Please leave your (…) at home

20 Apr



The Boston Marathon is tomorrow, and I’m glad the Mutha Nature is providing a wonderful New England spring day for the runners.   There is nothing to shovel!  Hurray!  I’m hoping that after tomorrow, after the marathon, we will no longer be subject to the endless stories about the bombing.  Every newscast for the past several weeks has been either about someone affected by the bombing, or the missing Malaysian flight.  Most of the stories about the bombing victims have been told, and it seems that the media is being disingenuous by re-telling these same stories for ratings.  This gratuitous reporting is sucking the joy out of the event for some runners, and us spectators.

Tomorrow, my friends and family will be cheering at Mile 6 for our peeps that will be running in the marathon.  In years past, we usually bring allotta shrapnel (chairs, beverages, snacks, noisemakers etc..) with us since we are in our spot for a few hours.  Not this year.

The Boston Athletic Association, along with local law enforcement have asked us to leave most items at home.  In addition to the extra 9,000 runners this year, they are expecting almost a million spectators cheering along the 26-mile route.  Security has been fortified, and every media outlet is highlighting what you should not bring the to the curbside viewing party:


Weapons? Really?  Who is the idiot that needs to be told to leave their weapons at home?

Enforcement?  Perhaps some of the 3,500 police officers will be tasked with confiscation.  I would hope that there time is better spent on other security than taking away the toys from the crowds along the route.   I wonder if they will consider my vuvuzela a weapon?  vuvu

What kind of messaging do you need to keep your guests safe? When I was a walkathon manager, we were careful about what to say to our participants, so as to not offend or deter them from showing up (with their donations!)   We would use a phrase on our collateral with hopes of getting the message across:  “For the safety of our walkers, please leave your pets, bikes and roller blades at home.”  Why did we have to do this? Because there were episodes that required a visit from our insurance company to take a statement regarding a claimant.  Once upon a time, we had walkers that were run over by a bike and a roller-blader and one walker tripped over a dog leash.  She broke her hip and we (insurance) paid her medical.

While I understand the need to idiot-proof the messaging to the marathon viewers, I would not want to over-do-it so my guests decide that they do not want to attend at all.

bag check

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Association (MEMA) has published a statement regarding the spectators.  They want us to carry our items in clear plastic bags.   This policy reminds me of how (people I know) would carry vodka inside of plastic water bottles since actual bottles of alcohol were prohibited.  The old English proverb of “Where there is a will, there is a way” comes to mind.  If some Jackhole want to be disruptive or destructive at a large event – they will figure it out.   Surveillance cameras are everywhere and the entire route has technological eyes on it.   Good luck being anonymous.

Best of luck to the runners tomorrow, and pray that my kids are not witness to Mommy being detained for a vuvuzela.




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