Be Sun Smart This Spring

A “Sun Smart” reminder from Indy Mini Ambassador, April Woodruff

 

As runners and walkers, we tend to take care of our bodies. We buy the proper clothing, high-quality socks, and the best shoes out there. We fuel our body with proper nutrition as we prepare to tackle some serious Mini-Marathon training miles. Once we don all of our gear and lace up those new kicks, we head out the door and forget to do one extremely important thing – apply sunscreen.

 

It is estimated that there will be over 170,000 cases of melanoma in 2018. I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2016. Thankfully mine only penetrated into the second layer of the skin and the cancerous cells were successfully removed with one surgery.

 

I have to admit, I had never put on sunscreen before a run. Even though I had never really been sunburnt on a run, I definitely had that “runners tan.” I had to get into the habit of putting on my sunscreen each time.

 

As athletes who tend to spend long amounts of time outdoors, we need to get into the routine of putting on sunscreen before we head out the door. Our Mini-Marathon training peaks during the beautiful springtime weather as we are itching to get back outside and into the sun.

 

We’re making sure our bodies are in top-notch shape for the Indy Mini, so let’s make sure to keep them safe and healthy, too!

#IndyMini Ambassador – Michelle Corrigan

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. 

 

Michelle’s Story

 

This year is not only my comeback race, but it’s also going to be a life-saving race for my younger sister. On the very day that I found out I was chosen to be an Indy Mini Ambassador, my younger sister was given a scary medical prognosis; she is morbidly obese and her weight is taking a toll on her life. Her doctor said that if she didn’t lose weight soon, her days would be numbered. From that point on, my sister has dedicated her life to becoming a healthier individual and it was my mission to help in that fight.

 

Of course, I had my concerns about the pressures and strain of training for a half marathon, but my sister was bound and determined to use the Mini-Marathon as a tool in her weight loss journey. Little by little, she has lost a total of 45 pounds since November and is more mobile than she has been in 20 years. Her progress is keeping her right on track to meet the Mini-Marathon cut off time. She is happier and healthier than ever and continues to prove her doubters wrong. Her doctors are impressed and her colleagues are even calling her a “health nut.” This year, the Indy Mini is going to be the race that saved my sister’s life, and for that, I couldn’t be more proud and excited to be the ambassador that crosses the finish line with her.

 

Michelle’s #IndyMini Experience

 

I’ve been a runner since middle school. So, many years ago, when a good friend of mine talked me into the running the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, I didn’t hesitate. I fell in love with the race and ran several years in a row thereafter. This is my comeback race, and it’s been the perfect way to redirect my healthy lifestyle.

It’s difficult to pinpoint my favorite part of the race, but this year’s race is on the weekend of my birthday. There is no better way to celebrate than with 30,000 other like-minded people, doing what we love.

 

Michelle’s Advice

 

Nothing is impossible! Never doubt yourself and never, never, NEVER let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. You can achieve amazing things if you think positively, train properly and NEVER give up!

 

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

 

Michelle, 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!

 

Back on My Feet Member Feature – Indy Mini

Back on My Feet Member Feature – Indy Mini

 

Back on My Feet [BoMF] is a national nonprofit organization that combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources. It’s the fourth year in a row BoMF is participating in the Mini with a Meaning Program, and they’re excited to feature a member participating in his first Indy Mini in 2018.

 

Meet Demetrios (pictured right), an alumni member of the BoMF program, meaning that Demetrios has participated and graduated from the program at Wheeler Mission Ministries and is gainfully employed. Demetrios works at Wheeler Mission as a case manager, supporting individuals as they progress through the program at Wheeler Mission.

 

Demetrios joined BoMF in April 2017, and he is currently training for his first Indy Mini.

 

“Participating in events like the Miler Series has really made training easier,” Demetrios said. “I ran my first half marathon in 1:57 and I hope to PR at this year’s Mini. [I’m excited to race] on the Mini course and to PR.”

 

Demetrios looks forward to racing with you this May at the Indy Mini!

