Clif Bar Brings the Fuel For Your Miles 

The 500 Festival is thrilled to have Clif Bar as the presenting partner of the 2020 Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge! The Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge, presented by Clif Bar, benefitting the 500 Festival, is a virtual program where participants will complete 500 miles of physical activity from now until Dec. 31, 2020. Participants can complete their mileage in a number of ways, such as running, walking, wheelchair, swimming, cycling, fitness classes and more. 

Clif Bar offers a variety of organic, plant-based energy products to drive performance the perfect fuel to crush your #IndyVirtualChallenge miles! Looking for a pre-workout snack with sustained energy to get you going? Try the original Clif Bar! For quick energy to keep you going during a workout, grab a Clif Shot or Clif Bloks. To build and repair muscles post-workout, go for the Clif Builder’s Bar. There’s a Clif product for all of your #IndyVirtualChallenge needs!

Clif Bars make the Indy 500 Mile Challenge even better! Just ask 500 Festival Running Ambassador and Special Olympics Athlete Andrew Peterson. 

Registration for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge, presented by Clif Bar, benefitting the 500 Festival is now open! Show us which Clif Bar products fuel your challenge on social media by using #IndyVirtualChallenge.  

Staying Cool for the Summer  

As sweet as summertime is, the summer months can also bring some serious heat. Hot temperatures and humidity can be challenging for outdoor activity, especially running or walking. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, outdoor exercise may be Check out some of these helpful tips to beat the heat and crush those #IndyVirtualChallenge miles!


Man Running on Side of Road


Get out when the temperatures are cool  

Long summer days can be extremely hot. However, mornings and evenings tend to be more generous with cooler temperatures. Try getting your activity completed in the early morning hours or after sunset for some relief from the summer heat. Be sure to check your local news or favorite weather app to be aware of changing temps or incoming storms! 


Wear loose fitting, light colored gear 


Wearing loose gear, such as synthetic fabric, that doesn’t hug your body can allow a breeze to cool you off while exercising in the heat. Light colors can reflect the sun away from your body, rather than absorbing it. 


Hydration, hydration, hydration 

Perhaps the most important key to beating the summer heat is staying hydrated. Hydration is essential for combating the summer sun, especially when exercising.  It is important to remember to stay hydrated before, during, and after your physical activity. Try drinking at least 8 ounces of water or sport drink every hour before exercising. You may also want to consider bringing fluids with you on your run or walk with a water belt or pouch. If you prefer not to carry fluids, consider stashing water bottles along your route or stopping at water fountains. Check out Runner’s World hydration page for more helpful tips.  


Thirsty man drinking water during training in park


Run near water, in the grass or in the shade  

Bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and oceans can create a cool, slight breeze to cool you off while exercising. Running or walking in the grass or in the shade can also help conquer the heat. Asphalt tends to retain heat and radiate it back upward, sweltering you in the summer heat.  


Smear the sunscreen  

Sunscreen is a must in the summertime. Not only does sunscreen combat harmful ultraviolet rays, but can also keep your skin and body temperature low. SPF 30 or higher is recommended, even on overcast days!  

 Adjust your pace  

Though it may not be preferable, adjusting your pace could be necessary. Every five-degree rise in temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit can slow your pace up to 20 to 30 seconds per mile. If you’re a runner, you also might want to consider mixing in some walking to cool off.  


 Your #IndyVirtualChallenge miles aren’t just for the summer! Register today for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge, presented by Clif Bar, benefitting the 500 Festival, or the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge, and complete your miles through December 31, 2020. Learn more at  

Take a Hike!

What’s your favorite way to conquer your #IndyVirtualChallenge miles? Try going for a hike! Hiking is a fun and unique way to see some of the world’s most beautiful places while staying physically active. Enjoy the outdoors with friends and family while safely practicing social distancing. Check out some of the top hiking spots in Indiana and the United States for all to enjoy!  

