Wordless Wednesday: A Gallery of 13 #IndyMini Sights & Highlights

On the final day of February, we celebrated the rising anticipation of coming one month closer to race day by not using our words – only a photo montage of 13 sights, landmarks and course highlights featuring the public arena that plays host to our favorite visitors; the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon course in downtown Indianapolis.

 

Watch the Wordless Wednesday story as it plays out under “Highlights” on the 500 Festival Instagram page.

 

Click here to watch ↖️

 

 

Andrew Peterson’s 3 Tips for Indy Mini First-Timers

The Indy Mini is rapidly approaching, and for first-timers, it can be daunting! An elite runner, Special Olympics athlete, and 500 Festival running ambassador, Andrew Peterson deconstructed his first experience in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon to offer three tips that will support rookies and their journey to the finish line.

 

  1. Make the commitment. Accept the challenge and adapt to long runs. Starting from scratch or making the jump to 13.1 miles is a big step, but commitment to the race is the best place to start.

Andrew’s Words: Even though I was uncertain about the change in distance, my commitment to new training styles fueled me to the finish line.

 

  1. Set realistic goals. It’s difficult to set a goal or PR for a distance that you’ve never run, but with commitment and consistent training, you will recognize your potential.

Andrew’s Words: 10 days before my first Indy Mini, I met my goal pace for a 10-mile run. Pace-setting was an important factor in my ability to run the unfamiliarly long distance.

 

  1. Prepare physically and mentally. Have confidence in your training and know that success is possible. Although physical training is important, don’t forget the importance of a positive mindset.

Andrew’s Words: Despite challenges throughout the race, my mental preparedness helped me remain focused for nearly two hours, all while maintaining my pace, working through pain, and finishing – even when I wanted to quit. Since my legs would only take me so far, my head had to be in the race.

 

The completion of Peterson’s first Indy Mini-Marathon was a defining moment in his, still growing, running career. Despite challenges he faced, Peterson’s physical and mental preparedness conquered the uncertainty that accompanied his first time at the Indy Mini. It was the key that unlocked his future in long distance running.

 

The Indy Mini helped Andrew uncover the extent of his running ability and these tips will help you do the same. Register for the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon to experience what you didn’t know you needed.

 

 

#IndyMini Ambassador: Kate Chargualaf

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. 

 

Kate’s Story

My first inkling of intent to run the Indy Mini came from a commercial that was promoting the almost sold-out 2013 Mini-Marathon. My friend apparently felt the same spark from the commercial and sent me a text at that same moment. By the time we went to register, it was sold out. Fate played a role and I punched my ticket to the 2013 Mini-Marathon, in lieu of friend who previously registered but was unable to participate. I had no expectations for my first Mini-Marathon. My registration was free, I was in corral Z and running for myself – everything fell perfectly into place. In 2016, I celebrated my 40th birthday and realized that the Indy Mini was also celebrating 40 years! I continued with the mentality that if the race must go on, so must I! Twenty pounds later and with thorough training and nutrition practices on my side, I achieved a personal record in both the Miler Series and the Mini-Marathon. I withstood plantar fasciitis, a torn my Achilles tendon and a fractured heel but despite the issues, it felt like a rite of passage. I was satisfied by my performance and the injuries were what I had to show for my success!

 

As a result of my injuries, I thought that the 2016 race would be my last long run. I was still training and working out as normal, but I wasn’t signed up for a race and didn’t have a goal in sight. During this time, my dad was ill and my walks and runs turned into little victories for my dad, who didn’t have the physical capacity to be active. I often posted about my acts of vicarious encouragement on social media. Little did I know, my focus to stay positive and healthy for my dad was actually saving me. After some horribly difficult days, my dad passed away. I could no longer walk for my dad and I didn’t have the motivation to continue training. Still on the emotional and physical mend, I signed up for the 500 Festival 5K because I knew that focusing on a race would bring me joy. I started that race with tears rolling down my face, yelling, “I’m doing this for you, Dad.” I finished. I cried. I knew my dad was proud.

 

The preceding year, I was missing my dad and taking care of my family. My personal ambitions were on the backburner but out of the blue, I signed up for the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Then I became an official Mini Ambassador! This year, I’m setting a standard for more than just myself but for all my fellow ambassadors and those who follow! New purpose, same goal and always a part of something amazing.

