#IndyMini Ambassador: Monica Roose

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. 

 

Monica’s Story

My aspiration toward a healthy lifestyle began in 2011, and after running my first 5K that same year, the motivation and accomplishment that I felt from finishing the race intensified my passion for the sport.  I can’t imagine missing out on that post-race feeling of satisfaction. Running seemed to be the tool that executed my health goals and finding a race that helped me keep those goals attainable made all the difference.

 

Monica’s #IndyMini Experience

The upcoming Indy Mini will mark my seventh year as a participant. The 2018 Indy Mini will be extra special for me because my boyfriend, brother-in-law and nephew will be participating too! The most important people in my life will have the opportunity to understand why I love the Indy Mini.

 

No other race comes close to offering the experiences that are encountered during the Indy Mini. The energetic atmosphere is continuous motivation and running around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a moment that goes unmatched. The rich history and consistency of the event has molded my personal tradition and keeps me coming back each year. This is a must run race!

 

Monica’s Advice

First off, enjoy the race! Take out your ear buds and listen to the bands that are provided by the course entertainment. People you have never met are rooting for you – embrace it! Maybe a helpful tip, there is an actual bathroom at the track – it’s worth the wait.

 

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

 

Monica, 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!

#IndyMini Ambassador: Jennifer Spangler

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. 

 

Jennifer’s Story

My running career started in May of 2013 when I made the decision to lose weight. Throughout my weight loss journey, I began to run and was able to gain endurance through interval training. From my training, I found that I could sustain a 5-mile run without stopping. By August, I realized that I had the potential to run the Mini-Marathon. It was my resolution and strong-will to get healthy, quit smoking and sign up for the Indy Mini, as a reward. Since that time, I have run more than 20 half marathons and six full marathons.

 

Jennifer’s #IndyMini Experience

This year will mark my fifth running of the Indy Mini.  During each Mini, not only am I motivated by the 13.1-mile gap between myself and my goal, but the support from spectators and energy from course entertainment add the perfect element of gratification that I need to make it to the finish line. From the Expo to the Post Race Party, the whole celebration embodies the history and tradition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing (and Running). Through the Indy Mini, I feel like I have a role in all of the month’s festivities.

 

Jennifer’s Advice

Find a training program and stick with it! It is incredibly important to have a running schedule and believe in the slow, simple process. Take advantage of running partners and use them for the motivation and extra push. Come race day, my most important piece of advice is to trust your training!

 

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

 

Jennifer, 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!

#IndyMini Ambassador: Christiana Howton

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. 

 

Christiana’s Story

 

I decided a couple years back that I wanted to become a better me, and I found that by running. I heard about the Indy Mini through a friend and from social media, and I thought it would be a great race to participate in. I have been hooked ever since!

 

Christiana’s #IndyMini Experience

My first year was in 2016. In 2017, I completed the Mega Mini Challenge.

My favorite thing about the Indy Mini – aside from the participants and running the track – would have to be the crowd. They always stand out with so many people, from spectators and live bands to water stations and those who represent the city. They are so supportive and show so much love to those in this race.

One thing that will always stand out to me is the note I received when I checked in at the Expo my first year. It read: “Christiana- Thanks for the #IndyMini shout-out on Instagram! We’re so excited to have you and definitely kiss those bricks! -500 Festival Staff”

That would have to be the start of my love for the Indy Mini and what brings me back every year, and for so many years to come.

 

Christiana’s Advice

My advice to first-time participants would be: whether you are a beginner or professional, runner or walker,  just have fun. I was told once not to set yourself a PR but to just enjoy this race. This is a fun race and you want to soak it all in the best you can. If nothing else, for your first year, soak in all the Indy Mini has to offer and return next year ready to crush any and every goal you have.

 

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

 

Christiana, 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!

#IndyMini Ambassador: Gabe Lingenfelter

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. 

 

Gabe Lingenfelter is the youngest of the 2018 Indy Mini Ambassadors. He started running cross country in fifth grade. He ran his first Mini in sixth grade. Now, in eighth grade, he’ll come barreling down New York Street for the third consecutive year.

 

Gabe’s Story

My Indy Mini story is very special to me. Both my mom and grandpa are runners and they had been doing the Indy Mini for a few years. I always used to like watching them finish and I wondered what it would be like to run the race. I became a runner a few years ago and never imagined running that far. Then, a few years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She had to go through a lot of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She didn’t run the Mini-Marathon for a few years because of it. But in 2016, she was going to do the Mini again and I decided to do it with her. We found out that the Mini was almost one year exactly after her first chemo treatment. That made it even more special to all of us.