Indiana Hiking Spots 

  • Clifty Falls, Hoffman Falls, Tunnel Falls –Clifty Falls State Park  
  • Cowles Bog Trail- Indiana Dune National Park  
  • Hemlock Cliffs National Scenic Trail -Hoosier National Forest  
  • Turkey Run -Turkey Run State Park  
  • Three Lakes Trail – Morgan Monroe State Forest 

National Hiking Spots 

  • Alabama- Stephens Gap  
  • Alaska- Thunderbird Falls Trail  
  • Arizona- Navajo National Monument  
  • Arkansas- Falls Branch Trail 
  • California- San Clemente Beach Trail  
  • Colorado- Manitou Springs  
  • Connecticut- Tunix Trail  
  • Delaware- Cape Henlopen State Park 
  • Florida- Little Talbot Island 
  • Georgia- Three Forks at Long Creek Falls 
  • Hawaii: Papakolea Beach  
  • Idaho: Mineral Ridge Loop 
  • Illinois- Starved Rock State Park  
  • Indiana- Turkey Run State Park 
  • Iowa- Wildcar Den State Park 
  • Kansas- Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve 
  • Kentucky- Raven’s Run Trail  
  • Louisiana- Louisiana State Arboretum Trail, Chicot State Park  
  • Maine: Moxie Falls, Moxie Gore 
  • Maryland: Billy Goat Trail 
  • Massachusetts: Bash Bish Falls, Mount Greylock Reservation  
  • Michigan: Grand Haven Waterfront Trail 
  • Minnesota- The Oberg Mountain Loop 
  • Mississippi- CCC Camp Trail 
  • Missouri- Drover’s Trail, Prairie State Park  
  • Montana- Woods Gulch  
  • Nebraska- Cowboy Trail 
  • Nevada- White Domes Loop Trail 
  • New Hampshire: West Rattlesnake Mountain  
  • New Jersey- Van Campens Glen, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area 
  • New Mexico- The Jemez Falls Area  
  • New York- Watkings Glen State Park  
  • North Carolina- Crabtree Falls Loop Trail 
  • North Dakota- Prairie Dog Town Trail 
  • Ohio- Hebron Trail, Ohio Canal Greenway  
  • Oklahoma- Bugle Trail at Osage Hills State Park, Pawhuska  
  • Oregon- Sweet Creek Trail  
  • Pennsylvania- Bushkill Falls, Stroudsburg 
  • Rhode Island- Colt State Park, Bristol 
  • South Carolina- Woods Bay State Park  
  • South Dakota- Good Earth State Park  
  • Tennessee- Laurel Falls  
  • Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area East Trail, Vanderpool 
  • Utah- Lower Emerald Pools Trail, Zion National Park  
  • Vermont- Stowe Pinnacle Trail 
  • Virginia- White Oak Canyon  
  • Washington- Naches Peak Loop 
  • West Virginia- Babcock State Park 
  • Wisconsin- Peninsula State Park  
  • Wyoming- Beauty Lake Trail


When you complete a hike activity of at least two miles this week, you’ll also earn this awesome Take a Hike badge!


Do you know someone who wants to join you in tacking the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge? Registration is now OPEN! Conquer the #IndyVirtualChallenge together and register today at miles. 

Miles Made Together 

Tammy Seitz Sturgeon is conquering the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge with a very special walking partner.  


As a house manager for Happiness Bag Inc., a recreational and educational oriented facility designed for individuals with disabilities, Tammy is passionate about helping others. She works with two men who have 24-hour staffing, ensuring they have theieveryday needs met, such as medications, hygiene, and more. When Tammy decided to take on the Freedom 100 Mile Challenge to motivate her toward her fitness goals, she invited her friend “J”, whom she cares for, to join her.  



Tammy and “J”, who loves to be outdoors, have been conquering the #IndyVirtualChallenge miles together by walking/rolling. “J” is also a Virtual Special Olympics athlete. The Virtual Special Olympics includes different levels for individuals to participate according to their level of ability. He is rocking the Virtual Special Olympics by walking/rolling meters and participating in ball toss and catch.  



Do you want to join Tammy and “J” in tackling the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge? Registration is now open and you can even backlog your miles starting on June 22. Register here: miles. 

