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November 17, 2015

Nutter: Marathon security will remain stringent, but without new measures

Runners and spectators again must pass through security checkpoints near the Art Museum

Security procedures at the Philadelphia Marathon will remain as stringent as ever, but the city is not taking any added measures in the wake of the terroristic attacks in Paris last weekend.

"There is no known threat in the city of Philadelphia," Mayor Michael Nutter said Tuesday. "But we're always cautious. Just about everything that will happen this weekend would be happening anyway. But, again, I think the events of this past Friday, in my mind, cause us to reaffirm to the public that we're paying attention and we're taking this seriously."

All runners and spectators will be required to pass through security checkpoints to enter the Art Museum area, where Sunday's races will begin and end. All bags are subject to inspection. Runners are encouraged to report early.

Those measures were put into place after two extremists detonated a pair of homemade bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013. The blasts killed three people and injured more than 250 others.

Some 30,000 runners are expected to participate in the marathon and half marathon races, which take runners throughout Center City, West Philadelphia and Fairmount Park. The marathon extends along Kelly Drive and into Manayunk.

Both runners and spectators can enter the Art Museum area through checkpoints located along Kelly Drive and 18th, 20th, 22nd and 25th streets. Any runners checking a bag must store their belongings in a clear, plastic bag.

The marathon and half-marathon begin at 7 a.m.

"The bottom line here is as we always say — be safe, be calm, but be alert," Nutter said. "Other than that, come out and have a good time."