Safety precautions in place as thousands of runners expected for Saturday’s Carmel marathon

The Daily Reformer

CARMEL, Ind.- Thousands of runners will be in central Indiana for the Carmel Marathon this weekend.

“We are finally at race week after 2 years,” said Todd Oliver, Race Director of the Carmel Marathon.

The signs are already posted around the route, giving drivers a heads up about the Carmel Marathon this weekend.

“So far, so good, we’ve gotten everything organized and ready to go for Saturday,” said Oliver.

3,000 runners are expected to come out for the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and full marathon. Like so many other events last year, these races were canceled due to COVID.

“It was quite a few additional steps from all the planning perspectives and working with the local government in making sure that our COVID mitigation plan followed the CDC guidelines,” said Oliver.

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Three of the four races have reduced capacity. Runners must wear masks at the start and finish lines.  Even the volunteers are keeping their distance.

‘As opposed to volunteers handing out water, they’re only going to put cups on table and the runners are going to have to pick them up,” said Oliver.

Runners from 42 states will be in Carmel for the races.  It’s shaping up to be one of the top 50 marathons in the country, going into 2021.

“It’s been even more gratifying seeing it all come together on race week, that feeling of excitement and adrenaline,” said Oliver.

Earlier this month, the Indy Mini was canceled and more recently the 500 Festival announced the parade was called off too. Some runners are still hesitant about in-person races.

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“We’ve had over 750 people defer from 2021 to 2022, so that also says not everybody is ready to get out there yet and that’s okay,” said Oliver.

New this year, cameras installed on the light poles will record runners as they cross the finish lines.  The recording will be live-streamed so spectators can watch it on the big screen in Midtown Plaza. It’s a finish lines some runners have been working towards for two years.

“The finish line will be very emotional for a lot of people and we’re excited to bring that to folks from around the country,” said Oliver.

Traditionally, the re-race expo on Friday is held inside. This year, it’s outside with half the number of vendors, which will all be socially distanced. There will also be hand sanitizer stations throughout the grounds on race day.

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