INDIANAPOLIS – Some new rules and extra security measures will be in place for today’s 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis, changers that organizers say are in response to concerns raised since the Boston Marathon bombings.
The expected 35,000 runners and walkers have been told not to have backpacks or duffel bags and to bring personal items only in the white plastic bags they received at their registration pickup in the days before the race.
Festival spokeswoman Megan Bulla said that runners’ bib numbers will be watched more closely to make sure they are in the correct areas before the race begins.
Many of the security changes aren’t drastic, but prudent, said Gary Coons, chief of the Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security. The 13.1-mile route goes from the city’s downtown to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a lap around its oval and then back downtown.
Officials will have some additional bomb-sniffing dogs, cameras and police officers – in uniforms and in plain clothes – involved with security measures before and during the race, Coons said.
Additional security cameras will be monitored throughout the race, meaning a bag left unattended or someone acting suspiciously could be seen and cause action to be taken. Coons said the event is as safe as it can be.