Marine Corps Marathon bans hydration packs, cites safety concerns
Planning on running the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 27? Better leave your hydration pack at home.
In the wake of the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon, participants and spectators attending this year’s Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., will be prohibited from carrying hydration packs and vests. Officials denied a direct tie to the Boston Marathon bombing, saying the decision was reached in the interest of basic safety and after conferring with local law enforcement.
“For marathoners, 10K participants and spectators, the following items are prohibited from entering any MCM event location: hydration vests and backpacks like CamelBaks; glass containers; masks; and flammable liquids,” organizers say on the official website.
Runners will still be able to carry fluids, just not in backpacks.
“They’re still welcome to bring fuel belts and water bottles and other nutritional items that they want, we’re just encouraging them to use everything that the Marine Corps Marathon provides on the course,” said Tami Faram, MCM public relations coordinator.
This year’s course will have 12 water points and four food stations, Faram said.
“No backpacks? This is a recipe for disaster – If 1/3rd of your participants are first timers, they need hydration. Are you telling me that I have to re-design my entire hydration strategy one month before the race?! Bad call, MCM. Bad call,” one person wrote today on the MCM Facebook page.
The notice was posted Sept. 20 on the Marine Corps Marathon website, and a reminder will go out to runners in an email newsletter this week, Faram said.
“We’re hoping that runners are seeing the messaging on the website and in the newsletter. It’s been said that maybe we buried the message, but we did not because we’re getting runners to reply to us on Facebook and on our website and they’re calling. So if they’re not seeing it they wouldn’t be responding.”
Does this change affect your race plan? Let us know in the comments.