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.
In 2016. while working my overnight shift as a 911 dispatcher, Deputy Carl Koontz was shot and killed in the line of duty. I remember that feeling; the helplessness, the sadness, the shock. In the days and weeks after this tragedy, I remember wondering how a society could be so hateful toward the men and women that are sworn to protect and serve our communities.
With my training for the Indy Mini just beginning, I knew that I wanted to make my 2016 race about “backing the blue.” I dedicated that year’s Indy Mini to those that I work with, to those that have become like brothers and sisters to me, and specifically to Deputy Carl Koontz. As it’s commonly said: “When a police officer is killed, it’s not an agency that loses an officer, it’s an entire nation.” I ended up crossing the finish line that year with a personal record.
In 2017, my sisters and I teamed up with Flags4Fallen and ran with American Flags the entire 13.1 miles in honor of Abigail Williams and Liberty German; the two girls who went missing earlier that year in my hometown of Delphi, Indiana. The flags we ran with were later given to the families of the girls. Again, I crossed the finish line that year with a PR and a lot of tears.
Through the years, it seems that once I started running for a cause, it’s made my journey through training and race day much more worth it.
Jenilynne’s Mini-Marathon Experience
My favorite thing about the Indy Mini is the atmosphere on Race Weekend. It starts with the Mini-Marathon Expo, which is so much fun and there’s excitement leading up to race day.
The day of the Mini is out of this world. So many people line the streets of Downtown Indianapolis before the race. The blaring music, the spectators, the countdown. Then there’s the actual race itself. The course entertainment that lines the streets of Indy is unforgettable. I’ve told so many people that I don’t even need to use my music on my phone. There is enough live music to keep me pumped and going all 13.1 miles!
The Post Race Party is the ultimate celebration and the amount of support and love from the volunteers and other participants is so wonderful. There are a lot of races where some people’s competitiveness can take the fun out of the everyday participant’s experience. The Indy Mini takes away that uncomfortable feeling. Everyone is a finisher and everyone is celebrated!
Have fun! Don’t give up. Even when you think you can’t go any further, you can. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep repeating that. Not everyone can say they are an Indy Mini finisher!
Feeling inspired by Jenilynne’s story? If you’re interested in participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on behalf of a charity, check out our Mini With a Meaning Program.
Jenilynne, 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!