HOUSTON -

Runners and spectators headed to the Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday can expect to see new security checkpoints near the finish line.

The new checkpoints are part of a stepped-up security effort following the Boston Marathon bombing.

“Spectators -- if they are bringing strollers or if they are bringing backpacks or large purses of any kind -- they will be checked. We're asking, if possible, to leave your valuables and larger bags at home if you want to walk in without stopping,” said Wade Morehead, the Houston Marathon Committee's executive director.

Runners are discouraged from bringing any bags other than their race-issued gear check bags. Twenty-five thousand runners are registered to participate in the marathon. An additional 200,000 to 250,000 spectators are expected to line the route.