Despite tragedy and setbacks, runners gear up for NYC Marathon

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) – The ING New York City Marathon kicks off early Sunday morning and roughly 48 thousand runners are gearing up for the big race.

The marathon was cancelled last year due to Sandy and according to the NYPD, this year security will be enhanced following the Boston Marathon bombing.

PIX11 met one runner who spent a harrowing day at Los Angeles International Airport Friday. Robert Perez was in Terminal 3 when a gunman opened fire and killed a TSA officer. Perez was terrified. His flight was cancelled. But he made it onto an overnight flight and arrived in New York  just in time to register Saturday.

“A lot of friends on Facebook posted; put that energy into the marathon, use it in a positive and that’s the way I’ll do it,” Perez said.

Saturday night many of the runners loaded up on pasta, chicken and bread steps from the finish line.  “Carbs! It’s all I care about right now,” one runner joked.

Because of tighter security spectators are not allowed to bring strollers and are urged not to bring large bags. Police said there will be bag checks at various viewing spots. According to officials there are also different rules for runners this year. They are not allowed to wear hydration backpacks or certain costumes.

Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners Club, said they’ve worked with the NYPD to make sure people are safe.

“It was already strong, it was enhanced this year. And we are very much looking forward to a great day. ” Wittenberg said.