US shutdown threatens New York marathon staging area

If the US government's partial shutdown persists, the organizers of the New York City Marathon said Friday that they may be forced to find an alternative staging area.

But the organizers insisted the event, which was canceled at 48 hours' notice due to Superstorm Sandy last year, would go ahead on November 3.

"Regardless of the federal government's status on race day, the marathon will proceed," the New York Road Runners said in a statement.

The group said the starting point, the Verrazano Bridge on Staten Island, would not change, but contingency plans were being made for an alternative area where the runners would gather before the start.

It said the plans were being made so that any continued shutdown "would not significantly impact the race."

The gathering point would ordinarily be Fort Wadsworth, which as part of the national parks system is currently closed due to the US government shutdown.

Around 45,000 runners are expected to take part in this year's race.

Security will be tight after double bombings at the Boston Marathon killed three people and wounded more than 260 others on April 15.

Two brothers of Chechen background planted pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line.

One was killed during a shootout with police and the other -- who has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts, 17 of which are punishable by death -- was later arrested.