500 Festival Mini-Marathon draws thousands to Indy's downtown

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More than 30,000 people are hitting the streets of downtown Indianapolis Saturday to run 13.1 miles. It's the biggest run of its kind in the country. The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon will officially kick off the month of May and the countdown to the Indy 500.

The race is 95% full, meaning there are still spots open. About 2,000 spots are available if you still want to be a part of this exciting event. It marks the first time in 12 years that the Mini has not sold out.

The Mini Marathon winds through downtown neighborhoods on the city's west side to the highlight of the event, a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway along the track and across the bricks before heading back downtown to the finish line.

The thousands of participants who will run Saturday have been training for months, including Kelli Turner. But she's not running alone. She's lending her legs to her friend, Connie Roney. Connie has MS and Kelli will be her borrowed legs for the run. Their running partnership started a few years ago when Kelli invited Connie to /watch/ her at a race. Now, she's riding along as Connie pushes her in this special stroller.

"They don't make me feel like I've got a disability. They make me feel like I'm participating," said Roney.

"I can't even explain the feeling of being able to share that and help someone else experience that electricity and that energy," said Turner.

This is just one of many inspiring stories connected to Saturday's run and you can see them during our special coverage on Weekend Sunrise starting at 6:00 am.

If you still want to register, you can go to the expo at the Indiana Convention Center from 10am-9pm Friday. The fee is $75. All of the money raised through this run goes back into the Festival 500, a non-profit organization and helps them put on the many free events they do like the Kids Day next Saturday at Monument Circle and the Indy 500 education programs they do in the area schools in the fourth grade classrooms.

Get course info, track results and see road closures.

Some lane closures and lane restrictions have already started taking place, and more are anticipated after 12:00 AM. IMPD would like to remind motorists not to drive around or remove barricades. Moving or driving around barricades is a violation of city code and is enforceable by a monetary fine.

Timeline for closures for the Mini Marathon:

Thursday: 7pm Security in Military Park

Friday: 8am North and South curb lanes on New York Street restricted between University Blvd. and West

6pm New York closed between University and West St.

Saturday: 1am West St. closed northbound from Ohio to Vermont

3am Washington Illinois to Schumacher

Capitol & Senate, Ohio to Maryland

Missouri, ½ block south of Washington

Ohio and Robert Orr Plaza from Senate to West

New York, West to Senate

6:15am Washington St. from Schumacher to White River Parkway W. Dr.

7am 5K Run Starts Route closed

7:30am Mini Begins

Police would like to remind those bringing a vehicle downtown of a few safety tips to prevent would-be thieves.

· Lock all doors

· Roll up all windows

· Enable car security alarms

· Remove all valuables from easily seen areas (preferably trunk)

· Record serial numbers of expensive electronics, i.e. laptops and GPS devices

· Be aware and travel in pairs in well light areas

If you see suspicious activity, please call the IMPD by dialing 911. For non-emergencies, please call the non-emergency police number of (317) 327- 3282.