INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) - Organizers of competitive running events are facing competition themselves.
Running with the crowd has new meaning as more people get into the sport, allowing more chances to race to a finish line to pop up across central Indiana.
Mike Smith, co-owner of The Runner's Forum has worked 15 years in the running business and has witnessed a climb in the sport's popularity in the past four to five years.
"You could virtually race every weekend and both days of the weekend starting in April all the way through November," Smith said.
Organizers of the 500 Festival OneAmerica Mini-Marathon have faced the challenge of continuing to attract participants.
"We were kind of one of the only options for a while but the more people that get involved in running, the more people will actually want to run the mini someday. So, that's okay with us," 500 Festival communications manager Megan Bulla said.
The 37 th running of the mini-marathon sold out to 35,000 runners and walkers on March 31 , later than in years past.
For seven years in a row, the race sold out in November and December. That streak was broken during registration for the 2012 event when it took until January 27 to fill the field.
Organizers weren't concerned about selling out, according to Bulla. They take research and participant feedback seriously to keep runners coming back year after year.
"We just always try to watch other races and make sure that we're staying ahead of the curve," she said. "We want to be the best running event that there is out there."
The 500 Festival OneAmerica Mini-Marathon takes place May 4. Exclusive coverage of the race starts at 6 a.m. on WISH-TV.
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IMPD officials say a 3-year-old boy has died after he was shot in the head Saturday evening.
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