 

Learn more about BoMF and the Mini With a Meaning Program to find out how you can get involved and run for a cause at this year’s race.

Indy Mini Ambassador: Kyle LeFeber

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. 

 

Kyle’s Story

 

It all started with a New Year’s resolution when I woke up and decided to make a positive change in my life. I used the idea of a “clean slate” as a basis of encouragement to start running. At that point in my life, nothing was going my way; I was surrounded by negativity and bad influences. I wanted to be a good influence in my family, learn about myself and test my capabilities. Once I incorporated running into my life, a new chapter began. I never thought that a four-mile run would be the foundation of an entirely new lifestyle. My connection to the running community kept me grounded and humble, which I needed most when I endured a house fire. My competitive nature will never stop me from becoming better than I was yesterday. I believed in myself, said goodbye to negativity and put in the time to become a better runner. Since my resolution, I have completed three Mini-Marathons, traveled across the Midwest to smash PRs and continue pursuing a lifestyle that incorporates running each day.

 

Kyle’s #IndyMini Experience

 

My connection to the Indianapolis 500 carved a special place in my heart for the 500 Festival and the Indy Mini. As a past IndyCar crew member and an avid fan, the 500 Festival extended my love for the city, the people and the racing. During my time as an Indy Mini Ambassador, I have had the opportunity to connect with so many people and inspire others through my passion to motivate. I feed off of the pure inspiration and adrenaline that that the Mini-Marathon provides.

My favorite part about the race is the challenging 2.5-mile trek around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It gets hot, but kissing the bricks makes it all worth it. The photo opportunity is something that is only available to Indy Mini participants and Indianapolis 500 winners! As the finish line nears, the crowd that lines the stretch of Victory Mile adds fuel to make it to the end.

 

Kyle’s Advice

 

For all first-time participants, my advice to you is to enjoy every little bit of this race. I want you to go out there and dance to the music, take pictures, make memories and remember the experience forever. When it comes to training, stretch before and after your runs, strength train three times per week, rest when necessary and stay hydrated. Make sure you balance your slow runs with training that tests your limits. Your participation in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is inspiring others, including me! You’re in the race, now let’s cross the finish line and celebrate together!

 

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

 

Kyle, 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!

5 Running Movies to Motivate You to the Finish Line

Winter is starting to feel like a long movie that just… won’t… end. So that got us thinking: How can we keep motivating our Indy Mini participants when it’s difficult to get outside and get moving? Movies!

 

We’re not expert movie critics, but we are fans of anything that motivates, inspires, or encourages our thousands of friends to conquer 13.1 miles. Obviously, we advise you to keep finding ways to move your training forward, but finding the inspiration to keep moving is just as important!

 

When those remaining winter days return to squash your training spirits, here are five movies that will keep motivating you all the way to May. (click the links to watch trailers)

 

5. Tracktown (2017)

This indie sports film comes from 2018 Indy Mini participant, Alexi Pappas. The gifted producer, actress, poet, runner, and artist features herself in this coming-of-age sports film. What better motivation than watching a movie where the star (and producer) is an Olympic runner you can meet this May!

 

4. MacFarland, USA (2015)

A failed football coach turns seven students into a cross-country team. You think running is an individual sport? These guys prove it’s all about teamwork.

 

3. Turbo (2013)

Turbo is the animated story of a snail with dreams of being fast and racing in the Indy 500. While it’s not really a running movie, the story of pounding the pavement at IMS is a dream come true, and one to relate to. If you’re a fan of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy Mini, or the month of May in Indianapolis, you’ll love seeing Indy’s iconic venue featured in this Dreamworks production. (A great movie to watch with kids)

 

2. Race (2016) 

One of the most important running movies in American history, Race is the story of gold medalist Jessie Owens. We all know Owens’ importance to civil rights and equality in sports, specifically in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but this film will inspire you to run fast, simply because you can.

 

1. Without Limits (1998)

Even though it’s the oldest on the list, Without Limits features a runner-coach relationship focused on distance running. The 1998 biographical film features Steve Prefontaine and his relationship with coach Bill Bowerman, who later co-founded Nike.  What else do we love about this movie? Our good friend Frank Shorter – the first-ever Indy Mini winner and American running icon – makes an appearance in the film.

