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.

Meet Tessie Lloyd-Jones- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador Q&A

Name: Tessie Lloyd- Jones
City/Town: Indianapolis
First year of #IndyMini: 2000

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Running into people I knew.

 

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

The group I train with.

 

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

Find a group to train with.

 

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

I watch and listen to the entertainers along the way. I would love it if at sometime during the race everyone played the same song maybe the theme song to Rocky.

 

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?

Books, sunscreen and beer.

 

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

 

My #IndyMini Story: Joshua Mast

Joshua Mast
Kokomo, Ind.

Joshua Mast’s #IndyMini journey began in February 2018. Mast had struggled for years to quit smoking and didn’t feel he was in his best physical shape. As a new father, Mast knew he had to make a change so his daughter wouldn’t grow up to believe that behavior was acceptable.

 


One night, after getting home from his midnight shift at the factory, he stood in his garage, waiting for his daily conference call, which he usually accompanied with a cigarette. However, that night he decided that he was either going to purchase another pack of cigarettes, and continue with the unhealthy habit, or he was going to buy a pair of jogging pants. Mast chose the latter, and headed out into the cold, early morning to purchase the pants from a store. Since he spent money on the pants, he felt committed to getting into shape. He told his fiancé that he was going to run the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, something that seemed slightly unbelievable at the time. However, Mast turned the skepticism into motivation for his training. After all, he was making these healthy changes so that he would be around to see his daughter grow up and experience life. So on a frigid February morning, Mast headed out for his first run. He was discouraged by the walking breaks he had to do and how out of shape he felt. The road ahead of him felt long, but he was confident that he was going to cross the Indy Mini finish line in May. He changed his diet and fitness routine, going from fast food and little to no physical activity to a diet heavily consisting of greens and daily exercise.

 

On May 5, 2018, Mast crossed the finish line. He had come far to change his life in a short amount of time and accomplished an incredible goal. Mast signed up for the 2019 Indy Mini following his first race, and encouraged his fiancé to join him. He also hopes to work up to a full marathon by the end of this year. For Mast, it all started with a goal and a pair of jogging pants, but what he achieved has made a monumental impact on his life.

 

Turn your goals into accomplishments and join Joshua at the 2019 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Register now at indymini.com/register.

Meet Patty House- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador Q&A

Name: Patty House
City/Town: Coalmont
First year of #IndyMini: 2018

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Kissing the Bricks and giving high-fives to the kids.

 

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

I think what motivates me most is doing what people don’t think I should be able to do. Who would think that someone with one lung can run a mini marathon. Although. I don’t run the whole thing. I jog 3 minutes, walk 2.

 

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

Follow a training course. Follow it to the T.

 

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

“Thunder” 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?

My FITBIT! Running Outfit and a way to get to the internet. 🙂

 

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

2019 Challenge Shirts and Medals

All three of the shirts are short sleeved, technical shirts with gender-specific fits. For each challenge, you must be registered for the actual challenge to receive the shirt and medal for that challenge, not just each event separately. The last day to register for the 500 Festival Greatest Spectacle and the Mini Maniac challenges and the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy is Feb. 3. Register here.

The Greatest Spectacle Challenge
Participants of The Greatest Spectacle Challenge will tackle all five of the 500 Festival running events during the spring season, including the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy (February, March & April), the 500 Festival 5K (May 4), and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (May 4). Challenge participants will receive a commemorative shirt and medal as well as shirts and medals for the Miler Series, 5K, and Mini-Marathon! A total of FOUR medals and shirts!


About the shirt: The front of the emerald green shirt says “500 Festival Greatest Spectacle Challenge.” On the back is the total distance of the challenge, and Indianapolis, Indiana surround the upper part of the gear, with “Five Races. Total Dedication.” Across the middle. Below the gear are the event logos for the Miler Series, Mini-Marathon, and 5K.

About the medal: Matching the color of the shirt, the ribbon of the medal has the Greatest Spectacle Challenge, the total mileage (35.2), and the 500 Festival logo. On the front of the medal is the mileage and name again, with challenge cut out in black. The gear and message from the shirt (Five Races. Total Dedication.) is at the bottom of the medal. The border is diamond plating like a car. On the back is the year 2019 and Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Mini Maniac Challenge
Mini Maniac Challenge participants will take on all 32.1 miles of the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy in February, March, and April, and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in May. Mini Maniac participants will receive a commemorative shirt and medal in addition to the shirts and medals for the Miler Series and Mini-Marathon – a total of three medals!

About the shirt: The front of the white shirt says “500 Festival Mini Maniac Challenge.” On the back is a gear like the other challenge shirts but this time it has 32.1 miles at the top and across the middle are the distances of each of the milers as well as the Indy Mini. And beneath the gear is the two event logos: Miler series and Mini-Marathon.

About the medal: Just like the shirts, all the challenge medals follow a similar design. The ribbon on the Mini-Maniac Challenge medal is red, gray, and white to match the theme of the shirt, and has the name of the challenge, total mileage, (32.1) and the 500 Festival logo. The shape of the medal resembles the Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with challenge cut out at the top and bricks printed through the middle around the gear. The back also has 2019 and Indianapolis, IN, written in white.

The Mega-Mini Challenge
Mega Mini Challenge participants will conquer both the 500 Festival 5K and OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on race morning (May 4). Participants who register for the challenge will receive a commemorative shirt and medal as well as shirts and medals for the Mini-Marathon and 5K!


About the shirt: The front of this blue shirt says “500 Festival Mega Mini Challenge.” The back follows the same design as the other shirts, with the total mileage (16.2) and Indianapolis, Indiana across the top of the gear. The quote in the center is “Two races. One Day” with the event logos below.

About the medal: Like the other challenge medals, the ribbon colors match the palette of the shirt, and has the name of the challenge, event logos, and total mileage around it. At the top of the front side of the medal, the word challenge cut out and bricks printed through the middle around the gear. The back also has May 4, 2019 and Indianapolis, IN, written below the gear.