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Mini-Marathon organizers on heightened alert after explosions in Boston

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INDIANAPOLIS – Officials in central Indiana are on alert and taking precautions to make sure nothing like what happened in Boston Monday happens here during some of our high-profile events.

Nearly 40,000 runners are set to take their marks at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 4. Race organizers expect about 90,000 people to take part in its post-race party.

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is scheduled for April 20 starting at Military Park. Officials are also preparing for big events like the Indianapolis 500 in May.

“These attacks today were not just attacks against Boston. It’s an attack on everybody who calls America their home.” said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs. “Right now, everything we’re doing will be behind the scenes. We think that we can have safe secure events.”

Riggs said there is no direct threat to the Circle City, but federal officials will watch as details unfold in the Boston Marathon explosions and make slight changes to their strategy.

“I can tell you so often with these cases, the preliminary information is wrong. It’s going to take us a few days to figure out what really occurred,” said Riggs.

Race organizers said situations, whether it be weather-related, or terrorist attacks like Monday’s chaotic scene, are already built into their security plan.

“The first thing that came to mind was how quickly the emergency responders reacted,” said Megan Bulla, communications director for the 500 Festival. “We’re definitely learning as they are in real time.”

While they can’t go into specifics, officials want to assure runners they have enough resources to staff law enforcement and volunteers throughout the entire path of the race. They are hoping everybody will keep their eyes and ears open during and especially before spring and summer events.

“I refuse as a citizen to let some terrorist dictate me living in fear,” said Riggs. “No police officer or firefighter or emergency personnel is going to be irritated with the citizens if they see something unusual.”