#IndyMini Ambassador: Alexandria Bergman

A record-breaking 42 #IndyMini Ambassadors are training, recruiting and inspiring others in preparation for the 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. We’re sharing their stories through a series of blog posts; 2018 Ambassador Features.  Here is one of their stories. 

 

Alexandria’s Story

I never deemed myself as athletic and definitely not a runner. However, the year after I had my baby, my New Year’s resolution was to be a healthy mom!  On a whim, but with my goal in mind, I signed up for the Indy Mini. This go-round was rough, I didn’t train and I struggled – but finished! After that, I was feeling discouraged and took a break. As a single mother and someone who needed an outlet, running kept appearing as the best option for me to get healthy. I purchased a cheap, yard-sale jogging stroller and ran it to the point of collapse. That stroller, with my daughter in tow, logged many miles with me. They are very much a part of my journey and the tools that gave me the ability and motivation to run. Despite nervousness, self-doubt, and failed attempts, my persistence paid off. I killed my first run of the Indy Mini. My progress gives me the confidence to know that I can finish what I struggled to start.

 

Alexandria’s #IndyMini Experience

The start of my Indy Mini experience was rough, but the beginner-friendly amenities that it offers helped ease my discomfort, and I still appreciate them as I become a more experienced runner. The Indy Mini has the most water stations and porta-potties in comparison to other races that I’ve seen. Even so, the energy from the crowd makes it different from other races too! Live bands are playing throughout the course, kids are giving high-fives, and you’ll pass random, funny and encouraging signs – it’s the extra motivation that gets you to the finish line.

 

Alexandria’s Advice

Don’t stress if you’re not able to religiously follow your training program! Life happens, so don’t let it get in the way of your ultimate goal. The energy from the atmosphere will pull you through – it makes a difference that I didn’t expect!

Feeling inspired by Alexandria’s story? If you’re interested in participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, click here

 

Alexandria, along with our other Ambassadors, will be sharing her training experience and motivation leading up to the race. Follow along and share your experience using #IndyMini on social media!

 

5 Reasons to Perform at the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

You’re not a runner. You’re a musician, a performer, an artist. Chances are this post was forwarded to you from a Mini-Marathoner friend who knows the importance of course entertainment acts (cue Mini-Marathoners sharing this link with their talented friends).

 

If you know someone who has participated in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, ask them about the course entertainers! In what’s been called the largest four-hour music festival, anywhere, Indy Mini course entertainers are one of the most important and memorable pieces of the race. And we accept just about anyone! (As long as you’re family friendly.) Here are the top 5 reasons to perform at this year’s race:

 

1. Have Fun

“Be prepared to have a blast. It is a ton of fun!” – Past Entertainer

It’s pretty difficult to not have fun when you’re jamming out or performing your talents for four hours in front of a new audience every 10-15 seconds. And that brings us to point number two…

 

2. Get Practice

Whatever your talent is (we’ve seen everything from rap to the iconic Circle City Cloggers), you can practice in front of a live audience!

 

3. The Giveaways

Course entertainers receive a t-shirt, tickets to an Indianapolis 500 practice day, and more! Participants will even vote on their favorite acts, and the winners will be featured on our Facebook pages (more than 40,000 followers).

 

4. Free Exposure

If you’re looking to boost your brand or get noticed for whatever talent you possess, where else can you get free exposure to perform in front of 40,000+ participants, volunteers and spectators?

 

5. Inspire Thousands

Playing for those 40,000+ is great for you and your group, but it’s inspiring for those participants. You play a part in helping runners and walkers accomplish their goals. In 2017, participants voted course entertainment as their No. 1 favorite unique thing about the Indy Mini. While conquering the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the staple of the race, the roster of course entertainers every 1/8 of a mile might be the most defining characteristic of this gigantic party we call the Mini-Marathon.

 

“No other race has this many music groups and performance acts. It’s like a never-ending show that keeps you motivated the entire way!” – 2017 Mini-Marathon participant

 

Interested in performing in on May 5?

Apply now  |  Learn More

 

 

#IndyMini Ambassador: April Woodruff

A record-breaking 42 #IndyMini Ambassadors are training, recruiting and inspiring others in preparation for the 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. We’re sharing their stories through a series of blog posts; 2018 Ambassador Features.  Here is one of their stories. 

 

April’s Story

I decided to start running because I had watched my husband run for years. He loved running, and I felt like I was missing out. The moment I crossed the finish line of the Mini in 2008, I understood why he loved it. It was such an amazing feeling to know that I could run 13.1 miles. I continued to run the Mini each year. I took off in 2011 after having my daughter. I was back in 2012, but now I was running for my daughter. I wanted her to see that she had a strong mother. She has watched me cross the finish line of every Mini-Marathon since 2012. She is six years old now and has competed in the JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Rookie Run three times and the 500 Festival mini-mini twice. She clearly has a love for running.

