#IndyMini Ambassador: Katie Dogan

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. 

 

Katie’s Story

 

I never considered myself a runner. In high school and college, I was a marching band kid and my experience with running never exceeded three miles. I always wanted to run a half marathon because I was so impressed by my friends who had done it. I felt like it was an obtainable goal, but I would always say, “well, next year maybe I’ll attempt it when I have more running endurance.” It wasn’t until 2015, when I went running with my roommate who pushed me to run four miles, that I realized I was capable of running a half marathon. Everything just clicked. I thought running more than three miles was impossible, but I did it – so I knew I could do 13.1 too! That March, I signed up for my first half marathon (which was of course the Indy Mini)!

 

Katie’s #IndyMini Experience

 

I remember going to watch my boyfriend (now fiancé) run the Mini in 2014. This was the first huge race I had ever attended and I had no idea what to expect. After experiencing the race as a spectator, I knew I had to be a participant in this race someday! I had no idea how or when, but I knew I wanted to be a part of it. The next year, I finally signed up! I fought hard during my first Mini-Marathon, but I came out disappointed that I didn’t hit my goal time. It took me a few hours (and a few thousand calories) later to finally feel the enormity of what I had accomplished. It didn’t matter if I was fast or slow, if I hit my goal or didn’t – I completed 13.1 miles and that was more than enough!

 

Once you are able to look past goal times and PRs, you realize how special this race is. At that point in my Indy Mini experience, I knew I was in this for life! I love this race and the sense of community. For my fiancé and me, the Mini-Marathon is basically a holiday – we would never think of skipping it. It’s a yearly routine; sign up, train together and peer pressure everyone (seriously EVERYONE) I know to run with us. To me, the Indy Mini is all about dreaming big, crushing goals and having your friends, family and community there to support you. There’s no place I’d rather be on the first weekend of May!

 

Katie’s Advice

 

Be conscious of your body on race day. The biggest mistake I made during my first half marathon was thinking that whatever I could do in training, I could do on race day. Race day is difficult. Between the nerves, excitement, water, etc., your body won’t necessarily feel the same as it does on training runs. Everyone has good runs and bad runs. It’s unfair when our bad runs are on race day, but when that happens, the most important thing is to just stop, look around and really soak it all in.

 

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

 

Katie, 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 Spectator Strategies For The 2018 Indy Mini

The spectator – participant relationship is pretty special. If you’ve taken on the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in either role, you know that it’s one of the race’s defining features.

 

When a state’s passion for racing meets Hoosier hospitality, the city of Indianapolis goes from training for a race to training for a month-long lineup of community celebrations.

 

How do we train? We come together to spectate, celebrate, and make everyone in our city feel welcome.

 

So, just as the participants have been training, it’s important that spectators are equally prepared. We’ve outlined seven spectator strategies that will be appreciated by Indy Mini participants on May 5:

 

  1. Personalize Your Cheers

Some participants will have their name on their bib or shirt. Use it! There is extra motivation in knowing that strangers care. Participants will be motivated to uphold your faith in them!

2. Get Creative

Make a poster or a sign that encourages or entertains.

3. Be Interactive

Throw out your hand for a high five or use an engaging sign to bring participants to you.

 

4. Be Selective

Think about what you wouldn’t want to hear. Cheering “you’re almost there” at mile two probably wouldn’t be applicable or beneficial motivation.

 

5. Be Funny & Thoughtful

Aim for a smile! If you were digging deep to get through 13.1 miles, wouldn’t you want to hear an occasional joke or clever spur?

6. Plan Your Location

Plan your spectating location using the course map. That way, your participant can know where to expect to see you.

 

7. Be a Fan of Everyone

Fill in the gaps as needed and be a fan of all passing Indy Mini participants. After all, it’s May in Indianapolis and we’re all part of the celebration.

 

The Indy Mini is an event that unifies the community. This year, the 500 Festival challenges you to be a part of someone’s Indy Mini story. On May 5, hold up the sign, be the voice, and help cultivate the energy for one of the largest half marathons in the nation.