 

Kate’s #IndyMini Experience

The Indy Mini is the only half marathon that I run. My love for the race is like a mixed bag of nuts; so much to offer and no way to choose my favorite piece. Variety comes in the people, always someone to keep pace with, catch up to and make the miles go by quicker! I am in awe of how someone 30 years older or younger than me can run so much faster, and just the same, someone is amazed by me. It’s crazy when someone comes up to me afterward and thanks me for being their motivation. That feeling of inspiring someone is truly humbling, so I always share with others how they impacted my race.

A large part of my Indy Mini racing experience is balanced through the music that sets my pace and keeps me going. I use songs and beats to keep my feet hitting the pavement. I strategically place songs in my playlist for extra motivation at certain points in the race. I love the live bands throughout the course and even though I listen to music through my headphones, their presence adds excitement to the environment. The Indy Mini provides unique experiences, one of which is running around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I haven’t stopped to kiss the bricks yet, but this year, it’s happening. I just hope someone is there to take my photo!

 

Kate’s Advice

From newbies to Indy Mini veterans, you will encounter all sorts of ability levels and thousands of spectators who cheer you to the finish. When the focus narrows to the finish line, everyone is rooting for you. It can be an emotional roller-coaster. You will come to a point to which you don’t think you can finish, but my advice is to use your surroundings as fuel or phone a friend – it will be the second best decision you make because the best decision was signing up for the race!

 

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

 

Kate, 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!

 

Franciscan’s Indy Mini Guide to Athlete Nutrition

You’re at the turn of the spring and you’re starting to feel your commitment set in. Just a few more weeks separate you from the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, and you’re heading to the fridge. What do you eat?

 

There are thousands of participants out there with different training programs, fitness routines, or the “best” way to get 13.1-ready. All of which might produce different results, but results nonetheless.

 

What about your diet? One thing we know for sure is that eating your medal isn’t healthy snack. Well, until this year. (2018 medal design)

 

Whether you’re walking 13.1 miles in just under four hours or breaking the tape a touch over 60 minutes, our general eating habits don’t need to be overcomplicated. That’s why our trusted partners at Franciscan Health are here to help silence the diet fads and put the food myths to rest.

 

No crazy diets. No brutal workouts. Just a simple guide to what, when, and how you should be eating in order to train your best and perform like the athlete you are.

 

Have your own plan in place? Then stick to it!

 

Don’t have a plan? Click the button below to find some basic athlete nutrition help.

View Franciscan’s Athlete Nutrition Guide

#IndyMini Ambassador Scott Blake is a Walker’s Inspiration

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. 

 

Each year, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon sees around 6,000 walkers line up on Washington Street. It’s one of the largest contingents of walkers for any road race in the country, thanks to an 18-minute per mile pace. 2018 Ambassador Scott Blake is an inspiration – and a leader – for those 6,000 (20 percent of Indy Mini participants). He proudly proves that this race is for everyone, not just runners.

 

Scott’s Story

Judging from appearance alone, my 6-foot-2, 270-pound stature might not mimic that of a traditional runner’s physique, but I’ve been walking for years, competing in regional 5K races and rounding out my preferences in races while crafting an exercise experience that works for me. Walking has been the most effective deterrent to my Type 2 Diabetes. Through training, my daily walks have given me structure and guidance to balance diet and exercise. It wasn’t until last year that I decided to take the “long walk” and make my awaited return to the half marathon. Encouragement and motivation to take on the Greatest Spectacle in Running came from my seasoned family members who have run and loved the Indy Mini for decades!

 

Scott’s #IndyMini Experience

People are the reason that this sport and this event is so transcendent. Beyond the boundaries of everyday life, the Indy Mini creates an atmosphere that provides a common place for a diverse crowd of people who share the same goal. Indy Mini participants can relate to the journey that guided you to the start line, the level of connection to other participants is unique and sacred. I met people during the Miler Series who challenged me throughout the race and all the way to the 13.1-mile finish line.

 

Scott’s Advice

Don’t think you are going to start training the week before the Mini-Marathon.  Take the necessary time to start a program, varying your distance each time you go out to walk or run.  Use music to help develop your pace and increase the beats per minute for motivation.  Try as best as you can to walk outside and limit your exposure on a treadmill.  There is nothing like the open trail or road for a good workout!

