Meet Jay Eiteljorge-2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Jay Eiteljorge
City/Town: Fishers, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 1997

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

The 2019 Mini will be my 22nd so there have been a lot of memories. I finally broke 2 hours at the 2010 Indy Mini.

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

I have a great support group of friends and family that helps me to push myself. I believe success breeds success. Seeing others achieve their goals can be inspiring and motivational.

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

It is a big event and great experience. I love running through the different parts of town and seeing the residents out supporting the participants. Trust your training and enjoy the journey!

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

“Whatever It Takes” by Imagine Dragons.

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

iPod, umbrella, binoculars.

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.

 

Meet David Lawrence- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: David Lawrence
City/Town: Culver, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2004

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

The first time I ran it with my wife in 2006.

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

Accountability of others and the community.

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Find someone to train with or be accountable to.

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

“Running” by Hillsong Worship.

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

The Bible, a journal, and a pen.

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini before prices increase on March 1.

 

For the Love of Running

Between Valentine’s Day and it being American Heart Month, February is the month most associated with hearts and love. The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is a great way to get moving and start eating well, essential things for good cardiovascular health! For John Love of Carmel, Ind., the #IndyMini is more than just a half marathon; it’s a celebration of heart health and recovery.

 

In Spring of 2016, John Love went in for his routine heart scan at St. Vincent’s. Even though John ate well and regularly exercised, it was recommended by his doctor due to his family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. While the preliminary results came back great, doctors identified an aneurysm in his ascending aorta after a more thorough review of the scan. After meeting with his cardiologist, it was determined that John needed open heart surgery to repair the aneurysm.

 

On June 20, 2016, John underwent his surgery. The surgery had John reflecting on how he could further improve his heart health, and set out to partake in as many local 5Ks he could accomplish. What started out as what he calls a “slog” (slow jog), his speed and enjoyment of running improved over the next year.

 

It was over a dinner in December of 2017 that a good friend of John’s encouraged him to sign up for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Never in his life did he imagine he would complete 13.1 miles in one race, but the past two years taught him that he can achieve what he sets his mind to, so he created his training schedule. Under his doctor’s supervision, he trained for his first half marathon.

John crossed the #IndyMini finish line on May 5, 2018, almost two years after his open heart surgery. The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming. It wasn’t a world record time, but for John, it meant so much more to him than that. Now, he’s training for his second #IndyMini and is ready to cross the finish line on May 4. Why? Because there’s so much to love about this race.

 

Register now for 2019 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon! Whether it’s your first time or fifteenth, you’ll be filled with excitement and a sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line.

 

Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise regimen. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults 20 or older have their cholesterol and other traditional risk factors checked every four to six years.

Meet Shane Hillman- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Shane Hillman
City/Town: Gas City, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2013

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

My friends hid all my shorts(7 pair) the night before the race in 2015. I almost drove all the way home to get them! I always over pack!

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

Running friends!

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

The crowd is both overwhelming and motivational at the same time!

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

“Under Pressure” by Queen.

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

My Phone, my phone and my phone!

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.

 

Meet Pam Chemelewski- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Pam Chemelewski
City/Town: Fishers, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2015

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Being fortunate enough to be part of the team who saved a fellow runner’s life!

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

Whatever goal I have set is what motivates me the most during training. Whether it be going a longer distance, aiming for a PR or running races back to back, without a goal I feel as if I have no path. For me, setting a goal is equivalent to crushing that same goal in due time!

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

First time #IndyMini participants need to take it all in! Enjoy the entire race. Get to the start line early to take in the building excitement. Take time as you walk or run along to meet a few of the participants around you. Thank all the safety personnel you see on the route. Kiss the bricks on the Speedway. Be proud of yourself for that hard earned medal you receive at the finish line. And, most importantly, sign up for next year’s race!

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

Nearly anything by Flo Rida or Pitbull!

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

My camera, a good book and, of course, my running shoes!!!

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini before prices increase on March 1.

 

Meet Lisha Watts- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Lisha Watts
City/Town: Shelbyville, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2017

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

My favorite #IndyMini memory is my first one in 2017! I had heard that the race was incredible from the spectators and entertainment along the course to running around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but experiencing it myself was beyond words. I’ve lived in Indiana almost my entire life and that was my first time inside the IMS! I now have ran 20 half marathons and while each one has been awesome in its own way there really is nothing that compares to the Indy Mini!!

