#IndyMini Ambassador: Emily Eaton

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. 

 

Emily’s Story

 

Ever since I was young, I played soccer. It was my sport, but throughout the elementary and middle school years, I’d run 5Ks with my dad, including a few 500 Festival 5Ks. My dad has been a runner for years. He has run the New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and the Indy Mini multiple times. I was destined to run the Mini-Marathon sooner or later. Freshman year of high school, I decided that I wanted to athletically challenge myself beyond soccer, by running a half marathon.

 

My dad signed us up for the Indy Mini. Training was tough, especially with a rigorous school and travel soccer schedule. Through training and my first race, it was all worth it, and I knew that I wanted to be a runner. Since my first race in 2013, my dad and I have run five Mini-Marathons and the Walt Disney Full Marathon. Over the years, the Indy Mini has become more than a race to me. It’s been a way for my dad and me to do something we both love, together. We’ve bonded over the struggles and joys of running (blisters, chaffing, and free bananas), pushed each other to become better athletes and strengthened our father-daughter relationship. The Indy Mini has become a yearly tradition for the two of us and I can’t wait to run my sixth Mini-Marathon with him this May!

 

Emily’s #IndyMini Experience

 

My favorite part about the Indy Mini is running around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and kissing the bricks. It’s surreal to be able to run around such an iconic part of Indianapolis history. What always stands out to me is the support from the community. During the race, there are hundreds of volunteers handing out water, cheering you on and providing awesome entertainment for the whole 13.1 miles. The last leg of the race always gives me goosebumps because complete strangers are cheering you on by name. It provides a whole new meaning to the term “Hoosier hospitality!”

 

Emily’s Advice

 

Enjoy yourself! I know it can be hard when you’re running 13.1 miles, but try your best to have fun. Give spectators high fives. Kiss the bricks. Take it all in. Not everyone can participate in the Greatest Spectacle in Running, so take pride in the opportunity!

 

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

 

Emily, 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!

 

 

Indy Mini Ambassador: Brian Davis

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. 

 

Brian’s Story

 

Initially, my story was similar to many others; I never liked running when I was younger, but as an adult I figured out that it was therapeutic and calming in ways that my younger self wouldn’t have appreciated.

 

This year’s purpose, however, is different. In the summer of 2016 I discovered a growth in my left jaw joint, which turned out to be an extremely rare tumor that required removal. In November of the same year, I had a segment of my mandible removed and replaced with titanium, which it turns out is not sturdy enough to be a permanent replacement. As a result, my 2017 Mini was followed shortly thereafter by a surgery called a fibula free flap, a procedure that entailed removing my right fibula in order to replace the missing portion of my jaw. No rod or anything to replace the fibula; it’s just not there anymore.

 

Consequently, my 2018 Mini story began with my 2017 month of May; I kicked off the month with a 13.1-mile run and ended it without the ability to walk without a walker. I signed up for this year’s event with more purpose than any other one in which I’ve participated – I was adamant that I would complete the 2018 Mini, even if I had to crawl across the finish line. I’ve since regained the ability to do almost everything, and I’m on pace to complete my eighth Mini with only minimal challenges.

 

I’ve always played sports, but running as a personal endeavor was never appealing. Truth be told, if my wife and her family hadn’t pushed me to do my first Mini as a last-second decision, I’m not sure I would have ever discovered the appeal. As I completed my first Mini, I realized that not every runner kept a fast pace, nor did they all fit the physique that I envisioned. My perception of what it meant to be a runner had been significantly challenged and I was intrigued. I was motivated to find my way to be a runner and shortly thereafter, I was hooked. Once I had my running epiphany, I initially struggled with pacing myself appropriately, so I actually preferred the treadmill over an outdoor run. Eventually, I learned what my preferred pace felt like and could maintain it. Running opened up a new level of experience to every traveling adventure and personal challenge that I faced.

 

Brian’s #IndyMini Experience

 

When races consist of longer distances, it can be easy to feel left out or disconnected if you’re not competing in the front of the pack. Although the Mini obviously entails such things, this half marathon is more about the experience than anything else. For the first Mini, I walked… and grumbled… and then felt an odd sense of accomplishment as I crossed the finish line. I was unaware of it at the start of the race, but being a part of this initial experience sparked a desire to be a part of it again and again. The Indy Mini welcomes all in a manner that is encouraging, even if you’re not a runner and may never become one. You’ll never feel out of place during the 13.1 miles. It is truly an experience like no other.

