Andrew Peterson’s Special Olympics & Summer Update

You know his story by now. You’ve seen it on SportsCenter, heard him speak, and been inspired by his determination. Andrew Peterson has inspired thousands of runners through his perseverance, and he keeps inspiring more people wherever he travels. We caught up with our running ambassador to get an update on the Special Olympics, his training for Boston, and upcoming events where you might find him.


Special Olympics USA Games

In early July, Andrew traveled to Seattle to take part in the Special Olympics USA Games, and started the week without his luggage – including his running shoes. But as we’ve learned, obstacles are no match for Andrew. Wearing his father’s running shoes, he earned silver medals in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.



Once he was back to his own kicks, he reeled off a PR in the 1,500-meter by five seconds (4:42) and earned a gold medal before running a 57-second split as the anchor in the 4×400 relay – bringing team Indiana from last place to bronze.


“I wasn’t leaving Seattle without a gold medal,” Andrew said.




He also appeared in several televised ESPN interviews – including a follow-up story about his incredible sportsmanship throughout the Games.


Coming Up…

Montana Marathon & Monumental Marathon

Andrew will serve as the celebrity runner for the Montana Marathon on September 16 – a race that starts outside Billings among the cattle and wheat before dropping 2,000 feet into the Yellowstone Valley.  His time in Montana will also include three school presentations.


In November, Andrew will run the CNO Financial Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis, and he plans to improve his 2:57 time from 2017 and qualify for his second Boston Marathon in 2020.


Special Olympics World Games

Following the USA Games in early July, Andrew earned the opportunity to represent Team USA at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi! While his events are yet to be determined, it’s expected that he will run the half marathon distance and one other event.


Serve Indiana Keynote

On November 8, Andrew will deliver the keynote address at the Serve Indiana Awards for Excellence at the Indiana Historical Society.


Finish Line Youth Foundation

On September 10, at the Finish Line Youth Foundation’s Epic Evening with NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, Andrew will be awarded the second annual Inspire Award for his sub-three hour qualification for the 2019 Boston Marathon.



Andrew continues to train with Personal Best Training, November Project Indy, Naptown Run Club, Washington Township Special Olympics, and by himself on the Monon or Eagle Creek Park. If you’re familiar with these groups, or a regular on the Monon or Eagles Creek Park, look for Andrew out training 75 miles per week!



500 Festival mini-mini

Can’t catch Andrew at any of these events? The #IndyMini Ambassador will be joining the 500 Festival at the 3rd annual 500 Festival mini-mini on August 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!


Andrew always enjoys his time with up-and-coming runners and he can’t wait to cheer them on.


“I want to give them the same support that older runners have always given me,” he said.


You can join us at the 500 Festival mini-mini where your little runners can meet Andrew, or comment on the social media post to wish him good luck in his summer training and event schedule. Thanks, Andrew!

8 Signs You Conquered the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

Each year, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is special and unique. Here are 8 signs that you ran the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon:


  1. The sea of people in your starting corral gave you chills and you realized why it’s called The Greatest Spectacle in Running.


2. You truly appreciate spectators, their funny signs and effort to ease the pain.


3. The Gold Mile brought you to tears and Dixie the Praying Deer Dog made you smile.



4. You were greeted at the finish line by Meb Keflezighi (America’s greatest distance runner)!


5. Your Finisher Medal is hanging for all to see.


6. You’ve already registered for the 2019 Mini-Marathon because nothing compares to that post-race feeling.



7. You instantly feel a connection with anyone wearing this year’s Mini-Marathon shirt.



8. You kissed the bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Take advantage of the Race Weekend rate and register for the 2019 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, today!

5 Ways to Stay Hydrated on Race Day

The sun is finally shining in Indianapolis and it looks to be a beautiful day at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon! With cloudless skies and warm temperatures in the forecast, fear of dehydration comes into play. As Indy Mini participants become acclimated to the warmer weather, maintaining a balanced hydration level is even more pertinent for a safe and successful race. Follow these tips to maximize your potential on race day!