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

My family is my biggest motivation! My husband is my biggest supporter and I am so excited to run the Indy Mini with him for the first time in 2019!! My kids are also a huge motivation and it’s exciting to watch them develop a love for running through events like the 500 Festival mini mini!

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

My advice is to go for it! I didn’t start running until 2016. In fact, prior to that, I would joke about how I would have to be chased in order to run!! I trained for my first half marathon after being asked to do it by my mom and at that time I couldn’t run for more than a minute. I don’t back down from challenges though and I am pretty determined person. The great thing about the Indy Mini is that it’s a very run/walk friendly course. There is also a lot of fun along the way to distract you and it makes the miles go by a lot faster! Crossing the finish line and earning that finisher’s medal will give you such a feeling of pride and satisfaction!! Just be warned, you will want to come back year after year! I also recommend taking part in the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy. It’s a good way to keep you motivated during training and hey it doesn’t hurt getting extra bling when you complete all three runs!

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

My playlist has a wide array of different songs on it! Anything from country, to hip hop to contemporary Christian music. My current favorite song to play is “This Is Me” from the Greatest Showman soundtrack. I’ve been known to play it on repeat during a 5K for a little extra motivation! I also love “The Champion” by Carrie Underwood and “High Hopes” by Panic at the Disco.

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

My husband and kiddos
My running shoes
Skinny pop and chocolate.

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.

 

Meet Tim Potts- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Tim Potts
City/Town: Fort Wayne, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 1987

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

So many. I remember the old course starting at the circle and ending at the track. I would have to say running the race with a couple young men I coached in cross country and guiding them along the course.

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

I have been running so long that it is a personal drive to prepare myself to run the best I can.

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Do it! You will not find a better course, great crowds, great entertainment, awesome post race party, a phenomenal medal, and a very organized and supported event. The runners are so encouraging….you just have to experience it for yourself.

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

“I just need you” by Toby Mac.

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

The Bible, radio, and my dog Sophie.

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.

 

Perks of Running Together

2019 Indy Mini Ambassador Guest Blog
By Tori Schuh

 

“You want me to run…with people? Nope. No way. Not happening!”

 

That was me over a year ago. Fast forward to today and I can barely get through a solo run.  So why the change?

 

For me, running was never considered a team sport.  I just wanted to put my headphones in and struggle through it alone.  Then one day I was invited to go for a run with a group.  I conveniently had “plans” that day, but ultimately I was just very fearful.  What if they are too fast? What if I can’t keep up? How will I talk and run at the same time? What if…? What if…? What if…? All of those misconceptions kept me from experiencing the thing I now crave the most—group runs or runs with a buddy.

 

So what are the benefits of running with someone or a group?

 

1) ACCOUNTABILITY: When you make a plan with a group of people and set up a date and time, it makes it much easier to show up.  When you make a plan with yourself to “run in the morning,” then the only person you have to answer to is you. Much easier.  So get a group text going and tell someone or a group of people that you will be there.

 

2) CONNECTION: We all crave community and connection, right?  It is pretty amazing what happens when miles turn into conversations that connect people to each other.  Sometimes, the challenges we face or the issues we deal with — big or small — can feel so isolated. But then we start to connect with others and find that people have been through similar circumstances.  Just having a listening ear or someone to bounce things off of (running or non-running related) can be so beneficial and helpful.

 

3) SUPPORT & ENCOURAGEMENT: Who doesn’t love a high five or congrats every now and then?  The support and encouragement of running with a running buddy or running buddies is incredible.  It is a community of people who truly want to see one another succeed.  Whether it is someone running with you on race day or who has trained with you throughout your program, having someone who is always willing to give you that extra boost of encouragement, or support you when you have had a difficult run, is instrumental to the sport.  There are times when “non-runners” just don’t get it, and while the support of your non-running family and friends is great, there is a certain understanding amongst you and a running buddy, or multiple buddies.

 

The reasons to run with a friend or a group far outweigh the benefits of running alone.  My entire running journey changed for me the day I said “YES” to running with the Fishers Running Club.  Out of that yes, I have gained a ton of running buddies, an amazing support system and an incredible amount of accountability that has allowed me to increase my distance and my pace.  I always have someone who is willing to go for a run at the drop of a text!  Just recently, I completed the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World.  Each of the four races began in the very early hours.  Whether is was pre-race at 4 a.m. or post race, I could always count on a text or Facebook message of encouragement from multiple people in my running group.  It truly kept me going!!

Whoever said running isn’t a team sport has never been running! Grab yourself a buddy or find a running club, wipe any preconceived notions out of your head about what you “think” it will be like and hit the pavement together! You will be glad you did!

