks or large bags can expect to experience random bag checks.

Marathon officials reviewed and updated security procedures after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and those security measures will remain in place this year, with updates.

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Security checkpoints will be set up in and around the Marathon area, spectators will again be banned from the start and finish lines and runners will be required runners to pick up their own race-day packets.

Runners are encouraged to arrive as early as possible on race morning (Grant Park opens at 5:30 a.m.) in order to get through the checkpoints.

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The only new change for runners will be the addition of a new entrance gate at Van Buren and Michigan.

Spectators are allowed to bring bags into Grant Park -- which will also be subject to search -- but are discouraged from doing so in order to keep things moving as efficiently as possible. Spectators will also be restricted to the Post-Race Party/Runner Reunite Area in Butler Field starting at 9 a.m.

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Officials are also counting on everyone to be the eyes and ears of the event, urging anyone who sees a suspicious person, object or vehicle along or near the race course to report the sighting to 911 or to law enforcement personnel.

Runners are urged to use the designated Gear Check areas to store personal belongings, or to leave those items with a friend or family member. Runners will not be allowed to leave unattended bags or clothing items within Grant Park or along the route, as those items will be collected and discarded.

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All bags are subject to bag screening and only event-issued clear plastic "participant bags" will be accepted at Gear Check.

Find more race-day restrictions and policies, along with a list of prohibited items at at www.chicagomarathon.com.

Emergency preparedness information is available at www.AlertChicago.com or www.gearupgetready.org. Sign up for free emergency alerts from the City of Chicagoby subscribing to NotifyChicago at www.notifychicago.org.

Marathon Street Closures, Public Transportation

Street and lane closures are already in place near Grant Park, including Balbo from Columbus to Lake Shore Drive.

Additional street closures will kick in on Wednesday when Jackson will close from Columbus to Lake Shore Drive, and Columbus closures begin Thursday, with a full closure from Roosevelt Road to Monroe in effect on Friday.

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Portions of Balbo, Congress, Jackson and Monroe near Grant Park will close on Saturday and won't reopen until Monday morning.

Street closures along the route itself begin at around 7 a.m. Sunday, and will reopen by 4:30 p.m.

Residents along the marathon route are urged to keep an eye out for "No Parking Zone" signs, which will be strictly enforced through towing.

Marathon officials encourage motorists and pedestrians to allow for extra time, expect delays and to consider alternate routes, such as using the expressway.

Information on public transportation in and around the impacted areas is available at www.transitchicago.com or all 836-7000/1-888-YOUR-CTA.

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