 

April’s #IndyMini Experience

I was getting married in May of 2008, and my husband (fiancé at the time) convinced me to run the Mini.  I had never run a race in my life, and could not even run a mile without walking. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. In February of 2008, I was not a runner. In May of 2008, I was a half marathoner!

 

My favorite thing about the Mini is the energy. I have never felt so much energy in a race. The crowd, the volunteers, the bands, and the participants are like no other.  There is truly nothing like it. I have completed 21 half marathons and my top three times are all on the Mini course, and this is all because of the crowd of people that are cheering me on for the entire 13.1 miles.

 

The Mini started my running career and turned me into a runner. It changed who I was as a person. The Mini will always be my race, and I will run it every year as long as I am physically able.

 

April’s Advice

I would tell a first-time participant to know you can do it, and don’t doubt your training. So much of the race is mental. I would also tell a first-timer to just enjoy every moment. Give high fives to little kids, thank the officers and volunteers, cheer on fellow runners, and cross the finish line strong. There is a great sense of accomplishment in finishing.

 

Feeling inspired by April’s story? If you’re interested in participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, click here

 

April, along with our other Ambassadors, will be sharing her training experience and motivation leading up to the race. Follow along and share your experience using #IndyMini on social media!

 

#IndyMini Ambassador: Sara Jackman

A record-breaking 42 #IndyMini Ambassadors are training, recruiting and inspiring others in preparation for the 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. We’re sharing their stories through a series of blog posts; 2018 Ambassador Features.  Here is one of their stories. 

 

Sarah’s Story

I was somewhat conditioned to running and athletics during my college years. I was a rower, maybe a little different than a runner, but I was accustomed to the same type of training and involvement in a competitive atmosphere. After I graduated and my rowing career was over, I needed an outlet to fill my athletic and competitive drive, so I signed up for the Indy Mini. I always enjoyed running, but after my first Mini, I found a passion for mini-marathons.

 

Sarah’s #IndyMini Experience

Life happened and I wasn’t able to weave mini-marathons and training into my daily lifestyle. My pivotal moment was eight years ago, after the birth of my son – I was out of shape and overweight. I wanted a heathy lifestyle and the best way I knew to achieve a health goal of that magnitude, was to sign up for the Indy Mini. With a goal in mind, training guided me to weight loss and a PR. I never looked back. This year will be my sixteenth mini-marathon, and I’ve even added triathlons into the mix! The Indy Mini is a gateway to much more than you could imagine. It only takes one race for you to understand.

 

Sarah’s Advice

Follow your training plan, but don’t worry if you hit a bump along the way. On race day, the course entertainment and enthusiasm from fans might alter your mindset, but don’t start out too fast (your body will try).  Break down the race into smaller chunks that you can conquer. For example, set the 5K mark as your first finish line and go from there. Setting manageable goals throughout the race will provide extra motivation.

 

Also, Body Glide will be your friend. Use it!

 

Feeling inspired by Sarah’s story? If you’re interested in participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, click here

 

Sarah, along with our other Ambassadors, will be sharing her training experience and motivation leading up to the race. Follow along and share your experience using #IndyMini on social media!

#IndyMini Ambassador: Pam Chemelewski

A record-breaking 42 #IndyMini Ambassadors are training, recruiting and inspiring others in preparation for the 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. We’re sharing their stories through a series of blog posts; 2018 Ambassador Features.  Here is one of their stories. 

 

Pam’s Story

It started with a bucket-list, one-and-done idea to complete the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, but a combination of things led me to begin running and participate in my first #IndyMini. Eleven years ago, both my parents passed away within two months of each other. I was in need of an outlet, so I turned to walking. I loved the fresh air, music booming through my earbuds and the chance to escape life and decompress while I walked. The more I walked, the better I felt and soon walking turned to running. Inspired, I decided it was my turn to complete a bucket list item and registered to run!

 

For me, it’s never been about the speed. I’m not an elite runner, but every time I set out to run a race – I do it! Running is MY sport. I compare me against me, I’m never racing others. It’s all about improving me; achieving my goal, beating my time, strengthening my body and crushing my PR. All those years ago, I would have never guessed that I’d run seven half marathons, many 5k races and become an Ambassador for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

 

