In 2012, the organizers of the ING New York City Marathon announced that they would have a no-baggage policy for runners of the race. After an uproar online, they took it back and said that they would allow it. This year, they are giving runners an option — check your bag or get a fancy schmancy poncho thing (<– I opted for that so there will be pictures).

(I wish I looked that chipper after a marathon…)

Yesterday when Boston Marathon opened the gates for registration, it indicated that there would be some change to its baggage policy:

The 2014 Boston Marathon will be a special event for the City of Boston and all of the municipalities along the course, as well as the sport. The B.A.A. and all involved with producing the event and staging the race are committed to retaining the characteristics which make the Boston Marathon unique. As we seek to do this, official entrants (registered participants), volunteers and spectators may be asked for additional cooperation in certain areas, including transportation, baggage and other logistics.

Among the changes, it is anticipated participants will be asked to submit to security checks of their personal belongings.  Participants may be asked to significantly reduce, or eliminate, the belongings that they carry with them on the transportation provided by the B.A.A. and into race areas.


I am not that surprised. Given all that happened last year at Boston… it makes sense. With all the security measures in the world, something could still happen. But… at the same time, we can’t live our lives in fear because something *might* happen.

I have never used bag check for a marathon… the only time I ever have was for the Empire State Building Run-Up when I was coming straight from work. I guess I’m not sure what I would put in there?

I used to bring flip flops, pants, etc. for my family to bring to the finish… the last time I did that was Chicago Marathon in 2011. I realized it was just way too much effort to try to do all that while standing in a field after running 26.2 miles. And decided it just wasn’t worth it. So instead I just stay in my grody running clothes until I get home or back to the hotel, even if it isn’t just around the corner.

So tell me… what do you think? Do you think race bag check is going to go away over the next few years? Good or bad decision?

Are you a bag checker? What do you check? How will this change your race strategy/preparation?

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