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.
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!”
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!