Pam’s #IndyMini Experience

During my first Indy Mini, I took pictures along the entire route and at each mile marker, including all the awesome and unique course entertainers, and texted them to my family to document my journey! I walked the majority of the route, met a ton of great people and found that I had more strength and stamina than I thought. Within a week of crossing the finish line, I signed up for the following year’s race. It’s easy to see why the Indy Mini stands out from other half marathons… the HYPE and excitement EVERYWHERE! It begins with a beautiful walk to the start line, just as the sun is coming up over the skyline of Indianapolis. Before you even reach your corral, you hear the hum of the excited crowd and the beat of the pumping music! Hang out by the start line for just a bit and watch an entire corral be led to the start line by a Festival Car, hear the roar of the engine, feel the excitement of the runners and see the local celebrities waving on the participants. As your corral crosses the start, you begin an amazing journey through Indianapolis. You’ll pass the zoo, wind through downtown neighborhoods, travel all the way around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and head back toward town, all the while being sung to, cheered on, encouraged and entertained by many unique and interesting groups. Perhaps the best part is when the skyline comes back in to view and you realize the finish line is within reach! Indeed, this is the “Greatest Spectacle in Running!”

 

Pam’s Advice

Throughout my years of running half marathons, I’ve learned a few things that may help first-time runners. Be prepared for race day beyond training. Go for a run in your race day clothes before race day, be sure they’re comfy and remember layers are always a great idea – a fanny pack is helpful, too. A great music playlist goes a long way! Set your goal, whether it’s simply to finish the race or hit a certain pace, I mark my goal on my arm, so I am reminded the whole time. Get downtown early and soak in the pre-race fun! You’ll be kissing the bricks alongside people from all over the country – get to know them! Stretch tired muscles after the race and cheer on those who might be crossing the finish line for the first time.

 

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step in your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take the first step!

 

Feeling inspired by Pam’s story? If you’re interested in participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, click here

 

Pam, along with our other Ambassadors, will be sharing her training experience and motivation leading up to the race. Follow along and share your experience using #IndyMini on social media!

 

Twitter Reacts to Alexi Pappas #IndyMini Announcement

On Tuesday morning, the 500 Festival announced the addition of Olympian Alexi Pappas to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon field. Shortly after, Bravies on Twitter let their enthusiasm loose.

 

Pappas’ social media followers and band of brave runners – dubbed “Bravies” – couldn’t believe one of their favorite runners is making her Indy Mini debut (and alongside American running icon Meb Keflezighi, no less).

 

Check out the full lineup of notable elite runners in this year’s Indy Mini

 

Here are just a few examples of “Bravies” and #IndyMini regulars losing their minds over the news:

 

Want to be a Bravey and join Alexi Pappas and Meb Keflezighi on May 5?

 

< Register for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon >

 

#IndyMini

#IndyMini Ambassador: Chris Day

A record-breaking 42 #IndyMini Ambassadors are training, recruiting and inspiring others in preparation for the 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. We’re sharing their stories through a series of blog posts; 2018 Ambassador Features.  Here is one of their stories. 

 

Chris’ Story

I’m just your average, ordinary, everyday middle-aged guy with a busy family and career, who put on a few extra pounds while sitting at a desk all day. Running became my opportunity to get some exercise, spend some time alone or with friends and reduce stress. I started taking care of myself and as the miles increased – the weight decreased, so I just kept going. I take a great deal of pride in being 6’2” and 230+ pounds and completing multiple half and full marathons every year.

 

Chris’ #IndyMini Experience

I have completed eight Indy Minis and even though I ran my first Indy Mini in 2001, it wasn’t until I developed a weight problem in 2008 that I found a renewed love for running as a way to keep the weight off! I’ve always enjoyed the personal accomplishment of finishing an individual event like running because no one can do it for you. “If it is to be, it is up to me,” – William H Johnsen.

Chris’ Advice

SMILE! Race day is the celebration of your hard work! Have a plan and trust your training. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Find every camera on the course and smile with your arms raised high… especially for the finish line camera! You never know if you’ll have another opportunity like this, so cherish every step… even the painful ones.

 

Feeling inspired by Chris’s story? If you’re interested in participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, click here

 

Chris, along with our other Ambassadors, will be sharing his training experience and motivation leading up to the race. Follow along and share your experience using #IndyMini on social media!

 

 

Get to Know 2018 #IndyMini Runner Alexi Pappas

Get ready, Indy. Another running icon is coming to compete in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 5. Don’t know Alexi Pappas? You should.

 

A woman of many titles; Olympian, filmmaker, writer, essayist, actress and Greek national record holder are a few of those titles. An array of talents, yet they all encompass the physical grit and mental stamina embodied by a runner who commits herself to the vulnerability that brave running demands.

 

She artfully masters the daily grind as a professional athlete. The capacity of a running career is often misunderstood, in that training exists beyond scheduled workouts. Planned eating and sleeping are important to Pappas in the balancing act and pursuit of a goal. From Dartmouth to Eugene, Oregon, her thoughtful training has resulted in her success as an NCAA All-American, 10,000-meter national record holder, and Olympian.

