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2018 Long Island Marathon Slated to Have Massive Security Efforts by NCPD; Canine Patrols, Road Closures, Bag Checks

LongIsland.com

This weekend’s event will feature thousands of participants, and very strict safety measures have been put into place by authorities.

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Photo by: maxmann

Long Island, NY - May 3, 2018 - For 46 years, the Long Island Marathon Weekend has attracted some of the best runners from the Tri-State area to pound the pavement in a variety of endurance events sure to test the meddle of even the most seasoned athlete. 
 
The 2018 event will run this weekend from May 4 to May 6 and typically attracts an average of 5,000 participants – and usually just as many spectators – in various contests encompassing all skill levels including a 1 Mile Run, a Kids Fun Run, a 5K race, 10K race, Half-Marathon, and, of course, the full Long Island Marathon itself. There’s also a Fitness Expo at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale on Friday that officially kicks off the weekend's festivities.
 
The Long Island Marathon – an annual tradition held since the 1970’s – is a grueling 26-mile contest taking place on Sunday morning; start-time is at 8 a.m. on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in Uniondale and ends in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, with the race considered by many to be the region’s premiere competitive running event each year. 
 
However, in light of the recent tragic terror events seeming featured every day in the news, this year’s Long Island Marathon Weekend is boasting tighter security than ever before; despite no currently-known credible threats having been made against the event, Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Patrick Ryder noted at a press conference on Wednesday that multiple law enforcement agencies will be strictly enforcing a number of protocols in the name of keeping both participants and spectators safe.
 
“We will have a large contingent that is out there from the Bureau of Special Operations’ SWAT Team, Homeland Security, K-9, Arson Bomb and Emergency Services,” he said. “Canines will be patrolling both at the start and finish lines and throughout the park during the day. Only registered participants will be permitted into the Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 10K starting areas. Nobody from the outside will be allowed in there.” 
 
Ryder also said that any bags brought to the event this weekend will face extremely high levels of scrutiny.
 
“All bags and backpacks are subject to search by our canines and our Homeland Security members. Participants must come with a clear plastic bag…any bag that is not clear will not be permitted into the starting area,” he said. “Those items will then be removed and taken to the Finish Line well where you'll pick them up, but again, they must be in a clear plastic bag.”
 
As for onlookers, they will not be allowed to bring bags of any kind to the Finish Line area in Eisenhower Park, and any unattended bags, boxes, or packages that are discovered will be immediately destroyed and thrown away.
 
However, the greatest attention will be paid to vehicles and roads, with authorities set to scrutinize every little detail, Ryder said; all cars must be pre-approved and traffic will be an issue due to the fact that an intricate series of road closures will be put in place to keep civilian traffic at bay in order to make way for the various race routes this weekend.
 
“All vehicles at the Starting Line and the Finish Line must be credentialed by the Parks Department. You will not be permitted into those areas if you are not credentialed. Participants should arrive early... there’s going to be a massive amount of traffic and road closures that are going to be happening,” he said. “We have media advisories going out with all of the road closures for those who are going to be in or about the park. The Park itself will be open...the restaurant is open, the golf course is open, and the picnic areas are open. If you're going to be arriving in the park, be prepared from any road closures in the area and heavy traffic.”
 
All of these procedures are simply in the name of safety, Ryder said; with the thoughts of the infamous Boston Marathon Bombing still fresh in people’s heads – as well as other terror attacks that have been carried out throughout recent years – a minor bit of inconvenience is worth making sure that everyone that attends the 2018 Long Island Marathon Weekend comes home safe and sound.
 
“This is what we do every year, and we do it very well,” he said. “We use the proper amount of resources to make sure that the people in that race and our residents remain safe.”
 
Below is a full listing of all security measures and road closures for the 2018 Long Island Marathon Weekend, courtesy of the NCPD:
 
The 2018 Long Island Marathon will start on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in Uniondale, adjacent to the Nassau Coliseum at 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 6.
 