  1. Regulate your water intake – don’t over or under hydrate! Know how much water you should be drinking daily and use that as a guide.
  • Weight multiplied by 0.67 = Ounces of Daily Water Intake
  • Add 12 ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise


  1. Start focusing on hydrating NOW, not just the day before the race!


  1. Avoid sun and stay rested during days prior.


  1. Take advantage of the 12 Pit Stations (water stations) located along the Indy Mini course – even if you aren’t thirsty!


  1. Wear loose fitting and sweat-wicking clothing.


Keep an eye on the forecast and get excited for the 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Be nice to your body and HYDRATE – your body will thank you!

New in 2018 | OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

The 42nd running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is shaping up to be the best one yet, with new features and running legends throughout the week’s events. The yearly traditions and race-day magic that surround the massive sporting event are what participants and spectators come to expect, but additions to the 2018 Mini-Marathon will offer new and unique elements of excitement!



As one of the largest half marathons in the nation, the Mini-Marathon garners athletes and notable figures who want a piece of the legendary event. Among a slew of elite participants who are set to toe the start line on May 5, some famed Olympians are on the docket for Indy Mini festivities! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself running alongside superstars like Tony Dungy, too!


  • Meb Keflezighi – Greatest American distance runner in the history of the sport, Olympic medalist in the marathon distance, New York City Marathon winner and Boston Marathon winner.
  • Alexi Pappas – Olympian and Greek national record-holder in the 10,000 meters.
  • Andrew Peterson – Second Special Olympics athlete to qualify for the Boston Marathon and a local resident of the greater Indianapolis area.
  • Frank Shorter – Only American athlete to win two medals in the Olympic Marathon. Shorter was running’s biggest star in the 1970s and 80s and the winner of the first-ever Mini-Marathon in 1977.
  • Bill Rodgers – Olympian and four-time winner of the Boston Marathon, and the winner of the 1978 Mini-Marathon.


Medal Engraving

The 500 Festival is offering a way for you to remember the amazing accomplishment of finishing the Mini-Marathon! Participants will be able to have their finishing time etched into the finisher medal upon the completion of the race!



Crew members of the USS Indiana, SSN 789 will serve as the official Pacesetters for the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Petty Officer Perez completed 13.1 miles in 1:52:00 flat.  For each participant who finishes faster than the USS Indiana sailors, the 500 Festival will contribute $1 to charity.


Gold Mile

Along the hallowed grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Gold Mile will feature a mile-long segment of the Indy Mini course that is dedicated to cultivating the patriotic and motivational spirit of Gold Star Families. Dressed in gold shirts, individuals will line the toughest peak of the course with American flags, pictures, banners, messages and sentimental items of their fallen heroes.


Check out the Expo schedule for celebrity meet & greets and autograph sessions!



7 Spectator Strategies For The 2018 Indy Mini

The spectator – participant relationship is pretty special. If you’ve taken on the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in either role, you know that it’s one of the race’s defining features.


When a state’s passion for racing meets Hoosier hospitality, the city of Indianapolis goes from training for a race to training for a month-long lineup of community celebrations.


How do we train? We come together to spectate, celebrate, and make everyone in our city feel welcome.


So, just as the participants have been training, it’s important that spectators are equally prepared. We’ve outlined seven spectator strategies that will be appreciated by Indy Mini participants on May 5:


  1. Personalize Your Cheers

Some participants will have their name on their bib or shirt. Use it! There is extra motivation in knowing that strangers care. Participants will be motivated to uphold your faith in them!

2. Get Creative

Make a poster or a sign that encourages or entertains.

3. Be Interactive

Throw out your hand for a high five or use an engaging sign to bring participants to you.


4. Be Selective

Think about what you wouldn’t want to hear. Cheering “you’re almost there” at mile two probably wouldn’t be applicable or beneficial motivation.


5. Be Funny & Thoughtful

Aim for a smile! If you were digging deep to get through 13.1 miles, wouldn’t you want to hear an occasional joke or clever spur?