 

Refreshed by her one year stint in Eugene, Pappas embraced the culture of the running town that built legends. It was the place that inspired the creation of “Tracktown”, a movie she co-wrote with her now fiancé, Jeremy Teicher. She also produced and starred in the movie, all while boasting an Olympic run. Nothing is out of the question for someone so driven and diverse. Her undergraduate years at Dartmouth were spent as a creative writing major, dabbling in improv groups among her athletic commitments.

 

Her passionate band of followers, also known as “Bravies,” feed off of her clever, witty and fearless motivation. Bravey, a self-coined term that capitalizes on a positive approach toward goals, is used as a noun to signify those who are brave in their actions, through running and beyond. Bravies take on their role in full-stride and many have displayed their devotion with a personal bravey tattoo. Pappas defined some stipulations to the tattoo via Twitter:

1. You must be brave.

2. Bravey must be written in your handwriting.

3. Tattoos are permanent and so is bravery.

 

Pappas’ impact transcends her running success and her outreach is rooted in intention.

 

Check out Alexi’s platforms of positivity across all social media and find out how to run WITH her in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

 

Alexi’s Channels: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

Feeling inspired to run like a Bravey? Indianapolis is paved for your graces on May 5! Register Here

5 Tips to Help You Master the Milers This Spring

The 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy, is about to jumpstart the running events in 2018, and there’s no better way to start your training! With three unique distances, including a 3-Miler, 6-Miler, and 10-Miler, the official training series of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon helps runners and walkers of any ability prepare for a spring race.

 

With the 3-Miler just around the corner, here are five tips to help you master the Milers and defeat downtown Indy this spring:

 

1. Watch the Weather

Wintery training races can take on a life of their own depending on the weather for race morning. Be sure to watch the local news or check social media for weather updates and alerts to help you plan your race morning schedule, routine, and attire.

 

2. Layer Up

Expect the temperature to rise from the time you leave the house to the time you cross the finish line. Staying warm early and cool later can be key to a good race. Layer up and be prepared to shed some of those pieces of clothing at the start line, and even along the course, if necessary.

 

3. Get Moving Early

It’s hard to get the blood flowing early on a cold Saturday morning in February. You don’t want to be tight when you jump into the starting corral. Get up a little early and allow some extra time to stretch at home or warm up prior to the race.

 

4. Find Your Pace

The 500 Festival will welcome the Clif Bar Pace Team to the 10-Miler in April. Be sure to use them – and your own pacing at the 3-Miler and 6-Miler – to zero in on your ideal speed so you can begin honing your race day pace strategy.

 

5. Remember the Goal

Even if it’s cold and your time isn’t what you hoped for, remember the goal! Use the Miler Series to keep you moving forward in the cold months, and don’t get discouraged by a bad race or an unsatisfying performance. It’s not all about time; it’s about working up to that 13.1-mile finish line!

 

Interested in mastering the Milers and defeating downtown Indy with the 500 Festival this spring? Click here to learn more

#IndyMilers

#IndyMini Ambassador: Ashley Kimbrell

A record-breaking 42 #IndyMini Ambassadors are training, recruiting and inspiring others in preparation for the 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. We’re sharing their stories through a series of blog posts; 2018 Ambassador Features.  Here is one of their stories. 

 

Ashley’s Story

I started gaining interest in running while I was working at a local sporting goods store in Terre Haute. This company took pride in catering to athletes and finding shoes to fit the unique needs of runners.  It was almost a rite-of-passage to be able to fit someone for a shoe that they will be wearing in the Indy Mini. The influence of working in a running environment along with encouragement from a college professor unlocked my interest into the realm of running races. For me, running the Indy Mini was about self-care, enjoyment and allowing myself to be competitive in the forgiving and motivating atmosphere that it provided. After I ran my first Indy Mini, I understood the scope of fitting someone for a shoe for the Indy Mini.

 

Ashley’s #IndyMini Experience

As I train for my sixth Indy Mini, I realize that my motives have changed as my life has changed. My roles as mother and educator give me a platform to show young people that it is possible to pursue what you love and do what’s right for you, despite obstacles that might be in the way. And now, I realize that running the Indy Mini extends far beyond personal feats. From joining running groups, to meeting people at races, I’ve made friends that have turned into family. But one thing will always remain the same, the Indy Mini is special to me and I always run it to have fun. If you know Indiana’s passion for massive sporting events, how can you not want to participate in this race?

Ashley’s Advice

How awesome would it be to PR in Indy? Take advantage of the flat course and the neat location and a PR will happen!

 

Feeling inspired by Ashley’s story? If you’re interested in participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, click here

 

Ashley, along with our other Ambassadors, will be sharing her training experience and motivation leading up to the race. Follow along and share your experience using #IndyMini on social media!