The New York City Marathon returns this weekend after a two-year absence. Last year’s event was cancelled in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated parts of the city about a week before the race.
The NYC Marathon on Sunday November 3 will held under massive new security measures to prevent an attack similar to the one at the Boston Marathon on April 15.
New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Ray Kelley said the city had started planning its extra precautions a day after the Boston blasts killed three people and injured more than 260.
Kelley said: “We’ll obviously have a large uniformed presence. We’ll have helicopters in the air. We’ll have boats in the water to guarantee the bridges the runners will cross. I think they’ll feel very secure and the public will feel secure as well.”
Boston Marathon 2012 winner Wesley Korir said he was among many people committed to continuing to run marathons, saying: “As runners, terrorists are doing the wrong thing trying to target runners because we will run more, and we will run more, and we will run more and more to prove them wrong. They will never defeat us.”
Furthermore, the NYC course itself has also been linked to the memory of the tragedy. A yellow line, symbolising Boston’s strength, has been painted alongside New York’s traditional blue line, guiding runners to the finish.
Close to 50,000 runners are set to participate this year, with hundreds of thousands of supporters expected to line the streets of the Big Apple to cheer them on.