 

I ran the Mini that year and I had a lot of fun. The next year, I did it again with one of my friends. It has become a family tradition for us, and this is why the Indy Mini is special to me.

 

Gabe’s #IndyMini Experience

2018 will be third Mini-Marathon. My favorite thing about the race is that it’s memorable. I enjoy running it with my friends and family. I also like that you run around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I think something that makes it different from other races is the atmosphere. Everyone is included, even if you don’t do the Mini. There is a 5K and the mini-mini for younger kids. The feeling that you get at the start and finish are so much better than the feeling of other races. It gives you such a sense of accomplishment.

 

Gabe’s Advice

Don’t give up. We all have a reason we’re running, whether it’s to prove something, make a good time, or just to have fun. We all have a reason to run and you shouldn’t give up.

 

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

 

Gabe, 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!

#IndyMini Ambassador: Stephanie McClain

A record-breaking 42 Ambassadors will train, recruit, and inspire others this coming spring in preparation for the 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Here is one of their stories. 

 

Stephanie’s Story

In 2013, I volunteered with the county fair queens of Indiana at a water station on the back half of the race. This particular water stop was revealing of each individual and how their race was finishing up. In their faces, you saw determination, perseverance, passion, and a fight for the finish… I knew then I wanted to run this race one day, and I did four years later.

 

I took advantage of the Mini Maniac Challenge and participated in the Miler Series and the Mini-Marathon. After each of the Miler Series races, my mother-in-law would ask how my race went. She would join me in a heartbeat if she were able to. She has muscular dystrophy and is wheelchair bound. She is the reason that I run. When the miles become hard, my legs feel like lead and my heart wants to burst out of my chest, I think of Leah and what she would do for another chance to teach aerobics, or dance, or merely walk again. I run for her cure. I am thankful for her support and the way that she encourages me to get out there, no matter the pace, to be the healthiest version of me that I can be.

 

 

Stephanie’s Mini-Marathon Experience

 

This will be my second Indy Mini and I’m hoping to PR!

 

The Indy Mini is unique in various aspects. First, the Indy Mini means something different to everyone. Each participant has a different story to tell and brings different passion and fire to a triumphant physical accomplishment. Second, the support and encouragement by bands, spectators and fans alike throughout the course of the race is unlike any other event. There are spectators with signs, costumes, instruments, and countless volunteers cheering you on to the finish line, wishing you only success.

 

Stephanie’s Advice

 

I highly encourage participating in the Miler Series! It provides great checkpoints along the training season, and it’s awesome to meet new people who are working towards the same goal! I also recommend finding a group for long runs. They can get lonely and boring if you’re out there alone. Find an accountability partner, great socks and you’ll be ready to go! Enjoy the experience, take in every moment, and know that if you put in the hard work, it will pay off.

 

 

Click here to learn more about the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. #IndyMini 

#IndyMini Ambassador: Jenilynne Hall

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. 

 

Jenilynne’s Story

 

I started running for myself in 2012. In 2015, my first Indy Mini was about me and proving to myself that I could do it.

 

In 2016. while working my overnight shift as a 911 dispatcher, Deputy Carl Koontz was shot and killed in the line of duty. I remember that feeling; the helplessness, the sadness, the shock. In the days and weeks after this tragedy, I remember wondering how a society could be so hateful toward the men and women that are sworn to protect and serve our communities.

 

With my training for the Indy Mini just beginning, I knew that I wanted to make my 2016 race about “backing the blue.” I dedicated that year’s Indy Mini to those that I work with, to those that have become like brothers and sisters to me, and specifically to Deputy Carl Koontz. As it’s commonly said: “When a police officer is killed, it’s not an agency that loses an officer, it’s an entire nation.” I ended up crossing the finish line that year with a personal record.

 

In 2017, my sisters and I teamed up with Flags4Fallen and ran with American Flags the entire 13.1 miles in honor of Abigail Williams and Liberty German; the two girls who went missing earlier that year in my hometown of Delphi, Indiana. The flags we ran with were later given to the families of the girls. Again, I crossed the finish line that year with a PR and a lot of tears.

 

Through the years, it seems that once I started running for a cause, it’s made my journey through training and race day much more worth it.

