When runners toe the line at the start of The ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, they do it in the shadow of the Boston Marathon bombings, and last year's Superstorm Sandy.
"This is going to be a race full of meaning. We'll be thinking about all of those affected by Sandy last year, and our hearts will be with those affected by Boston," Mary Wittenberg, New York Road Runner CEO, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
When Sandy hammered the Eastern Seaboard last October, lives were lost, billions of dollars in damage was done, and the marathon was canceled at the last minute, proving too much for a city still struggling to get the lights back on. Then in April, the unthinkable happened when the country's oldest marathon, Boston, was bombed.
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The two events changed the tenor of what some see as a "comeback" race. Over 21,000 runners this year are holdovers from 2012 and the NYCRR has doubled their security budget, spending more than $1 million on security to ensure that runners and spectators are safe.
Speaking at a news conference Friday, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in light of the attacks in Boston, the NYPD began examining and enhancing NYC Marathon security the day after the bombings.
"Spectators should look forward to the marathon like any other year, but expect more security," Kelly warned.
Spectators will see more barricades, fencings, security checkpoints and private security guards on site, according to Peter Ciccia, technical director for the ING NYC Marathon. Runners will be screened at the start on Staten Island, and stripped of certain gear for the race.
"Some of the things we changed this year is over the shoulder hydration packs, Camelbacks are not permitted this year," Ciccia told CNBC. Instead, he said, they are encouraged to utilize the water being handed out throughout the course.
Also banned, wacky get ups. Runners, who once sported Halloween costumes during the race, will no longer be permitted to wear masks. The police want a good view of everyone in, and around, the race.
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