The 2013 Boston Marathon will not be forgotten by the city's residents or the community at large, and as organizers prepare for the 2014 race, some well-meaning participants are being left out.

As expected, a higher level of security will permeate all aspects of this year's race. CNN reported that the Boston Athletic Association has already banned backpacks, handbags, suitcases, large signs and unregistered runners from areas in or around the race course. The event is expected to draw double the amount of spectators and has already capped out entrants at 36,000 – a full 9,000 more runners than the 2013 event.

However, due to the restrictions on large bags and unregistered participants, a military group known as Tough Ruck that walks the 26.2-mile course with fully loaded military backpacks in memory of fallen soldiers will not be allowed to run the 2014 Boston Marathon.

Tough luck
According to, Tough Ruck founder Stephen Fiola found himself in an unusual situation when the heightened security measures were announced by the BAA. Fiola was at the finish line when the explosions occurred in 2013 and helped runners to medical tents.

"My first reaction was of course disappointment, but I understand that there are safety and security concerns," Fiola told "We knew that there were concerns, but we did not know that a policy was going to come out prior to the BAA announcement."

Fiola, a current National Guardsman, said that just like the participants and spectators of the 2014 marathon, prospective Ruckers skyrocketed as well. No more than 30 soldiers and others looking to give back during life after service signed up to walk the course last year, but Fiola had already received 746 applications from servicemembers interested in the race this spring.

Sneaking into the race
Because soldiers in Tough Ruck do not officially register to run the Boston Marathon, they are part of a much longer tradition of "bandit runners," or participants who race without official measurements of their time. Bandit runners have always been part of the popular event that draws an increased number of registrants every year, and their amateur spirit has kept stringent attempts to prohibit them from the course off their backs.

Fiola and his fellow Tough Ruck members do not plan on fighting the BAA's restrictions. Instead, they have already scheduled to hike 26.2 miles of the Minuteman Trail that runs through the Greater Boston Area.

Fiola told that for the fallen soldiers they honor, where Tough Ruck marches is less important than that they march at all.