He looks like IndyCar driver Graham Rahal – so much so that the man[ager] behind the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon can’t walk around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway without a few starstruck looks.
He’s a Hoosier, through and through; exactly what you’d expect of someone leading the charge for the state’s largest and most historic road race.
Glenn Amos is a Carmel native, Indiana State University alum, and a fanatic of endurance sports, triathlons, road races, and large-scale events. And now, he manages one the largest half marathons in the country.
Glenn also manages the 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce, the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy, and the newest event – the 500 Festival mini-mini.
It definitely takes everyone at the 500 Festival and a few thousand volunteers and community leaders to help make the Mini-Marathon go off without a hitch, and it’s just one of the events Glenn has to worry about. That’s why he shies away from any credit or glory.
“It’s bigger than just me,” he said. “It’s bigger than any one person.”
A committee of 100 people from the Indianapolis community come together to organize the event. IMPD, state police, Speedway police, IFD, EMS, Homeland Security, Indiana National Guard, sponsors, and thousands of volunteers play a part in the Mini-Marathon’s success.
So what does Glenn do?
“You’re always a little intimidated by an event that size. It’s always evolving and you’re trying to organize and communicate with hundreds of people, but that’s what I love about it.”
Prior to race day, Glenn and the Mini-Marathon committee are tasked with communicating, organizing, and executing a wide array of operational pieces, including; 400 portalets, 60 golf carts, 40 timing clocks, 2,000 bike racks, 10,700 feet of barricade, 3,000 parking spaces, and so much more.
There are also 150,000 Meijer cups to provide water to participants, and another 150,000 cups for more than 10,000 gallons of Gatorade. Start line committees, mile markers, buses, permits, and certifications are also part of the planning process.
After participants have come and gone on Mini-Marathon day, you can still find Glenn – and the rest of the 500 Festival staff – in Military Park, loading trucks and tearing down structures after about 72 hours without much sleep.
“Events are a different world,” he added. “It’s not 9-5. It’s hanging out with coworkers who become your friends, and eventually family.”
While the Indy Mini comes together through an entire community effort, there’s one man at the center, passionate about orchestrating an event and turning blank streets into an organized and impactful annual tradition.
“When people run our race, it’s a different experience than just running,” Glenn said. “We provide the experience piece. When you see the tradition – three generations of people out there doing it together – it’s creating that experience that I take pride in.”
Photo credits: Kati O’Brien