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.
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!
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!