2020 #IndyMini Ambassador Spotlight: April Woodruff

Name: April Woodruff   

Hometown: Plainfield, IN

Year of first #IndyMini: 2008 and every year since except 2011 when my daughter was born

Fun fact about yourself:  I never considered myself a runner, but my husband loved running and so I figured I should love it too. The first race I ever ran was the Indy Mini, and I went straight from couch to half marathon.  I actually completed 3 half marathons before I ever ran a 5k.  To this day I have completed 32 half marathons and only a handful of 5ks.  I thought I was just going to run the Indy Mini once, but I immediately became hooked!  My daughter has watched me crossed the finish line of every Indy Mini since 2012 and she will be running it alongside of me in 2021!

Favorite place to run: My favorite place to run is right in my hometown of Plainfield.  We have miles and miles of paved trails that run all throughout the town. The trails have restrooms and water fountains as well.  They are also marked at every tenth of a mile, so you can even get some great speed work in! I love that I can just walk out my front door and go.  I have trained for almost every single one of my Indy Mini’s on the Plainfield trails system.  I can easily have my daughter join me on shorter runs, or have her hop on her bike while I do longer runs.  If you are ever on the west side I highly suggest you check out the Plainfield trails!

Advice for first-timers:  My advice for first timers is to have fun and enjoy the race!  There is so much support along the 13.1 mile course and the best volunteers around, so keep your head up and smile to all those supporters.  You also won’t want to miss all the creative signs people make.  I also think it is great to set 3 personal goals and know that it is OK if you do not hit your first or even your second.  I also always tell first timers to take the Friday before the Indy Mini off from work, so you can enjoy the expo.  The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo is an amazing event in itself, and you can easily spend a couple of hours checking everything out.  Also, buy the finisher gear and wear it proudly after the race. You have accomplished something great and you should be proud!

Five Items Needed for Fall Training

The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon takes place in the greatest month of the year: May! With that comes some chilly training months. Here are five items needed for your fall training:

Technical shirt

A short or long sleeve technical shirt is perfect for your training in cooler temperatures. Dry-wicking, breathable fabric regulates your body temperature and also makes it easy to layer if needed.

Suggested item: 2020 In Training Long Sleeve PosiCharge Competitor Tee– $35

Also available in long sleeve and women’s style

Light jacket

Light layers come in handy in the colder months. One that’s easy to remove and light enough to keep around your waist as you warm up during your run or walk is crucial.

Suggested item: Mini Water Resistant Runner Jacket– $55


Wearing a hat while running not only protects your ears from wind chill but also keeps you warm while you log your miles in colder temps.

Suggested item: Indy Mini Beanie– $12

Water Bottle

Hydration is essential throughout your entire training, but it’s sometimes harder to remember to drink water when it’s cold out. A cute water bottle makes it easier to hydrate throughout the day!

Suggested item: 500 Festival Swell Bottle– $10


Okay, so technically this isn’t exactly needed but come one, what’s better than snuggling up with a comfy blanket after a cold training walk or run?!

Suggested item: 500 Festival Polar Fleece Blanket, $19.95

13 Celebrities Who Have Done the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K

With 30,000 participants lining the streets of downtown Indianapolis for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, you’re sure to see a lot of faces. In honor of 13 days until the first price increase, here are 13 famous faces who have conquered the #IndyMini and 5K over the years!

Tony Kanaan

Tony Dungy

Meb Kflezighi

Andrew Luck

Doug and Beth Boles

Alexi Pappas

Frank Shorter

Bill Rodgers

Lindsey Hein

John Green

Heather Carpenter

Andrew Peterson

Registration for the 2020 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K is now open! Sign up now- prices increase on November 6! www.indymini.com/register

Honorable Mention

Michael Kaltenmark

Congratulations to you and Trip on retirement!

2020 #IndyMini Ambassador Spotlight- Kali Chemelewski

Name: Kali Chemelewski

Hometown: Fishers, IN

Year of first #IndyMini: 2016

Fun fact about yourself: I’m a current Senior at Purdue and will be headed to PA School next year! With my love for running, sports, and being outside, I hope to work in Sports Performance one day- maybe as a team PA for a professional team!

Favorite place to run: I like running anywhere outside. At school, I like running around campus during classes and people watching while I run!

Advice for first-timers: First and foremost- have fun!!! The Indy Mini is a HUGE race and with that comes awesome entertainment and people! I love watching and listening to all the performers around the route and reading all the signs! Secondly, take lots of pictures and videos! Last year was gross weather-50s and rain- so I decided to have fun and take videos of all the rain and how soaked I was. There’s nothing wrong with just having fun and not racing to win.