 

Do you have your own motivational running movies you think your fellow runners and walkers should watch? Let us know! Comment below or on the social media post to recommend some of your favorites.

 

Indy Mini Ambassador: Jessie Hughes O’Leary

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. 

 

Jessie’s Story

 

About three years ago, I started running, a major decision for someone who was overweight and had previously refused to run for any reason. I was at the start line of a race that I planned to walk. Unintentionally, I started running with those around me. In that moment, I felt powerful and strong and during that race, the running/walking combination gave me the spark to dedicate myself to a healthy lifestyle. It was the beginning of my ten-month journey to my goal race, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

 

Each year, my Indy Mini story evolves like another chapter in a fantasy book, yet none of it is make believe! My very first Indy Mini was about a bucket list challenge, an unimaginable feat that I would cross off of my list! I was determined to achieve a healthy, happy version of myself and prove that I could accomplish a goal with support from my family. As a result of reaching my personal goals and inspiring others; my mom, aunt and husband are now participating in the 500 Festival 5K!

 

My second year of running the race was targeted toward testing my limits. In 2017, I ran a 5K PR, but missed my half marathon PR by about five minutes. I immediately registered for the 2018 races again with the intention to improve my time. This year, my the race is about more than my time, it’s about community, too! My family is participating; my husband in the 5K and the Mini, my mom, two aunts and cousin in the 5K, and another cousin and aunt in the Mini-Marathon! Two close friends and I are supporting each other online from three different states as we train. The community of Indy Mini Ambassadors has been a phenomenal bonus to the whole experience. I am also running this year for my awesome buddy, Tristan, who inspires and motivates me to keep going. #IRun4Tristan

 

Jessie’s #IndyMini Experience

 

As a native of the Indianapolis area, I always dreamed of participating in the Mini-Marathon one day. When I started running and training, the Indy Mini was my goal race! I had such a blast on race day and met my goal of under three hours without stopping during the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway section. No race compares to the community course atmosphere – whether it’s the volunteer support, the fun factor, an awesome poster, a little cowbell or some great jams, they all give me an extra boost! I compare every other race to the Mini-Marathon. It’s the Gold Standard and definite bucket list item.

 

Jessie’s Advice

 

Enjoy the race! This is the most amazing experience – the crowds, entertainment, other participants and the IMS all contribute to the takeaways. Take out your earbuds, keep your head up and be aware of all the excitement, that is energy, to keep you going. If you are struggling, go for that high five, hit the power-up button poster, thank a police officer or volunteer, or dance – it makes a world of difference. If the race doesn’t go as you planned, enjoy the party.

 

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

 

Jessie, 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: Emily Eaton

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

 

Ever since I was young, I played soccer. It was my sport, but throughout the elementary and middle school years, I’d run 5Ks with my dad, including a few 500 Festival 5Ks. My dad has been a runner for years. He has run the New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and the Indy Mini multiple times. I was destined to run the Mini-Marathon sooner or later. Freshman year of high school, I decided that I wanted to athletically challenge myself beyond soccer, by running a half marathon.

 

My dad signed us up for the Indy Mini. Training was tough, especially with a rigorous school and travel soccer schedule. Through training and my first race, it was all worth it, and I knew that I wanted to be a runner. Since my first race in 2013, my dad and I have run five Mini-Marathons and the Walt Disney Full Marathon. Over the years, the Indy Mini has become more than a race to me. It’s been a way for my dad and me to do something we both love, together. We’ve bonded over the struggles and joys of running (blisters, chaffing, and free bananas), pushed each other to become better athletes and strengthened our father-daughter relationship. The Indy Mini has become a yearly tradition for the two of us and I can’t wait to run my sixth Mini-Marathon with him this May!

