TROY, N.Y. – Close to 8,000 people are expected to be at this year's 66th annual Troy Turkey Trot, but this year there are big changes for runners and spectators following increased security measures.
People can expect the Trot to look and feel a little different this year, after a list will be given out to runners with specific instructions about bags and clothing rules.
“We're getting the word out because this year will be a challenge to everyone,” said Troy Police Captain John Cooney. “It's new rules for all the right reasons.”
For Troy Police, the tragedy of the Boston Marathon Bombings served as a lesson in security as officers met with the NYPD Counter-Terrorism Bureau in New York City on Monday.
Troy Police have taken extra steps to implement new security measures at this year's Troy Turkey Trot.
“Some of the information that they gave to us on our trip was extremely useful and actually caused us to reexamine our plan, make some last minute changes,” said Cooney.
Cooney says the annual road race has gone on under less than stringent security measures in the past, and that the new changes will be a challenge for runners and police.
Some of the new rules include restrictions stating no backpacks will be allowed, no costumes covering the face can be worn, and runners must check in their items at the ‘baggage check'. Costumes also shouldn't be bulky and all items inside a bag must be inside a clear plastic bag. No headphones will even be allowed which is something runner Nicole Maresca is disappointed about.
“Yeah, they say you can't use headphones right. I like my headphones. I was going to try to sneak them in. I guess I'll probably get in trouble for that.”
Also, spectators will not be allowed on the sidewalks adjacent to the starting line of 4th Street.
Event Director for the Turkey Trot, George Regan said “We've got great viewing areas for them in front of the start line on 4th Street adjacent to the Uncle Sam parking garage.”
Captain John Cooney says no cars will be allowed on the route and K-9 units will be patrolling as well as undercover officers. Runners will have to go through multiple security check points and Cooney says it could delay the race start time. However, most runners say they are ok with the changes.
Runner Victor Jacobsen said, “It's looking out for the people and looking out for the best interest.”
With these new rules it's best to bring less this year, the event will store items with your race number but they are not responsible if anything happens to those items.