Security tightened for this year's Mini-Marathon

INDIANAPOLIS - Runners will have more than potholes to look out for this year as Mini-Marathon organizers ramp up security for the event.

Chief of Homeland Security Gary Coons says runners and spectators can expect to see all the same security measures they saw at last year's mini marathon - plus more.

"All we want to do is just make sure everyone's safe and have a good time," Coons said.

Agencies ranging from Indianapolis Fire, EMS and police to the Indiana National Guard, and even the FBI, will all play a part in keeping the tens of thousands of participants safe.

Organizers said explosive sniffing K-9 units and extra bomb technicians will be deployed along the entire route.

"And we have cameras in the park now. So we pretty much have our eyes and ears open," Coons said. "We just want people to have a good time. And if they see something to tell us and let us make sure it's okay."

Coons said he'd "rather be safe than sorry" when it comes to security.

"It's nothing to us to go check out a bag that's been left," he said. "We can get there, get it checked out quickly and move on."

The check-in for the event will be gated. And, just like last year, runners will not be allowed to carry in backpacks or any kind of bags.

Despite the security challenges of guarding a 13.1-mile route, local safety officials say they're ready.

"You know, it's a different world these days and people look to hurt people at large crowds and we just want to make sure we prevent that and let everyone have a good time," Coons said. "We don't want people to be scared to go to the event."

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