BOSTON (CBS) — Members of the Massachusetts National Guard have run in the Boston Marathon in full uniform while wearing 40-pound rucksacks, for the past decade. But it won’t happen this year because no backpacks are allowed.
The ban on backpacks is just one of the new security measures put in place since last April’s bombings at the finish line.
According to the new restrictions, “units or groups such as military ruck-marchers and cyclists, who have sometimes joined on the course, will not be allowed to participate.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports
National Guard Lieutenant Colonel James Sahady tells WBZ NewsRadio 1030, while there has been a strong reaction to the ban, the National Guard is committed to supporting emergency officials and making sure the Boston Marathon is a safe event.
“I don’t believe we had more than maybe 20 people last year that had the rucksacks on but this year the event got so overwhelming, that it was just too many to accommodate on the course,” Sahady said. The B.A.A. says 133 members of the Massachusetts National Guard will be running the marathon this year.
Tough Ruck was one of the military organizations planning on participating this year. Last year, Tough Ruck volunteer Carlos Arredondo sprang into action along with many of the “ruckers” after the bombs exploded, to tend to the wounded.
The group now plans to run 26.2 miles on April 19, on the Minuteman National Historical Park through Lexington and Concord, according to Boston Magazine.
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