 

Jenilynne’s Mini-Marathon Experience

My favorite thing about the Indy Mini is the atmosphere on Race Weekend. It starts with the Mini-Marathon Expo, which is so much fun and there’s excitement leading up to race day.

 

The day of the Mini is out of this world. So many people line the streets of Downtown Indianapolis before the race. The blaring music, the spectators, the countdown. Then there’s the actual race itself. The course entertainment that lines the streets of Indy is unforgettable. I’ve told so many people that I don’t even need to use my music on my phone. There is enough live music to keep me pumped and going all 13.1 miles!

 

The Post Race Party is the ultimate celebration and the amount of support and love from the volunteers and other participants is so wonderful. There are a lot of races where some people’s competitiveness can take the fun out of the everyday participant’s experience. The Indy Mini takes away that uncomfortable feeling. Everyone is a finisher and everyone is celebrated!

 

 

Jenilynne’s Advice

Have fun! Don’t give up. Even when you think you can’t go any further, you can. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep repeating that. Not everyone can say they are an Indy Mini finisher!

 

Feeling inspired by Jenilynne’s story? If you’re interested in participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on behalf of a charity, check out our Mini With a Meaning Program.

 

Jenilynne, 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!

 

Click here to learn more about the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

#IndyMini Ambassador: Danielle Shively

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. 

 

Danielle’s Story

 

I used to be a group fitness instructor. I was (and still am) passionate about what I do  and helping inspire others to believe that they can do anything they set their minds to. As time went by, I lost that connection to group fitness. However, I found that for me, running was the perfect way to continue to help motivate and inspire others.

 

Along my journey I’ve enjoyed seeing those heartwarming stories on the race course or helping that person along the way who felt like they couldn’t make it. Running is so much more than what we do physically, it’s about the connections we make and the stories we are able to tell to help inspire others.

 

Personally, running has a much deeper meaning. My younger sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Her diagnosis inspired me to run the Chicago Marathon for the American Cancer Society’s Team Determination. Running for a charity is the most empowering feeling one can get. Being able to run for those who can’t is what sets our sport apart.

 

Every year, I run for a different reason.  The first year was because I wanted to challenge myself to do something I never thought possible. The second and third year I was hunting for a PR. Now, I’m running for someone else. Every race, while I’m standing at the Start Line, my first thought is about my sister, not how I will do or where I will finish.  If a run gets hard, I just think of her and remember she is pushing me through. It’s about making  connections along the way and each race having a story to tell at the end.

 

Danielle’s #IndyMini Experience

My favorite part of the Indy Mini is entering into Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I love the course entertainment along the entire route, but the Speedway just gives me goosebumps! All the people are there welcoming us and cheering us along Main Street.  If you had any questions about why this race is so special, that feeling should be the first stop at answering any doubt.

 

I also love how welcoming the race is to all participants! The Indy Mini makes everyone comfortable to participate in. If you are an elite runner, recreational jogger, or a walker, this race just has a way of helping everyone feel welcome.

 

Danielle’s Advice

Take it slow, listen to your body, and never forget the reason why you are running. Never give up and always believe that you can complete any challenge you set in front of you.

 

Feeling inspired by Danielle’s story? If you’re interested in participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on behalf of a charity, check out our Mini With a Meaning Program.

Danielle, 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!

 

#IndyMini Ambassador: Chloe Nash

A record-breaking 42 Ambassadors will train, recruit, and inspire others this coming spring in preparation for the 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Here is one of their stories. 

 

Chloe’s Story

I started running the Indy Mini in a very unique way. In December of 2016, I was having the last conversation I would ever have with my aunt. The last thing I promised her was that I would run the Indy Mini with my uncle in her honor.

For me, the Indy Mini is a way to share a message. I run for METAvivor, a foundation for Stage 4 Metastatic breast cancer. I run for awareness and to raise money. For me, this cause is very close to my heart because it is what got me started in running. I made a promise with my aunt and I carried it out in a way that I never thought was possible. Now, I not only get to continue sharing her story and cause, I also get to do it while running the best half marathon in the world.

 

Chloe’s Mini-Marathon Experience

My favorite thing about the Indy Mini is all the people covering every part of the course, cheering you on and calling your name. I also love how all the runners are, in a way, a family. We all get to know each other while waiting for the race to start, and it’s an amazing experience.

 

Chloe’s Advice

One thing I would say to first-timer runners is no matter how bad you are hurting, you just have to remember why you decided to run. Just remember that and you will always be able to make it through.

 

Click here to learn more about the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. #IndyMini