- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Some active-duty military personnel who want to road march along the course of the Boston Marathon this year are out of luck due to security guidelines put in place after the 2013 bombing. The tragedy killed three and injured more than 260 at the finish line.

The Boston Athletic Association announced last week that unregistered ruck marchers will not be allowed to complete the 26.2-mile course for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon on April 21, Runner’s World reported.


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A B.A.A spokesperson who spoke with The Washington Times said that it was working with the National Guard to allow 130 registered participants to do so. The spokesman said that unregistered ruck marchers were not allowed this year in part due to an increase in the number of runners who will be on the course.

“My first reaction was of course disappointment, but I understand that there are safety and security concerns, National Guardsman and Tough Ruck founder Stephen Fiola told the magazine. “We knew that there were concerns, but we did not know that a policy was going to come out prior to the B.A.A. announcement. … The message is supporting our fallen brothers and sisters. … It’s not about raising money; it certainly isn’t about the Boston Marathon itself.”


In the wake of the 2013 attack, Mr. Fiola and members of Tough Ruck tended to the wounded. One such volunteer, Carlos Arredondo, was even credited with saving the life of Jeff Bauman, who wound up identifying alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

This year, because of the change in policy, Tough Ruck will hold its event two days before the Boston Marathon at a different location — the Minuteman Historical National Park, Runner’s World reported.

When registration for Tough Ruck closed on January 31, 746 registrants from 29 states were signed up to participate in this year’s efforts to honor fallen servicemen, Runner’s World reported.

“The marathon is a marathon. It’s not a military event, I understand that,” Mr. Fiola told the magazine. “But, there are ways we could have all worked through this. We could have all communicated.”