 

To join Scott and thousands of other walkers by participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, click here

 

Scott, 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!

 

13 Reasons the Indy Mini Provides a Unique Race Experience

A survey following the 2017 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon revealed 98 percent of Indy Mini participants would recommend the race to a friend or family member. That’s pretty high praise from our loyal participant base, but why?

 

Here’s a list of our participants’ 13 favorite features (one per mile) that make the Indy Mini such a unique race experience.

 

  • The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Kissing the Bricks)
  • Celebrity Runners (Check out this year’s lineup)
  • History (42 years running!)
  • Bands & Entertainment (Nearly 100 Course Entertainment acts)
  • Volunteers (Hoosier hospitality is at it’s finest)
  • Making a Difference (Your race registrations fund the 500 Festival’s free events and programs that promote youth fitness and education)
  • Pit Stations (11 water stations and 5 Gatorade stations)
  • Wave Starts (A smooth race start keeps things rolling early on!)
  • Post Race Party (An epic celebration in Military Park with participants, friends and family members)
  • Location (with the start and finish line located in downtown Indy, participants are steps from hotels, restaurants, and a great race weekend experience)
  • Challenges (Combine 500 Festival running events to get more shirts, medals and bragging rights!
  • Employee Wellness Challenge (Embrace the competition with your coworkers)
  • It’s perfect for everyone! (An 18-minute per mile limit means just about anyone can take on 13.1 miles at their own pace)

 

These are just a few of the reasons 98 percent of Indy Mini participants said they’d recommend the race. Experience it for yourself and be part of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing on May 5! 🏁

#IndyMini Ambassador: Emily Cosgrove

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. 

 

Emily’s Story

Running became a part of my life as a high school rower and it was a way to cross train. In college, running became my way to step away from the books and relax. I got involved in running half marathons after a childhood friend convinced me to join her for a half marathon through Virginia wine country. Running and wine, how could I say no? After that first race, I was hooked and I’ve run seven half marathons and my first full in Chicago this past October. Since moving to Indianapolis, running has become my way to explore and connect with the city. From the Central Canal Towpath to the Monon and the Cultural Trail, our city has miles and miles of new places to explore by foot. When I travel, I always make room for my running shoes. Some of the most memorable places that I’ve logged miles are around Hyde Park in London, along the Nervión for the sunrise in Spain, and up Aksla Mountain to enjoy some rare Norwegian sunshine. Running gives you a unique perspective on the world, as it lets you take in more of the city and feel like a local – not just a visitor. When it’s just you out there, putting one foot in front of the other, you get in tune with the pulse of the city.

The sense of community that I felt at the Indy Mini helped push me to help to re-launch Tow Yard Running Club, a free community based running club that promotes a stronger culture of “Fun, Fitness, and Philanthropy.” Running has brought me not only fitness and health but a sense of pride and passion.

 

Emily’s #IndyMini Experience

I’ve run the Mini-Marathon twice and the 5K once. I’m excited to tackle the Miler Series and the Mini-Marathon this year. As a Virginia native who relocated to Indianapolis, I didn’t fully grasp the concept of Hoosier Hospitality until I ran my first Indy Mini that following year. It wasn’t my first shot at running 13.1 miles, as I’d run a handful of races before, but it was the first time that energy and support of other runners, walkers, and spectators was palpable. While running through the neighborhoods on the way to the track, I was amazed at the number of residents cheering on participants, not as strangers, but as fellow Hoosiers. I can’t pinpoint one part of the race that made me fall in love with the Indy Mini, but from kissing the bricks to the chocolate milk at the finish to the Circle City Cloggers, to running down Speedway’s Main Street, all of these little details are what make the Indy Mini a magical race and the perfect display of Hoosier Hospitality. Since I didn’t grow up a Hoosier, I had to learn what it was all about, and the Indy Mini played a pivotal role in learning the Hoosier way of life. Three years straight of running the Indy Mini and I’m already counting down the days until May 5, 2018!

 

Emily’s Advice

Trust the process and enjoy the celebration of race day. No matter what the clock says when you cross the finish line, you did something that not many people can say they did…you ran the Mini-Marathon! Remember my favorite motivational quote: “Someday you won’t be able to do this…today is not that day.”