 

Brian’s Advice

 

Next, if you’re like me and you need a soundtrack for your running, be sure to put together the playlists in advance and try them out for a run or two. I have created these without taking them out for a spin and realized very quickly that they aren’t as perfect of a jam session as I’d hoped.

 

Finally, run different routes as you train. I have convenient local runs that I can pace out to the distance I need pretty easily, but variety is good for your training and can be reinvigorating for your running soul. I try to sneak out at least once any time we travel and always find myself glad that I did.

 

Ultimately, enjoy the experience and worry about nothing other than yourself. You’ll hear endless feedback from those who may not understand the appeal of the Mini or why you would voluntarily run such a distance. Let me tell you though, once you’ve completed your first one, you’ll be challenging them to join you for your next.

 

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

 

Brian, 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: Jay Robinson

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. 

 

Jay’s Story

 

In high school I was a distance runner, but running wasn’t a priority when I transitioned into college. Years later, a friend who had run the Indy Mini a couple times got me to sign up for the 2005 race. Looking back at my high school glory days, I thought that running 13.1 miles would be easy. Wrong! I was out of shape and it hurt. Nevertheless, running the Mini-Marathon inspired me to get back into running more often. I lost the college weight I had gained and found my love for running again. This year, I’ll be running my 14th Mini-Marathon. It has improved more than my physical abilities; training and exercise make me feel better and has become my outlet for burning off steam and energy after work.

 

Jay’s #IndyMini Experience

 

I have run countless half marathons, quite a few marathons and now, I’m getting started in ultramarathons. But what sets the Indy Mini apart is the feeling of race morning. With 30,000+ people packed downtown and a buzz in the air, months of training is corralled into a chute full of people who are ready to reach their goals. The city embraces the race and the crowd is eager to support the participants throughout the 13.1 miles ahead. Adults and children line the streets with creative signs, it’s impossible to not have adrenaline flowing before and during the race. The approach over the New York Street bridge and the sound from the cheering crowd signals that the end is near, it’s my motivation to find a final kick toward the finish line.

 

Jay’s Advice

 

Run the mile you’re in. It’s normal to get tired when you start thinking about how many miles you have left and that can be daunting. It brings anxiety and stress that will cause you to lose the joy of the day. Instead, focus on the shorter steps that will get you to the finish. Maybe that means just giving yourself a pat on the back for every mile you knock off. Maybe it means running for four minutes and then walking a minute. Maybe a simple plan of running pit stop to pit stop works best for you. Breaking the race down into shorter segments will help mentally as well as allow you to enjoy the day with all your new 30,000+ friends.

 

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

 

Jay, along with our other Ambassadors, will be sharing he training experience and motivation leading up to the race. Follow along and share your experience using #IndyMini on social media!

#IndyMini Ambassador: Lori Ann Reckley

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. 

 

Lori Ann’s Story

I’ve always deemed myself a runner but I didn’t start competing until six years ago when running led me to someone that transformed my outlook on life. Up to that point, I lowered my head and ran fast. I put forth the effort, and by grit alone, I could get faster with each race. Beyond the desire to get faster, running is my escape and it tunes me into the beauty of the world. When I run, I am at peace. Over the past few years, that space has been my lifeline. Through a bout of cancer, a bad car accident and two broken femurs, I used running as a way to bounce back. The loss of my brother, sister, best friend and sister-in-law was tough on me. Riddled with physical injury and personal devastation, I ran for joy. Joy is my sister’s middle name. Today and every day, I run for her and incorporate her in everything I do.

 

Lori Ann’s #IndyMini Experience

A coincidental encounter with Gary Romesser, an elite runner and Indianapolis native, introduced me to the Indy Mini. We were waiting for our race results at a Florida 10K. Not only did we discover that we were both from Indianapolis, but we also have the same birthday! As fate would have it, Gary became my coach. Gary is the only five-time winner of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and he encouraged me to run the race that he grew to love. I was no stranger to the month of May in Indianapolis – my father was an avid motorsport fan and my family grew up attending the Indianapolis 500 – but the Indy Mini became my tradition!

