Prior to 2015, Jamicka Edwards did not consider herself a runner. She thought the word “marathon” was crazy. Fast forward to today, Jamicka has now completed a whopping 25 half marathons and has even conquered 4 full marathons. Though they were not always easy, she never ceased to push herself and have a blast while doing so.
On her 40th birthday in 2019, Jamicka ran the first of the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy. She was so impressed by the organization of the race and the overall participant experience, that she decided to take on the full 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy, the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.
Having just recently moved to the Indianapolis area, Jamicka began learning the city and its different parts through the lens of a runner. She also began to see familiar faces at each race, and made several good friends throughout the Miler Series. As a participant, Jamicka was thrilled with the hospitality, courses, and more of each race. When May arrived, despite the rain, Jamicka conquered her 16.2 miles. She thought to herself, “I’ll do this race again one day,” so when the opportunity was presented to represent the race as a 2020 Indy Mini Ambassador, Jamicka couldn’t resist.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 500 Festival 10-Miler, presented by OrthoIndy, the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon were moved to virtual races. In April, the virtual 10 Miler was a “wake-up call” for Jamicka. She hadn’t been running as much as she did in 2019, and she was disappointed with her results. She was so proud, however, that she did not allow herself to quit. Though it was a tough race, she kept smiling and reminded herself of the smiles of the other virtual participants running with her from all over the world.
The day Jamicka completed her Virtual One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon was completely spontaneous and unplanned. She woke up to a text from her a friend in another state saying he completed 9 miles, with Jamicka motivating him. This gave Jamicka a whirlwind of confidence and that was the moment she decided she would conquer her 13.1 miles that day. Her Indy Mini took place on the Monon trail, given the paved and mostly flat route. Halfway through, at mile 7, she called her oldest son to give him an update and to hear some words of encouragement. She began to feel a little pain but prayed and pushed through. She walked when she needed and ran when she had the energy to. As the sun began to set, she began to approach her car but her energy was depleting. Jamicka received an encouraging text from her son, which pushed her even harder. She crossed her finish line just as the sky began to darken. Though it wasn’t her best time, Jamicka was beyond proud of her accomplishment. Putting in the work may be exhausting at times, but the work is worth it.
Jamicka continues to run virtual races, with others joining her at times. Though they are in different locations, she says they still have just as much fun in spirit with one another. They even do check-ins with each other at both the start and finish lines. Jamicka is a runner at heart and is not letting anything steal her joy for running and the amazing friends she has made through the sport.
Jamicka is thrilled to run the 2021 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon alongside other passionate runners and friends. Until then, she hopes all participants can find a new joy through running virtually with family and friends across the world. You can still make unforgettable memories, just as she is!