The Broad Street Run is still 10 miles long, still starts in North Philadelphia and ends in the Navy Yard and still draws thousands of runners to Philly’s main drag; but this year’s Broad Street Run is going to be different.
Runners and spectators alike can expect plenty of changes for Sunday’s 34th edition of the run.
The biggest difference is this -- leave the backpack at home.
The changes are, in large part, thanks to security concerns over large events -- especially runs -- in the aftermath of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said there is no specific threat to the race or the city but that doesn't mean law enforcement and officials won't be ready. He already promised that security will be ramped up for the race not only on the course but also on SEPTA’s Broad Street Line -- a vital way to and from the race.
“Runners and spectators will, in fact, see a much more visible security presence on race day for the Broad Street Run to make sure that our runners and spectators are safe,” Nutter said.
The changes will actually be evident already Friday and Saturday when folks go to pick up their goodie bags the expo at Lincoln Financial Field. Gone are cloth bags -- in their place will be clear plastic bags that must be used by any racers planning on checking their stuff before Sunday’s race.
Once Sunday comes around, no one will be allowed to bring bags, backpacks and/or coolers into the Navy Yard, according to organizers.
Also in preparation for the race, organizers are urging runners and spectators alike to sign up for emergency texts by going to readynotifypa.org. If something goes wrong on race day, organizers will use this system to alert the public. This year there will also be a series of evacuation shelters set up at different high schools along the course.
But an emergency plan is only part of how the city, police and organizers plan to keep people safe Sunday.
Organizers showed off the SENTRY mobile surveillance platform today. The surveillance equipment -- provided through a private-public partnership following the Boston bombings –will be placed at strategic locations throughout the course to provide real-time surveillance during the race.
Despite the fear caused by the marathon bombings, most runners NBC10.com has heard from say they still plan on running Sunday.