500 Festival Princesses are Teaming Up for the #IndyVirtualChallenge

The 2020 500 Festival Princess Program has accepted the #IndyVirtualChallenge! The 2020 500 Festival Princesses have teamed up to conquer the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge as a way to stay physically active and connected with the 500 Festival. Check out a few of our 500 Festival Princesses on their journey to conquering 500 miles below:


Nicole Zellers


I am participating in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge as a way to push myself to stay active this fall and continue to recover from a knee injury. My motivation to join the challenge is to stay active and compete with my mom to hold each other accountable. Plus, the 500 miles associated with the Indy 500 and the Month of May is a fun bonus. So far, I have completed my miles by walking, swimming, and biking. Biking has been my favorite so far because I can bike for several miles and see a lot of my neighborhood on a trail. I would encourage everyone to take the challenge because it’s a fun way to stay active with a very supportive community surrounding you. My advice to participants is not to be too hard on yourself if you have a period of time where you aren’t able to complete as many miles as normal.



Sydney Meyers

I’m taking on the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge because it’s a great opportunity to still be involved and feel connected with the 500 Festival without the in-person experience in May. All of the 500 Festival Princesses are my motivation! Everyone is so excited and sharing their accomplishments with each other. I have been biking and running to complete my miles, but biking has been my favorite because it is something my dad and I like to do together. My cousin is also taking on the #IndyVirtualChallenge as well. I would encourage someone to take the challenge because it is a fun way to exercise and know that others are doing it with you! To Challenge participants, I would encourage you to find someone to do the challenge with you to keep each other accountable.



Meg Schleter

I’m participating in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge to “challenge” myself to meet my fitness goals and stay on a schedule. I want to feel healthier and practice healthy habits! My motivation to take on the challenge has changed since signing up. After signing up, I broke my foot and am now non-weight bearing, but I still want to keep up with the challenge and push myself to be able to take on recovery more easily. I’m still able to get my miles in, it just looks different! I have been using an upper body ergo-meter (arm cycling machine) and swimming with my arms to get my miles in and so far, it’s been enjoyable! Swimming is my favorite because I used to be a swimmer in middle school and always had a fun time with it! I look forward to being able to cycle and then eventually run later on this year. Along with the other 500 Festival Princesses, one of my best friends from home is also taking on the challenge with me. I would encourage someone to do the challenge for themselves and for their health! Especially during the difficult time that the world is going through, this challenge can provide you with a fun and health-focused activity. It’s been proven that exercise can make you feel better emotionally as well, and I know I have relied on movement when I feel like I am in a funk. My advice is to make a schedule and stick to it, but also to listen to your body and know when it needs a break. Also, never skip stretching! Something I have implemented is to “reward” myself after I have reached a certain milestone (for me, 100 miles) with something I’ve been wanting to buy or do, which can give you something to look forward to as you are getting started.


Are you up for the challenge? Take on the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge today! Registration is open NOW and you can backlog your miles starting on June 22! What are you waiting for? Sign up at: miles.

96 Years and 100 Miles

We have been overwhelmed with the positive response we have received about the newly launch Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge! It’s been so inspiring to see everyone’s personal journey to their 100 mile or 500 mile goal.


Our participants come from across the globe and are a full range of ages. Each one has their own reasoning for joining, from needing some extra fitness motivation during the COVID-19 pandemic to some friendly virtual competition between loved ones they have been separated from.


At 96 years old, our oldest participant, Phyllis Hart, is also grandmother to the 500 Festival’s Jen Lowe!  Phyllis is ready to take on this new virtual challenge and got excited when she learned of this opportunity. Her retirement community was thrilled for when they learned she was the oldest participant and are cheering on their impressive neighbor.



“All my life I have tried to walk,” said Phyllis. My late husband and I use to walk around our neighborhood or at the mall often.  As years progressed, I’ve been a member of the YMCA and attended classes at our local senior center which offered me the opportunity to have exercises specifically tailored towards those my age and work out with my peers.”


Check out what Phyllis has to say about this new fitness experience!


What made you interested in joining the virtual challenge?


I thought the virtual challenge sounded interesting.  My daughter, granddaughter-in-law, and granddaughter (who works for the 500 Festival) were all doing one of the challenges and I wanted to join them.  I wanted to have another achievement to strive for.  And, I thought it would be helpful for me to have something positive to focus on during these times.


What’s your favorite way to exercise/get your miles in?


