Since the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15th 2013, security at each of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors has been increased significantly.

Cloud-based CCTV providers UMIX takes a look at just how each of these events are now being organised in order to make both runners and spectators safer:

Tokyo Marathon

Date: February 26th 2017

Maximum number of entrants: 36,000

Security measures:

  • Face authentication system offered by major security firm Secom Co. where photos of competitors’ faces and numbers are taken at the entrance gate and checked against photos registered in advance.
  • Airship from Secom Co. deployed to fly above the finish line, taking aerial photos for the Metropolitan Police Department to analyse.
  • Drone deployed to film video and supply these clips to the Metropolitan Police Department.
  • Several interceptor drones on standby by the Tokyo police, which are designed to capture any suspicious drones spotted in the area.
  • Officers employed by Tokyo police to run alongside competitors.
  • Emergency response team from the Tokyo police armed with submachine guns on standby.

B.A.A Boston Marathon

Date: April 17th 2017

Maximum number of entrants: 30,000

Security measures:

  • Significant presence of both uniformed and plain clothed police officers.
  • Security checkpoints set up around viewing areas.
  • Law enforcement officers and contracted private security personnel can ask to inspect bags and other items being carried by spectators.
  • Spectators encouraged to carry personal items within clear plastic bags.
  • Spectators discouraged from bringing the following items to the event:
  • Weapons or items of any kind which may be used as a weapon
  • Backpacks or similar items which can be carried over the shoulder
  • Suitcases
  • Rolling bags/rollers
  • Coolers
  • Glass cans
  • Glass containers
  • Flammable liquids or fuels
  • Fireworks or explosives
  • Any container which can carry more than one litre of liquid
  • Handbacks, packages or bulker items which are larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches
  • Large blankets or comforters
  • Duvets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Costumes which cover the face
  • Non-form fitting, bulky outfits which extend beyond the perimeter of the body
  • Any props — for example, sporting equipment, and military and fire gear
  • No Drone Zone created along the entire length of the course. To support this, drone-sensing equipment is attached to the top of light poles.
  • Additional security cameras installed along the route.

Virgin Money London Marathon

Date: April 23rd 2017

Maximum number of entrants: 36,500

Security measures (which are known):

  • Assembly areas at the start of the race are for runners only.
  • There is a runner meet and greet area in Horse Guards Road and Horse Guards Parade — spectators are not allowed into the secure area which follows the finish line.
  • Police and Virgin Money London Marathon security personnel under strict instructions not to allow anyone to congregate at the exit from the secure area at the top of Horse Guards Road.

BMW Berlin Marathon

Date: September 24th2017

Maximum number of entrants: 40,000

Security measures:

  • The start/finish area is only open to participants, who are identified by a wristband tied around their wrist when collecting race documents ahead of the race.
  • Items which are prohibited at the start/finish area are as follows:
  • Weapons or items of any kind which may be used as a weapon
  • Gas spray cans
  • Corrosive, flammable substances
  • Dyestuffs
  • Receptacles containing substances which are harmful to health or are highly flammable
  • Bottles, cans, cups, jugs or similar items which are made from either glass or another type of fragile material
  • Bulky items such as boxes, folding chairs, ladders or stools
  • Fireworks, flares, smoke powder and other forms of pyrotechnics
  • Flag or banner poles which are longer than one metre or those with a diameter that is larger than three centimetres
  • Mechanically operated sound-emitting devices, including klaxons and megaphones
  • Laser points
  • Larger quantities of paper and paper rolls

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Date: October 8th2017

Maximum number of entrants: 45,000

Security measures:

  • Spectators not allowed to be at the starting corrals or the race, or at the finish line.
  • All runners, media personnel and volunteers required to pass through one of only four security checkpoints before heading to the start of the race. These checkpoints will see a bag-screening process taking place.
  • Only participants can collect their bib and timing chip at the event — friends or family are unable to carry out this task.
  • More than 22,000 surveillance cameras have been set up around the city of Chicago, according to an estimate reported on in this USA Today article.

TCS New York City Marathon

Date: November 5th 2017

Maximum number of entrants: 50,000+

Security measures:

  • There was an increased presence of police officers, bomb-sniffing dogs, police helicopters and police patrol boats at the 2016 event compared to the previous year.
  • Screening checkpoints set up near the start and finish of the race.
  • Mobile cameras and units set up which work to detect radiation.
  • Runners are prohibited from running in the race while wearing a backpack.
  • Contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, the NYPD and New York Road Runners tasked with inspecting all bags and items which enter venues and events set up around the marathon.
  • Items which are prohibited at the location of the race are as follows:
  • Weapons or items of any kind which may be used as a weapon
  • Flammable liquids or fuels
  • Fireworks
  • Large packages
  • Coolers
  • Tents
  • Duvets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Large blankets
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Any illegal beverage
  • Unmanned aerial devices or any flying device that has an on/off switch present
  • Drones
  • Survey balloons
  • Photography mini-copters
  • Opaque trash bags
  • Non-transparent plastic bags
  • Folding chairs and camp chairs
  • Glass containers
  • Containers which feature liquid which is larger than one litre
  • Suitcases and rolling bags
  • Backpacks, including Camelbaks® and any other type of hydration backpack
  • Weight vests
  • Vests with multiple pockets
  • Costumes which cover the face
  • Non-form fitting, bulky outfits which extend beyond the perimeter of the body
  • Any props — for example, sporting equipment, flagpoles and military and fire gear
  • Signs which are larger than 11 inches x 17 inches
  • Selfie sticks, as well as any camera mount or rig that isn’t directly attached to the head or torso