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INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of runners and walkers will take over Indy this weekend, for the 43rd annual 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and 5K.

Sabrina List, 500 Festival spokeswoman, says around 35,000 participants will hit the streets of downtown Indy on Saturday for this year’s marathon. 

This year’s event will have some new features, like a new start/finish line. List also says they’re excited for the “Gold Mile.”

“It’s going to be along the backstretch of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” List says. “And it will honor those who paid the price defending our country.”

Some big names will also play a part of the Mini-Marathon this weekend. 

“IndyCar driver Spencer Pigot will be driving the Indy 500 pace car and he’ll be leading off all the different ways of the marathon,” List says. “We also have Josh Kaufman performing the National Anthem, as well as ‘Back Home Again In Indiana.’” Kaufman won the sixth season of NBC’s The Voice. 

Before Saturday’s events, participants and their families will be attending the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo tonight and Friday. 

List says they are expecting more than 50,000 people at the Indiana Convention Center to browse 80 exhibits and vendors showcasing the latest in running and walking gear, health information, and fitness products. It runs Thursday from 4-8 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

(Photo by: Li Zhongfei/Thinkstock)