 

Lori Ann’s Advice

I am a motivator by nature. I encourage healthy choices and exercise with people with whom I’m connected. I love the Indy Mini because of the hype and comradery. It reminds me of my childhood, growing up around the Indianapolis 500 and taking in all the festivities during May. Having a coach that is the only five-time winner of the Indy Mini is so inspiring and I am able to continue a legacy of encouragement and passion for the Mini-Marathon by being an Indy Mini Ambassador. Every time I get another person to say “yes” to running, I get so excited. I think this year’s Mini-Marathon will be the best yet! I can’t wait to be running alongside so many friends!

 

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

 

Lori Ann, 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: Emily McNally

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. 

 

Emily’s Story

I ran cross country and track in high school, albeit not very well. Even so, running has always been my outlet and source of motivation. Nightly runs were common after late study sessions in college; running through the dark, quiet and empty campus was the only thing that could break my wall of mental exhaustion. Apart from it being my favorite method to channel stress, running holds me accountable to my fitness goals. Creating and keeping a fitness habit is hard. Honestly, I’m more apt to stick with it if I sink some money into it, such as race fees. As much as I may dread my upcoming run as I’m driving home from work (I just want to nap, or pig out), I feel SO GOOD when I finish. Honestly, what is an hour or so of pushing ones’ self compared to an entire evening of endorphins? 

 

Emily’s #IndyMini Experience

It’s hard to articulate, but that fever pitch you feel in the air in the Indianapolis area, weeks before the race, is magic. The sidewalks are lively with runners who are sporting their Mini-Marathon gear from past years. On the Thursday and Friday nights before, good luck getting into Fazolis or Bucca di Beppo, because the whole city is carb-loading. At the Expo, you’ll get to talk to fellow running nerds and have the opportunity to purchase new gear. The finale, race day, the starting corrals are a party with 36,000 of your closest friends. There are other half marathons in Indianapolis, throughout Indiana and around the country, but this is the signature event. This is the only one that can be referred to as simply, the “Mini.” During my freshman year of college I decided to become part of the Indianapolis tradition. As the 2018 race approaches, I’m even closer to marking number 5 off of my list of Mini-Marathons.

 

Emily’s Advice

Anticipate unfavorable race conditions and practice running in them. Go for a long run in the rain, on a windy day and in humidity. Try running without music, just in case your electronics fail on race day. Challenging yourself during training will make race day a breeze! You’ve done the hard work and put in the miles; don’t let the unexpected throw off your mental game!

 

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

 

Emily, 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: Stephanie Baker

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. 

 

Stephanie’s Story

I got starting running and ultimately training for the Mini-Marathon with a former running group, Black Girls Run. Fitness and healthy living is always a priority but an injured IT band and other minor injuries placed me on injured reserve. My current PR is at the 2016 Mini-Marathon. It was a very proud and emotional race for me. As I get back into running and training for the 2018 Indy Mini, I may or may not reach a sub-2:10 PR due to being very cautious about no re-injuring myself. PR or not, I’m sure I will have a good time. Whether a run or a walk, I’m determined to do my best on the course. The pavement better watch out because I’m coming to show who’s the boss.

Stephanie’s #IndyMini Experience

As I approach my third completion of the Mini-Marathon, I have grown to love the relatively flat and fun race. The energy of the race as a whole is very contagious. I love the Expo and the Post-Race Party, which are added bonuses compared to other races. I’ve run 70 half marathons in 45 states and I can attest to the unparalleled experience of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

 

Stephanie’s Advice

Trust your training and don’t stray away. On the same token, don’t worry about achieving a specific time; enjoy yourself and have a blast while completing your first 5K or Mini-Marathon.

 

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

 

Stephanie, 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: Elizabeth Bunton

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. 

 

Elizabeth’s Story

A push from mandatory participation during 6th-grade cross country opened my eyes to the world of running and to the opportunities beyond obvious athletic benefits. Through competition in countless 5K races and motivation from a friend and marathon runner, my familiarity and love for the sport continued to grow. An increase in training mileage gradually conditioned me to run my first Mini-Marathon. I’ve always drawn inspiration from running and the genuine community that undoubtedly accompanies. As an Indiana transplant, I quickly discovered and became a part of the amazing running community that surrounds Indianapolis. This community introduced me to the best race around; the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

 

Elizabeth’s #IndyMini Experience

Watching fellow Mini-Marathon participants drop down in the middle of their race efforts to kiss the ground is something you won’t see at every race! You never know what will happen during your Indy Mini experience and with my second Mini-Marathon endeavor on the horizon; I’m eagerly anticipating the best race of the year.

