NEW YORK (WABC) -- The NYPD stepped up its security measures to protect runners and spectators at this year's TCS New York City Marathon.
Police announced the enhanced security just after officials began painted the ceremony blue line that traces the 26.2 mile course across the city, ending in Central Park.
Michelle Charlesworth has more on the ceremonial blue line painting Wednesday.
Security was tight, as always, but it was fitting that the details were released on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Halloween terror rampage on the West Side Highway bike path. Eight people, mostly tourists enjoying a beautiful New York City day, were killed when they were moved down by a driver.
"It is an enormous undertaking to protect the entire route, but it is what the men and women do every day, and they will be up to the task," NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said. "We have worked closely since the last one, across the finish line last year, planning this event. Working hand in hand with the New York Road Runners club and other various agencies."
"This is a challenging event. You start in Staten Island, going over a bridge, going over a number of bridges," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. "But again, the streets leading to the route, making sure we are blocking everything off."
Measures included rooftop observation teams, sharpshooters, aviation units, heavy weapons teams along the route, and undercover officers mixed in with the crowd. The race also saw the return of 16-ton sanitation trucks filled with sand, which has become a staple in large-scale event security after similar attacks.
The trucks, along with "blocker cars," were positioned at key intersections to prevent anyone from driving onto the course. About 51,000 runners hit the streets, with a crowd of 2.5 million cheering them on.
"You will see heavy weapons teams from the counter-terrorism bureau on post, but there will also be mobile teams to respond to things that happen on the route or other locations," Deputy Commissioner John Miller said. "We will have radiation detection teams throughout the route. We will have our biological detection out. We will be screening the runners and their bags as they come in, that's part of a long established process we have been using for several years. Plainclothes people will be working with the crowds and behind those lines to see if anybody is acting in any kind of suspicious manner. These are lessons we picked up from the Boston Marathon case and other experiences."
City officials say everyone taking part in the race should feel safe.
Authorities say there is no information to indicate a specific credible threat to or associated with the marathon.