My preferred exercise would be to take a walk outside when it’s not too hot.  It feels so good to be outside moving around.  In addition to walking, I do the stationary bike for ½ a mile daily and attend a seniors exercise class 3 times a week where we do a variety of exercises and stretching.  I don’t have a set schedule so it’s not rigid but does prioritize exercise.


What advice would you give other participants to encourage them toward their goal?


Do something every day!  Don’t overdo it and know your capacity.  But do something every day.


Join us in cheering on Phyllis as she works toward her goal of 100 miles! She’s started her journey and intends to keep powering through until the end of the year.


“I’ve already started tracking my miles and got a new pedometer to help me keep on top of it.  It’s nice to look at my daily progress and see where the differences are and what I’ve accomplished.  I estimate that I will reach my 100 miles in 2-3 months.  I plan to keep going even after I’m passed my 100 miles until the end of the year.  I didn’t want to sign up for the 500-mile goal as I thought it might be a bit much for me, but you never know where the road will take you.  I’ll keep exercising and we’ll see.”


Interested in participating in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or the Freedom 100 Mile Challenge? Registration is open NOW and you can even backlog your miles starting on June 22! Sign up today at miles.


Add Virtual Badges to Your #IndyVirtualChallenge Finisher Certificate or Bib!

Celebrate milestones as you make your way to the finish line of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge with our virtual badges! You can post these badges on social media and also add them to your bib and finisher certificate.


Download badges PNGs here.


How to add the badges to your bib or finisher certificate:


On your computer:

  1. Download the png overlay of the virtual badge you want to add
  2. Download your bib or finisher certificate
  3. Drag and drop the badge png on top of your image.
  4.  Scale to preferred size.
  5.  Save image.


On your Android phone:

  1.  Download the png overlay image and save it to your photo gallery
  2.  Open your bib or finisher certificate
  3.  Click on the edit/add sticker button and click “sticker from gallery”
  4.  Choose the Virtual Badge PNG you downloaded and stretch it to fit your image.


On your iPhone:

  1. Download the bib and/or certificate and virtual badges to your camera roll
  2. Download a photo editing app, such as Canva or Adobe Photoshop Express
  3. Follow the instructions from the app you choose to add your virtual badges.


You can also share your badges with us on social media by using #IndyVirtualChallenge! Download badges sized for social media here. We can’t wait to see your pics.


Healthy Steps Toward the Future

Judy Parker never imagined she would complete a 5K. However, on June 11, she did just that. Together, Judy and her niece Michelle conquered the 2020 Virtual Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K in Judy’s hometown of Pittsboro, IN.  

Judy was married to her late husband, Marvin, for 41 wonderful years. However, Marvin battled Parkinson’s disease for 25 of those years. Judy had spent many of these years taking great care of Marvin, graciously putting his needs before her own. Unfortunately, this took a toll on Judy’s health. Two years ago, Judy was diagnosed with stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver and primary liver cancer. Her diagnosis was a major eye opener for Judy. This prompted her to make some lifestyle changes, which led her to her first 5K.  

Leading up to the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, Judy began walking at least one mile a day and gradually added more. Though a challenge at first, the distance grew easier with time. She was thrilled that her niece, Michelle, had agreed to show her support by also participating in the virtual 5K. Though they were hoping to conquer the in-person course in 2020, they embraced the new challenge while still looking forward to next year’s race. Walking their virtual 5K in Judy’s hometown was incredibly special, as the two had endless support from local friends and family. Their encouragement made Judy work even harder and their support means more to her than they will ever know. 

Michelle is so proud to have been a part of her aunt’s journey. For her, the virtual 5K was more about Judy’s success than her own. Judy was their motivation to push toward the finish line. Michelle is grateful to support Judy in all she does.  

“My aunt Judy is a larger than life character,” Michelle says.” Anyone that knows her, loves her. She deeply and unconditionally loved my uncle through his illness for many years. She always makes you laugh even when her heart is breaking. She misses my uncle terribly, but I know he is looking down on her today and saying ‘Judy I am so proud of you.’ You don’t see this kind of love often, but when you do, it makes an impact. She is a one of a kind lady. She has made my life so much sweeter and I am so blessed to be a part of this journey with her.” Healthy Steps Toward the Future

Meet Our BRAND-NEW Virtual Challenge! 🌟 

Have you heard the exciting news? We launched the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge, the latest 500 Festival initiative to encourage active lifestyles outside of the Month of May! The Indy 500 Mile Challenge is a virtual program where participants will complete 500 miles of physical activity between June 22 and December 31, 2020. 

