Indianapolis (WISH) - The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is making a push to step up security at Saturday's race.
The runner's bag is nothing new if you've participated in the mini-marathon before. What is new is the bag or something like it will be the only thing allowed at the race.
"A lot of things are going on behind the scenes and they are different," said 500 Festival Spokesperson Megan Bulla.
On the heels of the Boston Marathon Bombings, 500 Festival Mini-Marthon officials are taking a pro-active approach to make sure spectators and participants are safe. Some changes you will see, some you won't.
"There are a lot of things, behind the scenes, a big increase in security personnel and even plain clothes officers and dogs and things like that that you won't even notice," Bulla said.
Bulla said this year participants are being asked not to bring backpacks and duffel bags to the race. Instead, smaller bags will be allowed.
"It just takes a lot of suspicion out of things; they are white plastic bags, you can't fit that much in it besides clothes and a few items. Cell phone, keys, things like that," Bulla said.
Bulla said they have been working closely with the Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security, Police and Fire Departments.
"They all came together and helped write our plan and we obviously reviewed it in light of what happened in Boston," she said.
And that plan includes National Guard members positioned outside each one of the corrals.
Bulla said they will be looking for bib numbers to make sure runners are also in the right place.
"We've been a little more lenient about that in the past, hanging out with their friends before the race; if you don't have bib and you are not in the right area you won't be allowed in," Bulla said.
The Dept. of Public Safety said everyone can help make this a safe race by keeping their eyes open.
"What we are asking our community and the people attending, people there to have fun is if you see something say something," said Chief Gary Coons.
The Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security also told 24-Hour News 8's Daniel Miller that several mobile cameras will be positioned downtown for the race.
Police said if you do see something suspicious, say Something. You're asked to report it by alerting an officer nearby by or on the tip line at 877-226-1026.
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