Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston Marathon, NYRR Races and Security

For those of you running tomorrow's race in Central Park (and this may apply to other races), doubtless you've seen the new security actions:

*Enhanced security restriction
*Encouragement not to bring a bag
*New clear bags to hold baggage
*No trash cans in race vicinity

It's easy to overreact to the past week's events. I was up in Boston, left the finish line a half hour before. And I'm from there (so was also keenly interested in yesterday's hour-by-hour manhunt, which left family and friends in lockdown for a day)

That said: If you let your life be controlled by the tyrannical few, it's going to make us all suffer.  That's why David Ortiz comments before the Red Sox/Royals game today are poignant:

"This is our f------ city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong."

We live in New York, under constant possibility of a terrorist attack. And so you take that into account with everything you do. Always.  But you don't lose faith, and you don't give in.

The choice we make by living in the U.S. is enhanced civil liberties. And for now, it means that it's really easy to get a gun (or any kind of explosive material).  I'm not happy about that decision, but that's the case right now.  Counterpoint: I'm also hugely happy that we have the chance to have this debate.

The additional issues tomorrow strike me as an overreaction. NYRR: If you do this tomorrow - why didn't you do this for every race since 9/11.  We live with these fears every day.  And we keep moving forward.  We keep wary, we keep alert.  And we live our lives.

We run. And we are strong.

Below is from NYRR:

  • Race-day registration, T-shirt pickup, and baggage drop-off will be located inside Rumsey Playfield. Everyone who enters Rumsey Playfield will be subject to a security screening.
  • We strongly encourage you not to bring a bag to Central Park. However, if you’re registering or picking up your race materials on race day and bring a bag, you will be given a clear bag at the entrance to Rumsey Playfield. You must transfer the contents of your own bag into the clear bag before you proceed to the registration tent. Any unattended bags will be confiscated by NYPD and could cause an interruption to the day’s events.
  • There will be no trash cans in the race vicinity this weekend. We encourage you to hand your trash to our volunteers and staff members.