INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The countdown began Thursday for the 40,000 people that will take to downtown for the 13.1 mile journey during the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.
The race starts on Saturday morning, but the work began on Thursday at the expo where the runners have to pick up their official running gear.
There are 4,000 volunteers that have stuffed promotional bags and unpacked countless boxes. More than 80 vendors spent 13 hours for two straight days preparing for the rush of people that will be inside the Indiana Convention Center.
“We spend the entire year planning for the mini. As soon as it is over on Saturday, we start planning for next year. We order shirts and medals months in advance. We also get a head start assigning volunteers to their task,” said Kim Gale with the 500 Festival.
“We drove in from Atlanta. It takes a lot of work to prepare for the expo. We have to make sure the tables are neatly arranged and look presentable. We also have to put all of the merchandise on shelves,” said Larry Venter with Event Show Pro Exhibit House.
There are a few changes that will take place this year according to the organizers to help ensure safety. Expect to see more volunteers at rest stations who will help pass out water and snacks. There will also be more stop stations along the way.
The 500 Festival is also hosting a big event for children called ‘The Rookie Run’ on May 9 in downtown Indianapolis.
For more information on the 500 Festival festivities, click here.