 

Elizabeth’s Advice

Don’t start out too fast and stay with your pacer. The adrenaline and excitement will make you want to start out fast, but you’ll need to save that energy for the end! If necessary, I allow myself to walk at the pit stations, it’s a great time for a recharge rejuvenation. Bring a change of clothes for after the race, including flip-flops!

 

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

 

Elizabeth, 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: Kate Chargualaf

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. 

 

Kate’s Story

My first inkling of intent to run the Indy Mini came from a commercial that was promoting the almost sold-out 2013 Mini-Marathon. My friend apparently felt the same spark from the commercial and sent me a text at that same moment. By the time we went to register, it was sold out. Fate played a role and I punched my ticket to the 2013 Mini-Marathon, in lieu of friend who previously registered but was unable to participate. I had no expectations for my first Mini-Marathon. My registration was free, I was in corral Z and running for myself – everything fell perfectly into place. In 2016, I celebrated my 40th birthday and realized that the Indy Mini was also celebrating 40 years! I continued with the mentality that if the race must go on, so must I! Twenty pounds later and with thorough training and nutrition practices on my side, I achieved a personal record in both the Miler Series and the Mini-Marathon. I withstood plantar fasciitis, a torn my Achilles tendon and a fractured heel but despite the issues, it felt like a rite of passage. I was satisfied by my performance and the injuries were what I had to show for my success!

 

As a result of my injuries, I thought that the 2016 race would be my last long run. I was still training and working out as normal, but I wasn’t signed up for a race and didn’t have a goal in sight. During this time, my dad was ill and my walks and runs turned into little victories for my dad, who didn’t have the physical capacity to be active. I often posted about my acts of vicarious encouragement on social media. Little did I know, my focus to stay positive and healthy for my dad was actually saving me. After some horribly difficult days, my dad passed away. I could no longer walk for my dad and I didn’t have the motivation to continue training. Still on the emotional and physical mend, I signed up for the 500 Festival 5K because I knew that focusing on a race would bring me joy. I started that race with tears rolling down my face, yelling, “I’m doing this for you, Dad.” I finished. I cried. I knew my dad was proud.

 

The preceding year, I was missing my dad and taking care of my family. My personal ambitions were on the backburner but out of the blue, I signed up for the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Then I became an official Mini Ambassador! This year, I’m setting a standard for more than just myself but for all my fellow ambassadors and those who follow! New purpose, same goal and always a part of something amazing.

 

Kate’s #IndyMini Experience

The Indy Mini is the only half marathon that I run. My love for the race is like a mixed bag of nuts; so much to offer and no way to choose my favorite piece. Variety comes in the people, always someone to keep pace with, catch up to and make the miles go by quicker! I am in awe of how someone 30 years older or younger than me can run so much faster, and just the same, someone is amazed by me. It’s crazy when someone comes up to me afterward and thanks me for being their motivation. That feeling of inspiring someone is truly humbling, so I always share with others how they impacted my race.

A large part of my Indy Mini racing experience is balanced through the music that sets my pace and keeps me going. I use songs and beats to keep my feet hitting the pavement. I strategically place songs in my playlist for extra motivation at certain points in the race. I love the live bands throughout the course and even though I listen to music through my headphones, their presence adds excitement to the environment. The Indy Mini provides unique experiences, one of which is running around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I haven’t stopped to kiss the bricks yet, but this year, it’s happening. I just hope someone is there to take my photo!

 

Kate’s Advice

From newbies to Indy Mini veterans, you will encounter all sorts of ability levels and thousands of spectators who cheer you to the finish. When the focus narrows to the finish line, everyone is rooting for you. It can be an emotional roller-coaster. You will come to a point to which you don’t think you can finish, but my advice is to use your surroundings as fuel or phone a friend – it will be the second best decision you make because the best decision was signing up for the race!

 

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

 

Kate, 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 Scott Blake is a Walker’s Inspiration

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. 