I Am Not a Runner

You are probably seeing ads pop up on social media encouraging you to sign up for a half marathon, like the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, and might be thinking, “there’s no way I can do that.” I used to think that when friends mentioned they signed up for the Indy Mini and encouraged me to do the same. No way; I am not a runner.

I grew up participating in sports where running was conditioning, aka punishment. In middle school, we had a week to run the mile in the regulated time. When I was in the group to complete it on day one, I was required by my teacher to run it in the time my older sister did, who I would call a runner. Despite being a member of the track team, I didn’t enjoy that week or get close to my sister’s time. I was a sprinter, not a runner.

Throughout my life, I remained fairly active, going to the gym and staying involved in sports like tennis and climbing. However, I would curse the gym gods whenever the only machine open was a treadmill, or when my coach demanded laps after practice. I dreaded the thought of doing 5Ks with people and exposing the fact that I was not a runner. When my friends would go for runs, I would follow along on a bike. It seemed like anyone could complete longer distances. Why couldn’t I? The excuse I carried with me was that I was not a runner and that wasn’t going to change.

Then I joined the 500 Festival. Experiencing the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon start and finish lines was amazing for me. It’s more than the incredible elite athletes breaking course records and the inspirational stories of those overcoming adversity to participate in one of America’s Best Half Marathons. It’s the thousands of people who maybe once didn’t think that they could achieve such a feat, but put in the time and effort to train for the race and cross the finish line.

That next week, I signed up and began training for my first half marathon in the fall. Every frustrating mile or mishap in my training, I would groan “I’m not a runner.” But with each passing week, I accomplished a new goal and progressed in my training. For every bad run, there was a good one. Food poisoning, a minor hip injury, and a flu-like virus were obstacles I had to conquer during my training, but remained focused on the end goal.

During my training, a friend told me “if nothing is hurting, keep running.” It put into perspective for me how mental running has always been for me. Growing up, I didn’t hate running because of the side stitch or the fact that it made my legs hurt. I was overwhelmed by the thought of having to run a long distance and insecure about my ability to do it. Not only did I have to teach myself how to pace and use good form, I had to teach myself how to have positive thoughts throughout my run (and eventually no thoughts, which is GREAT!).

On October 19, I completed my first half marathon. I’m thankful for the community I assimilated into and all the support I received. I’m excited for my next race and to continue improving my finish time.  After all, I’m kind of a runner now.  

I’m even more excited to cheer on all of the participants at the 44th #IndyMini on May 2nd! There are fewer than 200 days left, but still plenty of time to start training. Whether you can run a mile today or just once around the block, your journey to being an Indy Mini finisher can start right now.  

TL;DR: You may think you can’t run the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 2 but you can. Register: www.indymini.com/register

2020 #IndyMini Ambassador Spotlight: Lisa Herron

Name:  Lisa Herron

Hometown: Greenwood, IN

Year of first #IndyMini:  2012

Fun fact about yourself: I am a power walker.  I have had to learn to own my destiny after multiple knee/foot surgeries.  In 2018, I had two cervical spine (ACDF) surgeries, that has made me listen to my body. Life is a gift. Live each day to the fullest. I am walking for my health. I have lost over 60lb since February 2019, biometrics have lowered through clean eating and exercise. I set a goal of not having to use medication to get healthy. I know genetics are against me, but I have owned it!

Favorite place to walk:  I grew up in Peru, IN.  I love to go home and walk on our farm and the walking trails to relive childhood memories.  I had to give up long distance running after my fifth knee surgery and started power walking.  In 2012, I did six half marathons power walking a 10 min/mile.  Today, my body tells be otherwise, but I am a fabulous 51-year-old! This year I signed up for the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5k 10 days post ACDF neck surgery, and had 19 weeks to go from zero to pavement. I beat my personal goal that day by 3 minutes. I have never felt so empowered in my life as I did that day. 

Advice for first-timers:  My advice is to have good music with a high beat count, use a performance jelly bean/gel for nutrition during the race, get a race fanny pack, and hydrate. I love to cross train with Zumba, Hot Yoga, and going to the gym for weightlifting & treadmill. I have also found having a workout buddy has helped me push harder on my goals. I have a motto that I have chased him since I was 9 years old, what’s one more mile?I do a race a month, and minimally walk 50 miles a week. I track everything I eat and ever mile I walk in fitness trackers.  

2020 #IndyMini Ambassador Spotlight: Shane Hillman

Name:   Shane Hillman

Hometown:  Gas City, IN

Year of First #IndyMini:  2013

Fun Fact:  The 2020 Indy Mini will be my 100th Half Marathon.