 

See you soon, Indy!

Follow the Milk | Indy Mini Blog

As the saying goes, “Winner’s Drink Milk!”

 

You already know the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon medal represents the iconic milk bottle from the winner’s circle of the Indy 500, but did you know everyone in Indy is trying to get their hands on it?

 

The 2018 Indy Mini medal has been making people feel like winners everywhere it goes, and it’s not even May yet.

 

Follow along on Instagram during the final week of April to watch this 4-inch piece of history make a few laps around the circle city.

 

Once May arrives, the milk is reserved for Indy Mini finishers!

 

Register for the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon before online registration closes on April 30!

 

#IndyMini Ambassador: Ryan McElroy

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.

 

Ryan’s Story

 

I grew up in Ireland and have been living in Indianapolis for the past two years. Last year, I witnessed my first OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon for the first time. As people crossed the finish line, I saw looks of accomplishment while people embraced their friends and family. I wanted to be a part of something that was so impactful for individuals of all ages and abilities.

I also work in the events industry and have an appreciation for this unique festival!

 

Ryan’s #IndyMini Experience

 

I became aware of the 500 Festival through fellow students at IUPUI. From an outside perspective, I have learned that the 500 Festival is special to Hoosiers. Since moving to Indianapolis, I have recognized the importance of the month of May and have come to learn that there is a sense of civic pride associated with it.

 

Although I have always played some form of sports, I never considered myself a runner. I get satisfaction from achieving personal goals and being a part of the 500 Festival. I do most of my training around the downtown canal and White River Trail. From a personal standpoint, the Indy Mini is a great way to celebrate this and I am excited to immerse myself in this local tradition by running over the iconic bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

Ryan’s Advice

 

While being physically able and training is important, so much of running with endurance comes down to your mindset. Set your goals high and believe in yourself!

 

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

 

Ryan, 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!

Davis Family’s Indy Mini Legacy Continues With Cart Gift

Danny Davis came up from Florida for the last four years to push his mother in a cart at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. This story was shared with us by Melynda Davis, Danny’s sister. 

 

My Mom absolutely loved being a part of the Indy Mini. She shared their story and many pictures with everyone she knew, and many people she didn’t know.

 

Their motto was “Never Give Up” and they definitely did not give up. Each year, they kissed the bricks and my brother would help her out of the cart so they could both walk across the finish line. A sign on the back of the cart reads “There will come a day when I can no longer do this. But today is not that day.”

 

It is with a heavy heart that I must say that day has come. Our precious Mom and wife to my Dad of 52 years passed away on November 26, 2017. In honor of her, we would like to donate the cart to someone else who may not otherwise get the opportunity to participate in the Indy Mini. We would also be honored to make new vinyl stickers with the names of the cart’s new owner.

 

If you’re interested and will use the cart, please email Melynda Davis at mdavis8796@yahoo.com. We would like to thank the Indy Mini Team and the many runners who acknowledged Danny and our Mom, offered support or helped in any way.

Former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy to Run 500 Festival 5K

He’s coming home! Indianapolis icon and former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy has registered to run the 500 Festival 5K on May 5 in downtown Indianapolis. He decided to run to support his wife, Lauren Harris Dungy, who is participating in all 13.1 miles of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

 

Dungy broke the news via Twitter after registering early on Wednesday morning (Apr. 18).

 

 

Coach Dungy led the Colts for seven seasons (2002-2008), amassing 10 wins or more in each season and winning the franchise’s only Super Bowl in 2006.

 

Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck ran the 5K in 2016. Former punter Pat McAfee helped the 500 Festival kick off the month of May at Kickoff to May in 2016, too. Tony, however, has registered as a regular participant. Be sure to look for him on the course.

 

Want to join (and hopefully see) the Dungy duo at the Indy Mini or 5K on May 5? Online registration is still available through April 30!

