Boston Marathon Spectator Information

Safety and security information for the 2021 Boston Marathon

Table of Contents


Aerial view of Marathon starting line

Spectators attending this year’s Boston Marathon are being asked for their cooperation in following reasonable and common sense guidelines that will help ensure the safety and security of participants, volunteers and spectators.
Spectators intending on watching the Boston Marathon from anywhere along the 26.2 mile course should expect a significant presence of uniformed and plain clothed police officers.

Spectators entering official B.A.A. event venues, approaching viewing areas on the course, or in viewing areas on the course, may be asked to pass through security checkpoints, and law enforcement officers or contracted private security personnel may ask to inspect bags and other items being carried.

See Something, Say Something

The B.A.A. and all public safety agencies supporting the Boston Marathon encourage the public to actively participate in the See Something Say Something campaign. Spectators are asked to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious conduct or items to the closest law enforcement officer or by calling 9-1-1. 

If you see something, say something. Report suspicious activity. Call 9-1-1 or your local police department.

Spectator Guidelines

Spectators along the course, or within any official B.A.A. venue are discouraged from possessing any of the items listed below. Possession of any of these items may result in delays when passing through security checkpoints and enhanced screening. 

Please do not carry any of these items: bags, coolers, suitcases, packages, large blankets, weapons, certain containers, fireworks, costumes, props.
  • Weapons or items of any kind that may be used as weapons, including firearms, knives, mace, etc.
  • Backpacks or any similar item carried over the shoulder.
  • Suitcases and rolling bags/rollers.
  • Coolers.
  • Glass containers or cans.
  • Flammable liquids, fuels, fireworks or explosives.
  • Any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid.
  • Handbags or packages or bulky items larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches.
  • Large blankets/comforters, duvets, sleeping bags.
  • Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body.
  • Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire gear).

No Drone Zone

Going to the Boston Marathon? Leave your drone at home.

Public safety officials are asking the public to assist in creating a No-Drone Zone along the entire course of the Boston Marathon. The use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) anywhere in the area of the course, including above runners and spectators, is strongly discouraged.

More Information from the Boston Athletic Association

Additional spectator information, including athlete alerts, course information, start times, TV viewing, and parking, can be found on the Boston Athletic Association website:

Date published: March 27, 2019

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