Interim Police Chief Chuck Wallace and Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) Executive Director Tom Grilk appeared before the Board of Selectmen at their September 3 meeting to provide an update on the plans for the 2014 Boston Marathon which will be held on Monday, April 21, 2014.
At question for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon was whether or not Hopkinton was prepared to meet the planned increased field size of 36,000 runners. Planning for the 2014 marathon is being done by the Hopkinton Working Group; a group that Wallace explained is made of up representatives from the Hopkinton Police and Fire departments, the Hopkinton Public Schools, the Department of Public Works, the Marathon Committee and independent subject matter experts working with the B.A.A. One of the group’s goals was to decide whether or not Hopkinton felt comfortable with the logistics and security involved with the increased field size of 36,000 runners.
After looking at all of the potential challenges Wallace said that the group was confident that based on a strong commitment from the BAA and their willingness to engage in good faith discussions and planning for the security needs for the 2014 marathon, the Working Group would support the B.A.A.’s request for a parade permit for a field not to exceed 36,000 runners.
“We do feel comfortable that we can put on a safe race with the support of the B.A.A.,” said Wallace.
In past years, the request for the parade permit was typically submitted one month prior to the start of the race, but with the added security measures required due to the events at the finish line last year, planning and the request for the parade permit has started much earlier. While not yet officially submitted, Grilk told the board that the hoped to have it to the board by the beginning of October.
According to a press release from the B.A.A. dated August 29, registration for the 2013 Boston Marathon will open on Monday, September 9 at 10 a.m. and while Grilk admitted that in a perfect world the parade permit would be settled well in advance of registration, it is necessary to start the registration early so that the runners will have time to prepare and complete their training. Security planning for the upcoming race will also be extended and will require more time to finalize.
“The plans that are finally developed will be absolutely state-of-the-art,” said Grilk.
Before leaving the meeting, Grilk also talked about all of the opportunities that he has had to talk about “Boston Strong”.
“People here don’t give in; have not, never would, never will,” said Grilk. “It’s a privilege to work together with all of you, with the chiefs, with the working groups; they have given us the opportunity to earn their trust.”
A special registration period for the 2013 Boston Marathon began on August 19 and concluded on August 29 for the 2013 Boston Marathon starters who reached the half marathon checkpoint or later, but did not have the opportunity to cross the finish line on Bolyston Street. Those 5,624 runners were contacted by the B.A.A. via email; thus far, more than 4,500 entries have been received.