 

Emily’s #IndyMini Experience

 

My favorite part about the Indy Mini is running around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and kissing the bricks. It’s surreal to be able to run around such an iconic part of Indianapolis history. What always stands out to me is the support from the community. During the race, there are hundreds of volunteers handing out water, cheering you on and providing awesome entertainment for the whole 13.1 miles. The last leg of the race always gives me goosebumps because complete strangers are cheering you on by name. It provides a whole new meaning to the term “Hoosier hospitality!”

 

Emily’s Advice

 

Enjoy yourself! I know it can be hard when you’re running 13.1 miles, but try your best to have fun. Give spectators high fives. Kiss the bricks. Take it all in. Not everyone can participate in the Greatest Spectacle in Running, so take pride in the opportunity!

 

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!

 

 

Indy Mini Ambassador: Brian Davis

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. 

 

Brian’s Story

 

Initially, my story was similar to many others; I never liked running when I was younger, but as an adult I figured out that it was therapeutic and calming in ways that my younger self wouldn’t have appreciated.

 

This year’s purpose, however, is different. In the summer of 2016 I discovered a growth in my left jaw joint, which turned out to be an extremely rare tumor that required removal. In November of the same year, I had a segment of my mandible removed and replaced with titanium, which it turns out is not sturdy enough to be a permanent replacement. As a result, my 2017 Mini was followed shortly thereafter by a surgery called a fibula free flap, a procedure that entailed removing my right fibula in order to replace the missing portion of my jaw. No rod or anything to replace the fibula; it’s just not there anymore.

 

Consequently, my 2018 Mini story began with my 2017 month of May; I kicked off the month with a 13.1-mile run and ended it without the ability to walk without a walker. I signed up for this year’s event with more purpose than any other one in which I’ve participated – I was adamant that I would complete the 2018 Mini, even if I had to crawl across the finish line. I’ve since regained the ability to do almost everything, and I’m on pace to complete my eighth Mini with only minimal challenges.

 

I’ve always played sports, but running as a personal endeavor was never appealing. Truth be told, if my wife and her family hadn’t pushed me to do my first Mini as a last-second decision, I’m not sure I would have ever discovered the appeal. As I completed my first Mini, I realized that not every runner kept a fast pace, nor did they all fit the physique that I envisioned. My perception of what it meant to be a runner had been significantly challenged and I was intrigued. I was motivated to find my way to be a runner and shortly thereafter, I was hooked. Once I had my running epiphany, I initially struggled with pacing myself appropriately, so I actually preferred the treadmill over an outdoor run. Eventually, I learned what my preferred pace felt like and could maintain it. Running opened up a new level of experience to every traveling adventure and personal challenge that I faced.

 

Brian’s #IndyMini Experience

 

When races consist of longer distances, it can be easy to feel left out or disconnected if you’re not competing in the front of the pack. Although the Mini obviously entails such things, this half marathon is more about the experience than anything else. For the first Mini, I walked… and grumbled… and then felt an odd sense of accomplishment as I crossed the finish line. I was unaware of it at the start of the race, but being a part of this initial experience sparked a desire to be a part of it again and again. The Indy Mini welcomes all in a manner that is encouraging, even if you’re not a runner and may never become one. You’ll never feel out of place during the 13.1 miles. It is truly an experience like no other.

 

Brian’s Advice

 

Next, if you’re like me and you need a soundtrack for your running, be sure to put together the playlists in advance and try them out for a run or two. I have created these without taking them out for a spin and realized very quickly that they aren’t as perfect of a jam session as I’d hoped.

 

Finally, run different routes as you train. I have convenient local runs that I can pace out to the distance I need pretty easily, but variety is good for your training and can be reinvigorating for your running soul. I try to sneak out at least once any time we travel and always find myself glad that I did.

 

Ultimately, enjoy the experience and worry about nothing other than yourself. You’ll hear endless feedback from those who may not understand the appeal of the Mini or why you would voluntarily run such a distance. Let me tell you though, once you’ve completed your first one, you’ll be challenging them to join you for your next.

 

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

 

Brian, 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!

Top 10 Indiana Running Trails

Spring into Training

Winter is on its way out. With sunny spring days on the horizon, it’s time to leave the treadmill and tired running routes with the last snowflakes of March. Seasons change and so do running hot spots – Hoosiers need not travel far to indulge in the spring fever!

