You can expect beefed up security at this year's Boilermaker Race in Utica. The changes were prompted by the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15.
This year, if you don't have a running bib, you won't be allowed into the start area of the 15k or 5k races. Officials are asking anyone not participating in the races and anyone who is not a volunteer to avoid the start lines.
Also this year, race officials plan to enforce a two and a half hour limit. After that, the race clocks will be shut down and crews will start tearing down the finish line. If you are unable to complete either the 15k or 5k in that time frame, organizers ask you to consider skipping the race this year. Runners are offered a one-time deferral to the following year's race.
Bags, backpacks, coolers, packages or parcels will not be allowed near the start or finish lines. If you plan to bring items on the race baggage truck, put them in a clear plastic bag.
If you need to enter the start or finish areas, bags may be searched randomly or you may be denied entry. Coolers are strictly forbidden on brewery property. Unattended bags, even for a few moments, will be removed and may be damaged or destroyed.
You should expect traffic delays. Try avoid traveling by car during peak race hours, and carpool if possible. Remember, there is no designated parking near the finish line or Post Race Party. You may see baggage check stations in locations you haven't seen in the past. Try to leave any bags at home.
There will be a strong canine presence this year, so officials ask that you leave your pets at home. Dogs are not allowed at the Post Race Party or the Expo at Mohawk Valley Community College.
"This is probably going to be the new normal. I think every race around the country is going through what we're going through here at the Boilermaker because of what happened in Boston," said Utica Police Capt. Wayne Manolescu.
This year, the Boilermaker will be held on Sunday, July 14. On the day of the race, if you see something, say something. Tell someone if you see something that looks suspicious.