 

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

 

Emily, 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: Sheehan Hubbard

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. 

 

Sheehan’s Story

After college, I was physically and mentally unhappy. The negativity in my life needed to change and my decision to take on an active lifestyle, to combat that stagnant feeling, changed my life for the better. I implemented gradual exercise into my daily routine and quickly became comfortable in the “workout scene.” My life took a motivational turn and I was ready for more. With encouragement and participation from friends, together we set a goal to run the Indy Mini. Although these friends and fellow runners lived in Chicago, they provided long-distance encouragement that provided much-need accountability during my journey toward my goal. I was coping with overwhelming feelings; I had never set a goal so wide in scope AND it was for the Greatest Spectacle in Running. Fear, doubt, and uncertainty crept in because I had no idea what to expect. However, setting small and manageable goals while also completing the training program, gave me confidence that surpassed my doubts. Of course, it’s comforting to remember that we’re always a work in progress. Life isn’t easy – but when I know I have family and friends in my life who continue to encourage me or run beside me (literally and figuratively), I will succeed and overcome my personal struggles.  I am grateful for the race that continues to better me, and better those who toe the start line.  It is the positive experiences I’ve had that make me want to continue to share this race with others.

 

Sheehan’s #IndyMini Experience

I never looked back after my first Mini-Marathon 6 years ago. It was the race that changed my life for the better and for that reason alone, it will always be my favorite race. The nostalgia keeps me coming back, but the environment that the Indy Mini provides is a call to action in itself. The course, the amount of participation from the runners and walkers and the entertainment play into the motivational environment that is necessary for a race that can be very intense. From the cloggers to the CrossFit rowers, belly dancers and bands singing “Don’t Stop Believing” – everyone is cheering you on whether it’s your first race, or you’re in first place!

 

Sheehan’s Advice

Focus on the process of training and have fun with it.  Enjoy the race, the community and do your best.  Don’t compare yourself to anyone – if you focus on your race, you will succeed! Schedule your training runs because planning them will keep yourself accountable. I can’t wait to cheer you on as you take on your first race, too!

 

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

 

Sheehan, 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!

 

 

7 Tips to Start Running on a Budget

Indy Mini Ambassador Alexandria Bergman explains how to get your running essentials and start a new routine without spending much green. 

 

One of the biggest reasons I was able to get into running was because of how budget-friendly it is. That is if you do it right!

 

As you go, you learn what you’d like to have, what you need to have, and what you can invest in later. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve found for finding the right gear and accessories to get your running kick-started with minimal investment.

 

  1. Jogger Strollers

There’s a good chance some of our beginner runners are trying to squeeze in a workout while taking care of the kiddos. Jogger strollers can help make that possible, but don’t buy them new! I found one for $20 at a yard sale that lasted for years. I sold it later and made that money back.

 

2. Cell Phone Arm Bands

I’ve found them on clearance at Kroger for $1 and I have several. They’re a great way to connect to your music. I like to keep an extra one in my car along with a change of running clothes and shoes in case a running opportunity comes up anywhere.

 

3. Running Clothes

Check clearance sections at big box stores or places like T.J. Maxx. You can find stylish, functional workout clothes for cheap at Walmart and Goodwill.

 

4. Food & Drink

I like Swedish Fish for a sugar boost during a run. They act like gels but without the distinction of being a running food. There are also all sorts of affordable protein bars and energy bars with natural ingredients.

I also bought a cheap water bottle and a camelback backpack that I found on sale at a sporting goods store.

 

5. Free Places to Run

Take advantage of parks and sidewalks. Tracks at high schools or middle schools are great for speed workouts. Most are fenced in and allow you to run while watching your kids play in the grass. Finding a free place like this can help you avoid paying for a babysitter or skipping your run because you can’t take them with you.

 

6. Apps 

There are many free running and exercising applications for your phone that track your routine, distance, and time. A few of the more popular ones include Pacer, Strava, and Under Armour’s Map My Run app.

 

7. Early Bird Pricing

What better way to save money than to get the lowest prices on your races? For most races, the earlier you sign up, the more you save.

 

And by the way, the price for the 2018 Indy Mini increases in just ONE WEEK! Register before Feb. 28 at 11:59 pm ET to save yourself $10!

 

 

#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!