In an effort to promote public safety, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Patrick J. Ryder have announced the following security measures for marathon:
 
  • All vehicles at starting line and other staging areas must be credentialed and known in advance;
  • Large contingent of uniformed police officers assigned to detail;
  • Officers assigned from NCPD Emergency Services and other units with portable radiation detectors;
  • All bags and backpacks will be subject to K-9 explosive detection prior to going on the UPS trucks to the finish line. K-9's will be patrolling the general area;
  • Participants should arrive early due to modified road closures around the start and finish line areas and should plan to leave enough time for parking and travel to starting line - CLICK HERE for road closures;
  • Only registered participants will be permitted into the marathon, half marathon and 10K starting line area on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard on Sunday May 6;
  • Participants may only use clear bags at the baggage check. Clear bags will be provided by race officials at participant check-in;
  • Spectators may not bring bags into the finish line area in Eisenhower Park;
  • Any bags or packages found on the ground will be discarded or destroyed. Participants should not stash personal items along the race route;
  • Eisenhower Park finish line security at the spectator seating area includes: Modified Fencing and Jersey Walls around seating Entrance/Exit gateways and bags/backpacks are prohibited and/or will be searched;
  • Finish line festival area will include fencing and jersey walls to limit gateways for ingress and egress;
  • The staff and volunteer-only areas require vehicle credentials as well as individual credentials. Only previously credentialed individuals will be permitted in these areas;
  • Participants will have a relatively short walk to the starting lines of the Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K Race; there will be shuttle buses during race weekend; return shuttles from Eisenhower Park back to NCC parking after the Sunday races; and shuttle buses from the Westbury LIRR station to Mitchel Field for the Sports & Fitness Expo and to and from Start and Finish Areas on Sunday, May 6.
Road closures for 2018 Long Island Marathon
 
All road closures are ultimately decided by the Nassau County Police Department. Roads may be closed earlier, may remain closed longer, or may reopen sooner than the times posted here.
 
All times listed are approximate:
 
  • Charles Lindbergh Blvd - Closes at 5 a.m., reopens at 10 a.m. (Merrick Ave. to Earle Ovington Blvd.)
  • Charles Lindbergh Blvd. - Closes at 7 a.m., reopens at 10 a.m. (Except above)
  • Merrick Avenue - Closes at 7 a.m., reopens at 10 a.m. (North of Hempstead Turnpike)
  • Old Country Road - Closes at 7:40 a.m., reopens at 10 a.m. (Post Ave. to School Street)
  • School Street    - Closes at 7:40 a.m., reopens at 10 a.m. (Old Country Road to Railroad Ave.)
  • Salisbury Park Drive - Closes at 7:50 a.m., reopens at 2 p.m.
  • Railroad Avenue - Closes at 7:50 a.m., reopens at 10 a.m.
  • Post Avenue - Closes at 7:50 a.m., reopens at 10:30 a.m. (Railroad Ave. to Jericho Turnpike)
  • Jericho Turnpike (Eastbound only) - Closes at 7:50 a.m., reopens at 11 a.m. (Post Ave. to Brush Hollow Road). Westbound side of Jericho Turnpike will remain open throughout the day.
  • Brush Hollow Road - Closes at 7:50 a.m., reopens at 11:30 a.m. Brush Hollow Road, south of Wantagh Parkway, will remain open throughout the day.
  • Carman Avenue    - Closes at 7:50 a.m., reopens at 3 p.m. (Old Country Rd. to Nottingham Rd.)
  • Wantagh Parkway - Closes at 7 a.m., reopens at 3 p.m.
Other Closures:
 
  • Northern State Parkway exits to Post Ave. and Wantagh Parkway will be closed at 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • All exits and entrance ramps to and from Wantagh Parkway will be closed 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Meadowbrook Parkway exits and entrances to and from Charles Lindbergh Blvd. (Nassau Coliseum, Nassau Community College) and Eisenhower Park exits will be closed from 5 a.m. until 10 a.m.
  • Eisenhower Park's Park Blvd. will not allow through traffic between 7:15 a.m. and 10 a.m. The Hempstead Turnpike entrance to the park will be open throughout the day for golf and Carltun guests, with a northbound Park Blvd. turnaround at the golf course until 10 a.m.