 

Each year, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon sees around 6,000 walkers line up on Washington Street. It’s one of the largest contingents of walkers for any road race in the country, thanks to an 18-minute per mile pace. 2018 Ambassador Scott Blake is an inspiration – and a leader – for those 6,000 (20 percent of Indy Mini participants). He proudly proves that this race is for everyone, not just runners.

 

Scott’s Story

Judging from appearance alone, my 6-foot-2, 270-pound stature might not mimic that of a traditional runner’s physique, but I’ve been walking for years, competing in regional 5K races and rounding out my preferences in races while crafting an exercise experience that works for me. Walking has been the most effective deterrent to my Type 2 Diabetes. Through training, my daily walks have given me structure and guidance to balance diet and exercise. It wasn’t until last year that I decided to take the “long walk” and make my awaited return to the half marathon. Encouragement and motivation to take on the Greatest Spectacle in Running came from my seasoned family members who have run and loved the Indy Mini for decades!

 

Scott’s #IndyMini Experience

People are the reason that this sport and this event is so transcendent. Beyond the boundaries of everyday life, the Indy Mini creates an atmosphere that provides a common place for a diverse crowd of people who share the same goal. Indy Mini participants can relate to the journey that guided you to the start line, the level of connection to other participants is unique and sacred. I met people during the Miler Series who challenged me throughout the race and all the way to the 13.1-mile finish line.

 

Scott’s Advice

Don’t think you are going to start training the week before the Mini-Marathon.  Take the necessary time to start a program, varying your distance each time you go out to walk or run.  Use music to help develop your pace and increase the beats per minute for motivation.  Try as best as you can to walk outside and limit your exposure on a treadmill.  There is nothing like the open trail or road for a good workout!

 

To join Scott and thousands of other walkers by participating in the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, click here

 

Scott, 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: Emily Cosgrove

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. 

 

Emily’s Story

Running became a part of my life as a high school rower and it was a way to cross train. In college, running became my way to step away from the books and relax. I got involved in running half marathons after a childhood friend convinced me to join her for a half marathon through Virginia wine country. Running and wine, how could I say no? After that first race, I was hooked and I’ve run seven half marathons and my first full in Chicago this past October. Since moving to Indianapolis, running has become my way to explore and connect with the city. From the Central Canal Towpath to the Monon and the Cultural Trail, our city has miles and miles of new places to explore by foot. When I travel, I always make room for my running shoes. Some of the most memorable places that I’ve logged miles are around Hyde Park in London, along the Nervión for the sunrise in Spain, and up Aksla Mountain to enjoy some rare Norwegian sunshine. Running gives you a unique perspective on the world, as it lets you take in more of the city and feel like a local – not just a visitor. When it’s just you out there, putting one foot in front of the other, you get in tune with the pulse of the city.

The sense of community that I felt at the Indy Mini helped push me to help to re-launch Tow Yard Running Club, a free community based running club that promotes a stronger culture of “Fun, Fitness, and Philanthropy.” Running has brought me not only fitness and health but a sense of pride and passion.

 

Emily’s #IndyMini Experience

I’ve run the Mini-Marathon twice and the 5K once. I’m excited to tackle the Miler Series and the Mini-Marathon this year. As a Virginia native who relocated to Indianapolis, I didn’t fully grasp the concept of Hoosier Hospitality until I ran my first Indy Mini that following year. It wasn’t my first shot at running 13.1 miles, as I’d run a handful of races before, but it was the first time that energy and support of other runners, walkers, and spectators was palpable. While running through the neighborhoods on the way to the track, I was amazed at the number of residents cheering on participants, not as strangers, but as fellow Hoosiers. I can’t pinpoint one part of the race that made me fall in love with the Indy Mini, but from kissing the bricks to the chocolate milk at the finish to the Circle City Cloggers, to running down Speedway’s Main Street, all of these little details are what make the Indy Mini a magical race and the perfect display of Hoosier Hospitality. Since I didn’t grow up a Hoosier, I had to learn what it was all about, and the Indy Mini played a pivotal role in learning the Hoosier way of life. Three years straight of running the Indy Mini and I’m already counting down the days until May 5, 2018!

 

Emily’s Advice

Trust the process and enjoy the celebration of race day. No matter what the clock says when you cross the finish line, you did something that not many people can say they did…you ran the Mini-Marathon! Remember my favorite motivational quote: “Someday you won’t be able to do this…today is not that day.”

 

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

 

Emily, 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!