BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Security continues to increase in Boston as the city prepares for its first marathon since last year’s bombings. Thirty-six thousand people are expected to run in the race on Monday and a group of runners is already pounding the pavement to raise money for survivors.

Meghan McCorkell has more on their story.

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Boston police say they plan to double the number of officers along the race route as organizers crack down on security.

Security is already tight around the route of the Boston Marathon. On Wednesday, 25-year-old Kayvon Edson was charged with possession of a hoax device after he brought a backpack with a rice cooker inside near the marathon finish line.

“He does need some assistance to stabilize himself mentally,” said defense attorney Shannon Lopez.

Race organizers are warning runners and spectators to leave all bags at home.

Last year’s bombings stopped many runners in their tracks.

“We know that 5,600 weren’t able to finish and of those, 5,000 decided to sign up again. That’s a strong, strong statement,” said Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray.

As Boston prepares for Marathon Monday, a group of runners is already headed there–one step at a time. The Run Now Relay passed through Baltimore Wednesday night.

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“It’s been a very emotional journey, as you can imagine,” said runner Vanessa Torrence.

Twenty-six runners are participating in a round-the-clock relay. They started in Cleveland, Tenn. five days ago and will arrive in Boston on Saturday–a 1,075 mile journey. All of it is to raise money for Boston charities.

“We have drivers that will stop in the middle of the road and give us donations,” said Madison Torrence.

The runners say the people of Boston are in their hearts.

“Every step, we think about what they’ve gone through and we’re happy that this year they’re able to go out and do it again,” said Tim Spires.

Sending the message that all of America is Boston strong.

That group has already raised nearly $60,000.

Four of the participants in the Run Now Relay will also run the Boston Marathon.

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