Local/State

Thousands to converge on Philadelphia for marathon

Friday, November 15, 2013

Preparations for the 20th annual running of the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon have begun, and it could be one of the largest fields ever as tens of thousands of people are expected to participate in the big run on Sunday.

And that means getting around town could be tough, and security will be tight.

60,000 spectators and more than 30,000 runners are expected this marathon weekend and the city is getting ready. There are already road closures on Ben Franklin Parkway and on Sunday expect more citywide along the 26.2 mile route.

There will be enhanced public safety efforts with checkpoints for everyone entering the start and finish area and all visitors and runners will be screened. All items are subject to inspection - only clear bags will be allowed within the race area and no coolers. Even if you're not involved in the race, you should leave extra time to get around the city.

At SEPTA's Control Center Operations, the plan is in place. There will be 28 known bus detours Sunday. You can see signs out already on 21st and Hamilton. There will be extra service on the Broad Street Line before and during Sunday's marathon, and also leading up to the 1:00 p.m. Eagles game, and additional staff in certain locations to guide riders.

Jim Fox, a Chief Control Center Officer for SEPTA, tells us, "It's going to be an interesting challenge for a lot of our riders on Sunday and we just want to get the word out, because of the 28 routes effected, so many of them are going to impact people who typically rely on our service to go to church on Sunday, or just get out in the morning."

Queen Village resident Denise Shubin says, "Of course it is a nuisance, but this is one of the premiere marathons in the country, and it's only one day. So I mean, there's no reason to really whine about it."

You can visit SEPTA's website for a full list of route detours.

Below is the entry guidelines released by marathon and city officials, which details what you can and cannot bring into secured areas on race day.

- Runners should arrive by 5 a.m. for entry to the start-finish line areas.
- Runners should plan ahead, allowing time to get through designated entry checkpoints.
- The start of the race will not be delayed due to lines at security checkpoints.
- Runners should have their race bibs fastened and visible on the front of their jerseys at arrival.
- Spectators are strongly discouraged from carrying bags.
- Only clear bags will be allowed within the race areas, which will be subject to inspection.
- Only clear plastic Marathon-issued bags will be accepted at the runners' Gear Check.
- Runners should arrive with the event-issued gear check tag (top of bib tear-off strip) affixed to their bags.
- No backpacks or satchels of any kind will be allowed (exceptions may be made for diaper bags, after a search).
- Small personal-item or hydration packs/bags/belts are permitted but subject to a search.
- Factory-sealed, plastic water bottles (1 per person - up to 1 liter) permitted.
- No coolers.
- All items deemed dangerous or inappropriate will be confiscated or denied access at the sole discretion of security personnel.

For more information on what is permitted at the venue, visit www.philadelphiamarathon.com.

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philadelphia news, SEPTA, philadelphia eagles, philadelphia marathon, local/state
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