6. Plan Your Location

Plan your spectating location using the course map. That way, your participant can know where to expect to see you.


7. Be a Fan of Everyone

Fill in the gaps as needed and be a fan of all passing Indy Mini participants. After all, it’s May in Indianapolis and we’re all part of the celebration.


The Indy Mini is an event that unifies the community. This year, the 500 Festival challenges you to be a part of someone’s Indy Mini story. On May 5, hold up the sign, be the voice, and help cultivate the energy for one of the largest half marathons in the nation.


See you soon, Indy!

Follow the Milk | Indy Mini Blog

As the saying goes, “Winner’s Drink Milk!”


You already know the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon medal represents the iconic milk bottle from the winner’s circle of the Indy 500, but did you know everyone in Indy is trying to get their hands on it?


The 2018 Indy Mini medal has been making people feel like winners everywhere it goes, and it’s not even May yet.


Follow along on Instagram during the final week of April to watch this 4-inch piece of history make a few laps around the circle city.


Once May arrives, the milk is reserved for Indy Mini finishers!


Register for the 2018 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon before online registration closes on April 30!


#IndyMini Ambassador: Ryan McElroy

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.


Ryan’s Story


I grew up in Ireland and have been living in Indianapolis for the past two years. Last year, I witnessed my first OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon for the first time. As people crossed the finish line, I saw looks of accomplishment while people embraced their friends and family. I wanted to be a part of something that was so impactful for individuals of all ages and abilities.

I also work in the events industry and have an appreciation for this unique festival!


Ryan’s #IndyMini Experience


I became aware of the 500 Festival through fellow students at IUPUI. From an outside perspective, I have learned that the 500 Festival is special to Hoosiers. Since moving to Indianapolis, I have recognized the importance of the month of May and have come to learn that there is a sense of civic pride associated with it.


Although I have always played some form of sports, I never considered myself a runner. I get satisfaction from achieving personal goals and being a part of the 500 Festival. I do most of my training around the downtown canal and White River Trail. From a personal standpoint, the Indy Mini is a great way to celebrate this and I am excited to immerse myself in this local tradition by running over the iconic bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Ryan’s Advice


While being physically able and training is important, so much of running with endurance comes down to your mindset. Set your goals high and believe in yourself!


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


Ryan, 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!

Davis Family’s Indy Mini Legacy Continues With Cart Gift

Danny Davis came up from Florida for the last four years to push his mother in a cart at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. This story was shared with us by Melynda Davis, Danny’s sister. 


My Mom absolutely loved being a part of the Indy Mini. She shared their story and many pictures with everyone she knew, and many people she didn’t know.


Their motto was “Never Give Up” and they definitely did not give up. Each year, they kissed the bricks and my brother would help her out of the cart so they could both walk across the finish line. A sign on the back of the cart reads “There will come a day when I can no longer do this. But today is not that day.”


It is with a heavy heart that I must say that day has come. Our precious Mom and wife to my Dad of 52 years passed away on November 26, 2017. In honor of her, we would like to donate the cart to someone else who may not otherwise get the opportunity to participate in the Indy Mini. We would also be honored to make new vinyl stickers with the names of the cart’s new owner.


If you’re interested and will use the cart, please email Melynda Davis at We would like to thank the Indy Mini Team and the many runners who acknowledged Danny and our Mom, offered support or helped in any way.

Former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy to Run 500 Festival 5K

He’s coming home! Indianapolis icon and former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy has registered to run the 500 Festival 5K on May 5 in downtown Indianapolis. He decided to run to support his wife, Lauren Harris Dungy, who is participating in all 13.1 miles of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.


Dungy broke the news via Twitter after registering early on Wednesday morning (Apr. 18).



Coach Dungy led the Colts for seven seasons (2002-2008), amassing 10 wins or more in each season and winning the franchise’s only Super Bowl in 2006.


Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck ran the 5K in 2016. Former punter Pat McAfee helped the 500 Festival kick off the month of May at Kickoff to May in 2016, too. Tony, however, has registered as a regular participant. Be sure to look for him on the course.


