#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!


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