 

Treat yourself by making your run more than a routine task. Find an Indiana running destination near you!

 

Click Here to Open The Interactive Map

 

North:

 

  • Cowles Bog Trail System – Visit a National Natural Landmark while exploring the diverse 4.7-mile Cowles Bog Trail System. This loop trail features abundant plant and wildlife while the view of Lake Michigan rounds out the scenic journey.

 

South:

  • Clifty Falls State Park – A 4.5-mile, rugged trail runs parallel to Clifty Creek and along the rim of Clifty Canyon. Its steep switchbacks present a challenge, but if you choose to visit in spring, the run will highlight the park’s waterfalls at their peak!

 

  • Hoosier National Forest – With a view of Indian and Celina Lakes, The Two Lakes Loop Trail takes the scenic route through the Hoosier National Forest. The main trail extends for 15.7 miles and includes spur trails that provide options for shorter hikes.

 

East:

  • Whitewater Memorial State Park – The Lakeshore Trail is a 2.7-mile hilly loop that hugs the Whitewater Lake shoreline. The Memorial and Veterans Vista Loop trails are additional options available within the park for tacking on extra miles.

 

  • Brookeville Lake State Park – With more than 25 miles of trails within the park, the options are endless. Indy Mini participants might be most interested in the Wolf Creek Trail, a 16.5-mile primitive trail with beautiful lake views.

 

West:

  • Turkey Run State Park – A network of over 10 trails weave in and out of diverse terrain and scenic views. A 200-foot-long suspension bridge over Sugar Creek links the developed area of the park to the remote trails.

 

 

Central:

 

  • Morgan Monroe State Forest – The Low Gap and Three Lakes Trails are high mileage trails that follow the ridges and valleys of the forest’s lakes and backcountry.

 

Less than two months of Mini-Marathon training remain before that magical day in May. Whether your next running destination is right outside your door or calls for a weekend excursion, Indiana is your playground for Mini miles!

 

Grab a running buddy and go enjoy your training as you prepare for May 5 in Indianapolis!

 

Interested in running or walking the 13.1 miles of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon?

 

Register here!

 

#IndyMini Ambassador: Jay Robinson

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. 

 

Jay’s Story

 

In high school I was a distance runner, but running wasn’t a priority when I transitioned into college. Years later, a friend who had run the Indy Mini a couple times got me to sign up for the 2005 race. Looking back at my high school glory days, I thought that running 13.1 miles would be easy. Wrong! I was out of shape and it hurt. Nevertheless, running the Mini-Marathon inspired me to get back into running more often. I lost the college weight I had gained and found my love for running again. This year, I’ll be running my 14th Mini-Marathon. It has improved more than my physical abilities; training and exercise make me feel better and has become my outlet for burning off steam and energy after work.

 

Jay’s #IndyMini Experience

 

I have run countless half marathons, quite a few marathons and now, I’m getting started in ultramarathons. But what sets the Indy Mini apart is the feeling of race morning. With 30,000+ people packed downtown and a buzz in the air, months of training is corralled into a chute full of people who are ready to reach their goals. The city embraces the race and the crowd is eager to support the participants throughout the 13.1 miles ahead. Adults and children line the streets with creative signs, it’s impossible to not have adrenaline flowing before and during the race. The approach over the New York Street bridge and the sound from the cheering crowd signals that the end is near, it’s my motivation to find a final kick toward the finish line.

 

Jay’s Advice

 

Run the mile you’re in. It’s normal to get tired when you start thinking about how many miles you have left and that can be daunting. It brings anxiety and stress that will cause you to lose the joy of the day. Instead, focus on the shorter steps that will get you to the finish. Maybe that means just giving yourself a pat on the back for every mile you knock off. Maybe it means running for four minutes and then walking a minute. Maybe a simple plan of running pit stop to pit stop works best for you. Breaking the race down into shorter segments will help mentally as well as allow you to enjoy the day with all your new 30,000+ friends.

 

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

 

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