Favorite Place to Run: Silver Beach in St Joseph, Michigan, Across Long Bridges and anywhere with Fishers Running Club

Advice for first timers:  Indy Moves Pretty Fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. What I’m saying is, take it all in: the city, the spectators, the entertainment, the track and those participating with you! There’s no place like Indy. Enjoy the run!

2020 #IndyMini Ambassador Spotlight- Christina Reynolds Grisby

Name: Christina Reynolds Grisby
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Year of first #IndyMini: 2007

Fun fact about yourself: The only other thing that may surpass my love of running is the love I have for dogs! If you ever happen to be out running with me, don’t be surprised if I interrupt our conversation to acknowledge any and all passing dogs. I’ll even most likely suggest some way to “steal” said dogs without getting arrested. Don’t worry! I have yet to act on this…yet, lol! I’m positive I’m the best dog mom to the best dachshund ever, Dexter and dog grandma EVER to his nephews, Rocky and Alfie.

When I’m not hanging out with my fur-gang, I’m orchestrating group runs and meet ups at local races with the local running groups I admin on Facebook, Ladies Running Indy and Circle City Runners. I’m also the local Indianapolis chapter leader of a women’s only, all paces welcome, national running group, Moms Run/She Runs This Town.

Favorite place to run: As long as it is outside, I love to run almost anywhere! My favorite runs are
usually when the husband & I travel. While traveling, one of my favorite places to run is on Rockledge Dr. along the Indian River in Cocoa, Florida with my husband. We visit there frequently and it is our go-to route anytime we want to run while visiting. Another favorite place to run and a tradition of mine, is when visiting Vegas, I always make a point to run from our hotel down to the famous Las Vegas sign and back. If I’m not traveling, you can find the husband & I frequently running in two of our favorite local
spots, the Canal Walk in downtown Indy or in the Fort Ben Harrison State Park.

Advice for first-timers: Always have fun and take lots of pictures! Once you figure out how to incorporate fun into running, head to your local running store and buy high quality socks. As a new runner many years ago, this was one of the things that took me many blisters, bandaids, and years passing to figure out. You may spend $12 and up per pair of socks, but you’ll thank yourself for it later. Once you have the socks figured out, make sure you get fitted properly for running shoes. Do not pick out the prettiest or most stylish running shoes. These shoes should serve a purpose and that is to get
you through your training and races injury free. If you’re lucky enough to find those stylish running shoes that serve the above said purpose as well, consider yourself lucky. What may be the best running shoe for your best running friend, may not be the best running shoe for you. Remember, function over style!

Just like your shoes, what nutrition may work for your best running friend, may not work for you. Figure out what works for you, whether it be race gels or more natural foods, prior to race day. This should also include your hydration. There are many products out on the market. You don’t want to rely on the race water stops for a product that may not suit you. Race day is not the day to find that out. You should be testing these out on your training runs. Training runs are not just for the mileage, but to try out your shoes, socks, nutrition, & hydration strategies. As much fun as running can be, the reality is, running is hard. To get you through these tough times when it is hard just to get your foot out the door, find a running group. The accountability, the motivation, and most importantly, the friendships you’ll gain are immeasurable.

2020 #IndyMini Ambassador Spotlight- Kevin Anspach

Name: Kevin Anspach
Hometown: Mooresville, IN
Year of first #IndyMini: 2015

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to be outdoors! I love everything from hiking to swimming, and everything in between. I am known to spend the day just hiking through the state parks.

As a kid I loved playing sports, swimming, and climbing rocks. Not much has changed, other than being a few decades older ( and a few more aches and pains afterwards ). Instead of sports, I now enjoy running. Instead of climbing rocks, I now enjoy obstacle course racing. I have never been an indoor person, and I am pretty sure that will never change no matter how
old I get. Age is just a number!

Favorite place to run: My two favorite places to run are on my local country roads. The scenery is refreshing as I run along the streets. If I am downtown, my favorite places to run are along the canal, the zoo loop, and along the white river on the dirt paths. Of course, in the month of May, my favorite place to run is around the IMS track!

Advice for first timers: If it scares the heck out of you to sign up, that means you need to do it! Definitely find a good training plan for the pace you want to keep, and do not skip a workout! The couch is not your friend! Sitting for long periods of time is one of the worst things you can do to your body. To fuel your training and keep your body’s performance at it’s peak, find a food regimen that works towards your goals. I personally have been a big fan of the Paleo eating regimen. I don’t consider that a diet, just clean eating. The one alteration I do make to the Paleo regimen is adding dairy. Make sure you have rest days built in to your workout plans. Your body needs that time to recover and stay healthy. And most importantly, have fun with it!!

Join Kevin at the 2020 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 2, 2020! Register now at www.indymini.com/register