If you’re not quite ready to take on 500 miles, you also have the option to complete 100 miles of physical activity during the same timeframe in the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge.  

How To Complete Your Challenge:
  1. Register for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge or the Freedom 100 Mile Challenge
  2. Receive your confirmation email with invites to our leader board, Strava group, private Facebook group, online resources, referral program
  3. Start logging miles on June 22
  4. View our custom leader board. You’ll be able to rank yourself against your friends and other runners from around the United States.
  5. Challenge your friends and family to take on the Indy 500 Mile Challenge by creating a Challenge Team!
  6. Receive your participant swag (shirt, medal, pin and other items)
  7. Finish the challenge stronger than you ever thought you could.
Ready to Take on the Challenge? 👟 

The Indy 500 Mile virtual challenge lets you log your mileage anytime, anywhere! Participants can log miles by running, walking, wheelchair, biking, swimming, and even through fitness classes! This virtual fitness experience allows participants to challenge themselves in a fun, new way. Whether spending these months cross-training for your next OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or need to jump-start your fitness routine, this challenge is the perfect enhancement for all ages and lifestyles.

Join us for this exciting new high-mileage adventure– the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge! 🏁 Participants can register for the Indy 500 Challenge and Freedom 100 Challenge starting today and participation will be limited to the first 8,000 registered participants.  

We Are Here to Cheer YOU On!

Whether you are completing the miles with friends and family for fun or setting fitness goals for 2020, we are here to cheer you on and support you every step along the way!  Bookmark this page to keep up with fitness journey running tips and be a part of this brand-new virtual fitness challenge with race fans from all over the world.

We Know You Have What It Takes

We hope you will join us for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Challenge and the Indianapolis Freedom 100 Mile Challenge, the second greatest spectacle in racing! 


“Our” Indy Mini

Family and friends from all over the world have been crushing their 2020 Virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathons! For this group of five, the virtual Indy Mini was a chance to participate with thousands of runners across the globe, but to conquer their Indy Mini. 

On a sunny Saturday morning in Marion, Indiana, Caleb Hawkins, Micah Hawkins, Dr. Rusty Hawkins, Nathaniel Beck, and Jeff Tabone set out for their virtual Indy Mini. These runners are no strangers to athletic challenges. Caleb, Micah, and Nathaniel are avid runners that compete in cross country and track for Marion County Schools. With the cancellation of their regular track season, the three boys did not shy away from their Indy Mini training. They maintained 5-6 runs per week. Running has been their source of mental and physical health during the pandemic. It broke up the days, gave them somewhere to go, and something to look forward to. Caleb and Micah’s father, Dr. Rusty Hawkins, is a History & Humanities professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. As a way to keep the boys entertained while training, he gave history lectures during their long runs. This came about as the university moved online mid-March and his sons became the audience for his recorded lectures. Some of the boys’ favorite lessons included the Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, and the O.J. Simpson trial. Luckily, giving history lectures was just as entertaining for Dr. Hawkins as it was for the boys. The 2020 virtual Indy Mini was Dr. Hawkins eighth consecutive Indy Mini, Caleb’s fifth, and Micah’s second. Dr. Jeffrey Tabone is also a faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University. Though his first Indy Mini, Dr. Tabone enjoys competing in triathlons and Ironman races.  

The morning of their Indy Mini, over 50 friends, family, church members, and coaches came out to support the runners while following social distancing guidelines. To enhance their race experience, they volunteered to keep time, work aid stations at every mile, ring bells, blast music, and more! To ensure COVID-19 safety measures were in place, the volunteers wore masks and cheered from afar after setting up the hydration stations. The runners said they always love the support from thousands of spectators during the Indy Mini, but this was particularly special as the fans were cheering just for them. Caleb, Micah, and Dr. Hawkins all broke their personal records as well. Though their Indy Mini may have looked different, these runners, family, and friends were able to overcome challenges to show what community and resilience truly mean.