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Mini-Marathon, Speedway review security after Boston blasts

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The Indianapolis 500 and 500 Festival Mini-Marathon will review security procedures for their events after two explosions Monday ripped through Boston Marathon runners and spectators, officials said.

The 13.1-mile mini-marathon scheduled for May 4 attracts 35,000 runners from across the world and thousands of spectators, three weeks before the Indianapolis 500 will draw more than 200,000 fans carrying coolers and other belongings into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Indianapolis Metro police and the city's Department of Homeland Security already had in place a plan for the mini-marathon that includes sweeping cars and areas with explosive-detecting dogs.

Public Safety Director Troy Riggs said Indianapolis would learn from Boston about what precautions worked and what did not.

"If we see that we have any weaknesses in our plan. We will make changes. I'm certain we will make some kid of changes because of heightened security and because this is in such close proximity to our events in the city," Riggs said.

The Boston blasts killed at least three people and injured more than 100 others.

About 280 runners from Indiana were registered to compete in the Boston Marathon.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security said Indiana residents having trouble contacting family in Boston can call 617-635-4500. The agency urged people not to call the number unless there was trouble making contact.

Megan Bulla, spokeswoman for the 500 Festival and the mini-marathon, said organizers there also were monitoring events in Boston.

"We will definitely be on heightened awareness giving what's going on," she said.

The Indiana Pacers released a statement saying everyone in the team's travel party was accounted for. The team was in Boston for a game scheduled that was scheduled for Tuesday, but the NBA canceled the game.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway regularly reviews security with local law enforcement agencies, spokesman Doug Boles said.

"I guess this will bring a new topic or dialogue to those discussions to see if there's anything more we need to do to prepare with respect to what's happened in Boston. And we will learn more about that over the next couple of days, as the folks in Boston do, and we will be prepared for that," Boles said.

Todd Oliver, race director for the Carmel Marathon scheduled for next Saturday, heard the explosions after finishing the Boston Marathon.

"Within two minutes, the police and volunteers were screaming to clear the streets. That's when all the ambulances started passing by to go to the finish line," Oliver told The Indianapolis Star from his hotel room near the explosion site.

He said the explosions would not affect the Carmel race.

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  • Old Guard
    Maybe IMS should rethink the releasing of many experienced safety patrol workers a few years ago they so abruptly dismissed, many of who had 20-30 years of love and experience for IMS. I say love because if you know what they were paid you would definitely know they were doing this for the community and not the money.

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