Indy Mini 1st-Timer’s Guide: Commonly Asked Questions

It’s not just any half marathon; it’s the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon. As one of the nation’s largest half marathons, packed with unique experiences and sacred tradition, questions come with the territory.

 

Each year, the Indy Mini is refined to create the best experience for participants as they take on The Greatest Spectacle in Running. For novices and annual participants alike, we’ve compiled some commonly asked questions and answers so that your only worry on race day will be the 13.1 miles between the start and finish line!

 

Join the discussion on the 2018 Indy Mini 1st Timers Facebook page and interact with other Indy Mini Participants with questions, advice and encouragement!

 

Q: Where can I get my results for the Mini-Marathon?

A: Participants can find their results by scanning the QR code on their bib, through the IndyMini app or by clicking here. Results from past Mini-Marathons may also be obtained here, dating back to 1994.

 

Q: Where is my starting location for the Mini-Marathon?

A: All participants will have a corral letter on their bib number. This letter corresponds to a specific starting location based on your estimated finishing time. You must start in this corral or, if you are starting with another person that is in a different corral, you must start in the slower of the two locations. The order of the corrals are as follows (from fastest to slowest) A, B, C, D, E, F, etc. See the start line map for a diagram of the start area and to locate your corral.

 

Q: How do I get to Indianapolis? Where do I park?

A: Download Indianapolis maps and downtown parking maps here.

See Mini-Marathon street closings here.

 

Q: Where do I get my race bib?

A: You can pick up your race number at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo located in the Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis. Mini-Marathon Expo hours:

Thursday, May 3 from 4 – 8 p.m., Friday, May 4 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

NO RACE DAY PACKET PICK-UP!

 

Q: Can I run in the 5K instead of the Mini-Marathon?

A: Yes, if you are registered for the Mini-Marathon and would like to participate in the 5K, simply line up with the 5K participants wearing your Mini-Marathon bib. Your results will reflect that you participated in the 5K and you will receive a 5K medal. The 5K will begin at 7:00 am.

 

Q: I’m faster now than when I signed up, can I update my estimated finish time?

A: See the solutions desk at the Mini-Marathon Expo

 

Q: Is there an app available for download?

A: Yes, search Indy Mini in the App Store to download the free Indy Mini app! Get access to important event details, runner tracking, live results, news, social media and more.

 

Q: Heading into the last few weeks before the race, should I start decreasing the intensity of my training

A: Some participants find it beneficial to “taper” their training as they approach race day. Check out the Tapering Guidelines for the Indy Mini blog post to learn more.

 

Q: Where are the water stations?

A: The water stations are named Pit Areas as part of the Festival’s ties to automotive racing. Click here for a course map. Pit Areas with water are marked with a “W” on the course map and will have blue banners on the course on event day. Pit Areas with Gatorade Endurance Formula are marked with a “G” on the course map and will have green banners on the course on event day. Click here for a list.

 

Q: What if I can’t finish the race?

A: The Back of the Pack crew will be on hand to help, and there will be a bus following the last participants of the race. Any Mini-Marathon participants who cannot finish, or cannot keep up with the 18 minute/mile minimum pace can ride the bus to the Post Race Party.

 

Q: When does the race officially end?

A: Approximately 12:45 p.m. local time.

 

Q: Where should I meet my family after the race?

A: Meet your friends and family in the Family Reunion Area located at the Post Race Party in Military Park. This area will be divided by letter of the alphabet and will feature live entertainment. A map of the Post Race Party can be found here. Please make meeting plans prior to the start of the Mini-Marathon.

 

Q: Where can I check my gear during the race?

A: UPS Gear check is provided for Mini-Marathon participants, and is located on West Street, north of the start line and south of the Post Race Party. Please use the bag you received at the Expo and tear off tag located on your bib. UPS Trucks are arranged by bib number. Please identify your bib number and corresponding truck to check your gear.

