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Last Revised: FEBRUARY 22, 2023



The Seattle Marathon Association is a member of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and, as such, is required through its membership insurance to exclude entrants with bicycles, skateboards, roller skates or blades and animals (other than dogs on leash). iPods may be used, but are not encouraged by RRCA or the Seattle Marathon Association. For safety reasons, if a course official asks you to remove your listening device, please do so. Entrants choosing to violate these safety conditions pose a danger to all participants. Persons found in violation of these safety rules will be disqualified and removed from the course.

Note: Dogs are not allowed at The Seattle Marathon and the Seattle Kids Marathon. However, the Seattle Marathon Summer Event at Seward Park is a dog-friendly event.


Provided by our Official Medical Coverage Sponsor, UW Medicine. If medical assistance is required on the race course, contact one of the orange-capped radio operators, who will be able to summon emergency assistance or van transportation if required. If you drop out, please notify an aid station attendant, radio operator or anyone inside the information booth in the Victory Recovery Area so the information can be relayed to the event support staff.


As with most sports, running a road race involves a number of inherent risks, including but not limited to tripping and falling, contact with other participants or spectators, the effects of weather, traffic, and road conditions. Because our event courses are run on roads, streets, and trails, there are posts and possible potholes at these intersections. Additionally, there may be other foot and bicycle traffic on the course. All participants need to be prepared to avoid obstacles and traffic. In submitting your entry, you are acknowledging your awareness and assumption of all risks associated with your participation. You are certifying that you are medically and physically fit to compete in this event safely.


The Marathon & Half Marathon event routes will be opened to vehicle traffic at 2:30pm. You may still finish the race by obeying all normal traffic laws for pedestrians after the course is opened to vehicle traffic, however there will be limited on-course aid stations, Course Marshals and police support at that point. Finish Line staff and essential services will remain until every athlete has completed the event. 

The Summer Events and Seattle Kids Marathon courses will remain open until the last runner crosses the finish line.


The Seattle Marathon Association has always worked closely with the Seattle Police Department and Special Events committee to ensure the safety of our runners and spectators. 

The following measures have and will continue to be taken at every Seattle Marathon Association event:

  • Police and medic units stationed at start and finish line, as well as along the race course

  • No spectators allowed in the immediate finish line area

  • Runners are not permitted to linger or wait for another runner in the finish line area

  • Designated area for spectators to view the finish line from outside the fenced corral

  • Only runners, Race Officials and medical personnel will be allowed within the start and finish corrals

  • Bomb-sniffing dogs, uniformed national guardsmen, more thorough bag searches

  • Additional police security at Expo, start, finish and post-race recovery area

  • Additional patrolling on the race course

  • We request that runners and spectators remain alert and report abandoned bags or backpacks to race officials

  • Requiring members of the press to present Photo ID AND pre-arranged Seattle Marathon credentials before access to restricted areas, in addition to their bags and equipment being subject to inspection

  • Participants, spectators and volunteers subject to random and/or mandatory bag checks during Expo and race day

  • Items left at the start or finish line will be discarded

  • Strongly encouraging that spectators not bring backpacks


The Seattle Marathon Association is urging citizens (both runners and spectators) to watch for suspicious behavior, including unattended packages, backpacks, etc and report such activity to Race Officials.



May 28, 2013

Below are excerpts from a letter we received from the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development detailing steps that the Seattle Marathon Association and the City of Seattle are taking to ensure the continuing safety of our events.

City of Seattle

Office of Economic Development


Seattle Event Organizers:

Following the Boston Marathon attacks, the focus of the Seattle Special Events Committee and event organizers turns to how to prevent something similar from ever happening in Seattle. Our sincere concern and sympathies are with everyone impacted by the senseless acts in Boston. Unfortunately, we live in a new world where we must think differently, plan differently, and take proactive steps to protect against all possibilities to the best of our abilities, in an attempt to ensure that the events are safe for those attending.

While we can’t always prevent tragedies that put people in danger, what we can do is take all steps to be prepared in advance and to be able to respond to emergencies, whether they are caused by natural disasters or by the work of people who seek to cause harm. Event organizer messaging to staff and attendees needs to be “Be proactive, be prepared. If you see something, say something.” Any suspicious activity observed or perceived should be reported immediately to on site authorities and to 911.

Through the Special Event Committee process, City, County, and State departments and agencies review every Seattle Special Event request. With increased focus on safety and security, we will be doing the following activities to assist event organizers:

Seattle Police Department (SPD): SPD is sending canine and military bomb squads, and has increased the number of uniformed officers, at public events including stadium games and larger events on public property. SPD continues to review events on a case by case basis and will provide increased staffing as necessary and as funding allows.

Seattle Fire Department (SFD): SFD will continue to have dedicated fire and EMS response resources at large events. Event safety, security, and crowd management planning must follow Seattle Fire Code (SFC) 403.3, which sets the training level and number of event staffing, and requires emergency management contingency plans. Medical response staffing and presence is determined upon review of the event and additional needs of the organizer.

Seattle Center: The Seattle Center has safety, security, and emergency management plans in place that will continue to be followed moving forward.

As a member of the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), the Special Events Office recommends that you work with event associations like IFEA, in addition to your direct discussions with Seattle Police and Fire, to learn more about current Federal policy and planning for events. We highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the Protective Measures Guide for the U.S. Outdoor Venues Industry, which IFEA worked together with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to produce in 2011.

In closing, I again want to reiterate that we will do everything reasonable to protect public safety, but we can’t do it alone. The best steps you can take against further tragedies is to make sure everyone is as educated and prepared as you can be for any possibility. Continue to work directly with agencies and resources available to you, ask early and often. Thank you for your own professional preparedness and for continuing to provide to each of your communities the positive and important events that you produce.

Emergency and safety planning links:

Seattle Police Department – Safety and Prevention

Office of Emergency Management – Preparedness

Office of Emergency Management – Emergency Resources

Fire Marshal, State of Maryland – Crowd Manager Training Program

International Code Council – Crowd Manager Training/ Fire Safety

The Examiner – How to Help in Times of Disaster Without Making it Worse

FEMA – Information on CERT’s (Community Emergency Response Teams)

IFEA – Protective Measures Guide for the U.S. Outdoor Venues Industry

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