Mini-marathon participants embrace security changes

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– What happened in Boston will certainly be on their minds, but thousands of runners won’t let it stop them from participating in the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis this weekend.

Still, April’s deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon does mean some security changes for the mini-marathon, including a “See Something, Say Something” tip line where people can report suspicious activity.

The biggest change is that anyone who goes to watch the race can’t bring or wear backpacks or duffle bags to the event. Security also has the right to search any bags on race day. Only participating runners will be allowed at the starting line.

Organizers say no backpacks or other items should be left unattended. Security personnel will remove any such bags.

“Most importantly, it eases the mind of the participants,” said mini-marathon participant Todd Oliver, who ran in the Boston Marathon and also serves as race director for the Carmel Marathon.

“Now there’s just this added reason to finish, not about performance, but just to finish, to show support to everybody that’s been affected all over the country, and all over the world, with what happened in Boston,” said Oliver.

“I really hope that what happened a couple weeks ago doesn’t affect how people are living now,” said mini-marathon participant Matt Luce, who also ran at Boston. “I hope that people just go out there and try to enjoy this weekend.”

Race officials are also asking people who go to the race to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. They’ve set up a “See Something, Say Something” tip line at 1-877-226-1026, where people can alert authorities to anything out of the ordinary.

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