 

Grab your running friends and sign up for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon together! Don’t wait, prices increase on March 1.

Team Taylor: 13.1 Miles of Smiles

Maissie, her mother Kamala, and brother Taylor love participating in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon each May. Alongside more than 30,000 other participants, they take to the streets of downtown and cross into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the first Saturday of May. However, their #IndyMini experience is a little different than the traditional runner.

Maissie

“I haven’t always loved to run. In fact, there was a time I never ran. Running for me really began after I had my third child. My husband was deployed so I decided I was going to train and run my first half marathon. In February of 2015, I stood in the corral waiting for my time to run. As I was standing with thousands of people I heard them start the race with the lead being the wheel chair division. I thought it was so cool, and thought about it for several days. I thought how much my brother Taylor, who was born with cerebral palsy and has been wheel chair bound since birth, and how someone should do this with him. I thought it would be too hard for me being a military spouse and being so far away, until it dawned on me that I could do it because if there’s a will there’s a way. I set out on the mission to get him a chair and have the opportunity to be included.

 

I found Ainsley’s Angles, set up a fundraiser and raised the money for a race chair for my brother. Taylor and I run the Indy Mini now every year and it’s a tradition we love. Taylor lives in Wabash, Ind., so we occasionally run the very hilly streets in Wabash while we pretend to be running our own race and train for the Indy Mini. Taylor knows when I surprise him at his home that we are going running. When I walk in and ask him what he wants to do he tells me “RUN!” He’s always ready roll.

 

Our first Mini was magical and they just keep getting better. We are signed up and ready to roll on May 4. He particularly loves the IU cheerleaders at the top of the hill as we enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Taylor looks forward the Indy Mini just as much as I do, Taylor inspires me to keep running and training so I can be the best I can be as we make 13.1 miles of smiles. Since February of 2015, I have completed 20 half marathons with the majority of them being with Ainsley’s Angels. Indy Mini is a memorable run where Taylor feels free and included. The smile on his face during our runs is all the motivation I need. I hope that along the course of the Indy Mini that we inspire someone else and they can also have a 13.1 miles of smiles.”

Kamala
“Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Up until I was diagnosed I was an avid runner. I would run daily for pure enjoyment. When I was down and isolated with only my thoughts and the cancer, I decided I was going to run the Indy Mini, all because I wanted to do something to prove my strength to nobody but myself.

 

In May of 2009 I kicked the thyroid cancer to the curb and ran my first official half marathon. Completing that half made me feel as though I could conquer whatever came my way. Running without a thyroid can be challenging at times but having the will power along with the right support as well as nutrition I know I can do it.

 

I only ran the Indy Mini once until my daughter, who also runs, called to ask if I’d run the Indy Mini with her while she pushes her half-brother with the help of Ainsley’s Angels. This year will be our third year together running the Indy Mini with Ainsley’s Angles and Team Taylor. I’m flattered to able to be a part of Team Taylor. Taylor is a special young man; I truly love running along with him as he giggles the whole 13.1 miles. He lights up the way with his big smile as we roll with the wind. Running alongside my daughter and her half-brother makes all my miles worth it. I may have had cancer but the cancer didn’t have me, I am grateful I was able to overcome my struggles so I could have the opportunity to feel the real meaning of inclusion. I look forward to the Indy Mini every year, I tell everyone how I get to run with Team Taylor, we even try to do theme outfits. Last year was a good one as we ran the streets in all IU gear, this year Team Taylor will be very bright.”

Register now for the 2019 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. All Mini-Marathon and 5K registrations support 500 Festival children’s and educational programming. By participating in Mini with a Meaning, runners and walkers have the ability to make an impact in multiple ways within the Indianapolis community. Learn more how your registration can support organizations like Ainsley’s Angels: https://www.indymini.com/p/mini-marathon/miniwithameaning 

Meet Brad Chaney- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Brad Chaney
City/Town: Terre Haute
First year of #IndyMini: 1997

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Finishing top 200 in 2017, still my fastest half marathon!

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

My friends motivate me and hold me accountable to stick with my training. Consistently improving with hard work is what motivates me to get up and run every day!

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Get out of your comfort zone, try something new and it will change your life.

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

Nature! I don’t listen to music ever when I run, I love just being in my thoughts, conversing with my friends or enjoying nature!

 

Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?

My Garmin Watch, at least one of my running buddies and my wife who supports me in all I do!

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.