Want to join (and hopefully see) the Dungy duo at the Indy Mini or 5K on May 5? Online registration is still available through April 30!

Indy Mini 1st-Timer’s Guide: Commonly Asked Questions

It’s not just any half marathon; it’s the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon. As one of the nation’s largest half marathons, packed with unique experiences and sacred tradition, questions come with the territory.


Each year, the Indy Mini is refined to create the best experience for participants as they take on The Greatest Spectacle in Running. For novices and annual participants alike, we’ve compiled some commonly asked questions and answers so that your only worry on race day will be the 13.1 miles between the start and finish line!


Join the discussion on the 2018 Indy Mini 1st Timers Facebook page and interact with other Indy Mini Participants with questions, advice and encouragement!


Q: Where can I get my results for the Mini-Marathon?

A: Participants can find their results by scanning the QR code on their bib, through the IndyMini app or by clicking here. Results from past Mini-Marathons may also be obtained here, dating back to 1994.


Q: Where is my starting location for the Mini-Marathon?

A: All participants will have a corral letter on their bib number. This letter corresponds to a specific starting location based on your estimated finishing time. You must start in this corral or, if you are starting with another person that is in a different corral, you must start in the slower of the two locations. The order of the corrals are as follows (from fastest to slowest) A, B, C, D, E, F, etc. See the start line map for a diagram of the start area and to locate your corral.


Q: How do I get to Indianapolis? Where do I park?

A: Download Indianapolis maps and downtown parking maps here.

See Mini-Marathon street closings here.


Q: Where do I get my race bib?

A: You can pick up your race number at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo located in the Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis. Mini-Marathon Expo hours:

Thursday, May 3 from 4 – 8 p.m., Friday, May 4 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.



Q: Can I run in the 5K instead of the Mini-Marathon?

A: Yes, if you are registered for the Mini-Marathon and would like to participate in the 5K, simply line up with the 5K participants wearing your Mini-Marathon bib. Your results will reflect that you participated in the 5K and you will receive a 5K medal. The 5K will begin at 7:00 am.


Q: I’m faster now than when I signed up, can I update my estimated finish time?

A: See the solutions desk at the Mini-Marathon Expo


Q: Is there an app available for download?

A: Yes, search Indy Mini in the App Store to download the free Indy Mini app! Get access to important event details, runner tracking, live results, news, social media and more.


Q: Heading into the last few weeks before the race, should I start decreasing the intensity of my training

A: Some participants find it beneficial to “taper” their training as they approach race day. Check out the Tapering Guidelines for the Indy Mini blog post to learn more.


Q: Where are the water stations?

A: The water stations are named Pit Areas as part of the Festival’s ties to automotive racing. Click here for a course map. Pit Areas with water are marked with a “W” on the course map and will have blue banners on the course on event day. Pit Areas with Gatorade Endurance Formula are marked with a “G” on the course map and will have green banners on the course on event day. Click here for a list.


Q: What if I can’t finish the race?

A: The Back of the Pack crew will be on hand to help, and there will be a bus following the last participants of the race. Any Mini-Marathon participants who cannot finish, or cannot keep up with the 18 minute/mile minimum pace can ride the bus to the Post Race Party.


Q: When does the race officially end?

A: Approximately 12:45 p.m. local time.


Q: Where should I meet my family after the race?

A: Meet your friends and family in the Family Reunion Area located at the Post Race Party in Military Park. This area will be divided by letter of the alphabet and will feature live entertainment. A map of the Post Race Party can be found here. Please make meeting plans prior to the start of the Mini-Marathon.


Q: Where can I check my gear during the race?

A: UPS Gear check is provided for Mini-Marathon participants, and is located on West Street, north of the start line and south of the Post Race Party. Please use the bag you received at the Expo and tear off tag located on your bib. UPS Trucks are arranged by bib number. Please identify your bib number and corresponding truck to check your gear.


Hopefully your questions have all been answered. All that stands between you and a successful Indy Mini is 13.1 miles with thousands of friends in the nation’s premier half marathon. Happy racing!