 

Hopefully your questions have all been answered. All that stands between you and a successful Indy Mini is 13.1 miles with thousands of friends in the nation’s premier half marathon. Happy racing!

#IndyMini Ambassador: Melissa Freeman

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. 

 

Melissa’s Story

 

In the fall of 2016, after starting law school, I decided to make a change in my life. I set my sights the 2017 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, with a goal to run and finish my first half marathon. Although training was intimidating, it proved to be one of the most rewarding experiences I could have imagined. Throughout my training, I learned that my limitations were only in my mind and weren’t indicative of what I could accomplish. I learned that I am capable of accomplishing feats that I had once thought were impossible. Through perseverance and hard work, I finished the Indy Mini and loved it.

 

Melissa’s #IndyMini Experience

 

The Indy Mini was more than just a race to me. It represents the beginning of what I have accomplished and everything that I will accomplish in the future. Since fall 2016, I have lost over thirty pounds and have developed a passion for running. As I train for my second Mini-Marathon, I am looking forward to running around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and kissing the bricks!

 

Melissa’s Advice

 

Trust your training, plan and have fun! If this is your first half marathon, focus on finishing rather than a specific goal time. During the race, focus on your music, smile at spectators, read signs, go for the high five, just don’t focus on the fact your body hurts with still many miles to go. You are going to cross the finish line before you know it. Don’t get discouraged, you can do this!

 

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

 

Melissa, 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!

Tapering Guidelines for the Indy Mini

It’s been a long time coming, but the high-mileage training days are in the rearview and sights are set on race day for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon! You’ve been pounding the pavement and it’s finally time to reel in the miles and harness your months of preparation.

 

The intricacies of the mental and physical balance of running, while training for the Indy Mini, are even more prominent during the stages of tapering. Methods of tapering differ, but these guidelines will put you in the right head space to create an individualized program for a peak performance on race day.

 

  • Remain vigilant, but recognize that your hardest workouts are behind you.
  • Gradually decrease mileage, starting one to three weeks before race day.
  • Get a feel for race pace and adapt your muscles to a pace that is sustainable for 13.1 miles.
  • Avoid potential injury and soreness, think recovery and rejuvenation.
  • Make healthy choices; sleep, nutrition, and hydration play vital roles in preparedness.
  • Trust your training, relax and be fueled by your progress.

 

Tapering might sound overwhelming or confusing and truth be told, no one has it down to a science. Your body is prepared to finish 13.1 miles and tapering will maximize hours of training.

 

Less than three weeks stand between you and the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. The Indy Mini course is flat and fast, but training is all downhill from here. Happy tapering!

 

Not registered for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 5?

Register today before prices increase on April 30!

#IndyMini Ambassador: Paige Freund

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. 

 

Paige’s Story

 

In the seventh grade, I started running cross country. My best friend encouraged me to join her on the team and ever since, I have loved running. Throughout high school, I ran track and cross country and upon my first year of college, I completed my first half marathon! My runner’s high continued and never stopped – it’s something that relieves stress and helps me find joy!

 

Paige’s #IndyMini Experience

 

I wish I could say that I had an Indy Mini “story,” but the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon was always a race I wanted to run. I grew up in a suburb outside of Chicago, then when I went to college at Butler University, there was a constant buzz leading up to the Mini-Marathon. I think most of my inspiration came from my best friend, Allie, who was a 500 Festival Princess – her Hoosier roots and connection to the 500 Festival are to thank for my growing affinity for the race.

 

In particular, I love the entertainment that is everywhere! It is truly a special experience to have live music and people cheering you on all throughout the course. You can’t forget about running on the track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s definitely not something most people can say they have done until that have run the Indy Mini!

 

Paige’s Advice

                                                                                                                                

Advice that I would give first-time participants is to actually train, but always listen to your body. You do not need to PR every race (something I am starting to realize) because listening to your body is more important. Walk when you need to, drink water when needed, and keep up on your energy with gels or chews, it will become very important throughout the race!

 

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

 

Paige, 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!