Fall in Love With The #IndyMini!

Love is in the air! Named America’s Best Half Marathon in The BibRave 100, there is a lot to love about the One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

Check out some of the reasons why our 2020 #IndyMini Ambassadors love the #IndyMini!

Jenny Haynes: It’s the best half marathon around! Crowd support and entertainment 2nd to none!

April Woodruff: There is no other event that has so much excitement and energy as the Indy Mini! From the volunteers, to the participants, to the friends and family that line the course, you will feel motivated and inspired the entire 13.1 miles!

Lynn Buikema: It is so well organized, has great course entertainment and the city are my favorite pieces! It is, hands down, the BEST half marathon I’ve ever had the privilege to run!

Danielle Shively: Its ability to bring one large community together (runners, spectators, and volunteers), creating so much excitement for the Month of May. And most importantly, the impact of enriching and empowering others’ lives across the state of Indiana and beyond: life-long lasting bonds and memories.

Kali Chemelewski: It’s a day I look forward to, spending every year with my mom doing something we both love! Plus, the atmosphere is so fun and the accomplishment is so rewarding!

Jennifer Sheehan: It’s the place where I met some of my best running friends in a city where everyone cheers for everyone at races.

Kevin Anspach: The Indy Mini has the ability to bring people of all fitness levels from all over the country, and all over the world, to embrace the culture and excitement of the Month of May in Indianapolis. Whether you are a participant, volunteer, entertainer, or spectator, it is a fun, memorable event for everyone. My favorite memories each year is honoring the fallen during the Gold Mile.

Brad Chaney: The Indy Mini is my favorite because it is a great first half marathon for a lot of people. It offers a great crowd, amazing venue at the speedway and fantastic entertainment. It was my first half over 23 years ago and I loved being part of my son’s first half last year!

Shane Hillman: There is never a dull moment at the Indy Mini. And since I don’t know a stranger, 35,000 plus people is my kind of party!

Jason Ronna: I love it because it has given me a great group of lifelong friends. Although I had a heart attack while running it in 2018, it made me look at life in a whole different light. I became determined to overcome any obstacles in my way. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, that is true in my case.

Ryan McGlinchey: The Indy Mini is the best half marathon. It is exciting and really gets the hype for the Month of May started off right! Plus, I get to bond with my mom every year since we have been running it since I was 11.

Jeanette Payne: The Indy Mini is the race for everyone! You can be a highly experienced runner or a brand new to the sport runner and you get the same experience. Nothing beats the support!

Patti Soskel Hammerle: Not only is it iconic, but it’s one of the best organized races I’ve ever done. And you get to run around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!

Kellie Adams: There’s an energy that is unlike any other. From the other racers, to the spectators, the entertainment, volunteers and race staff, you truly feel like you are part of something special, and you are. It’s my favorite day of the year.

Jamicka Edwards: It is the prelude to the Indy 500…I love that we ran the different neighborhoods, had so much entertainment from live music, DJs, dancers, and singing on the course. It’s just something special to say you’ve ran this race. I am the Fun Runner Girl, and this is why I LOVE the Indy Mini

Grab your Valentine and fall in love with the #IndyMini this May! You can register online now at indymini.com/register. Don’t miss your chance to conquer 13.1 miles with your loved ones before prices increase on March 1.

Miles with a Meaning

It’s almost time for the 2020 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy! Who are you running with? Andrew Peterson, an elite runner, Special Olympics athlete and 500 Festival Running Ambassador will race toward the finish line at the 3-miler joined by his good friend Ali Thompson. Ali, like Andrew, has a passion for unified sports. Together, the two are working to raise funds and awareness for the 2020 Butler University Special Olympics Polar Plunge.

“The running community has been supportive of me, so giving back is important,” says Peterson. “I like encouraging new runners and training with them to increase their pace.”

We caught up with Ali before the big race this Saturday and she shared with us what training has been like and what she wants to accomplish from this event. Check out what she had to say below! 

How did you and Andrew meet?

Andrew and I met in 2014 while I was a freshman at Butler. I joined a club that worked with the Washington Township Special Olympics (WTSO) and we first met at a pizza party. Andrew, his brother and I were the only ones eating the gluten free pizza so we got to chatting and have continued that the last 6 years.

What motivated you to get involved with running?

I have participated in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge the last 5 years at Butler and I wanted to do something special for my last year to get people excited about raising money. I knew Andrew was a serious runner and Craig had always said if I wanted to get more involved with WTSO, to reach out so that’s what I did! It was important to me to do something that Andrew loved doing and that we could do together and this is what we came up with.

Why is this cause important to you?

I am a triplet and one of my brothers has Down syndrome. Dylan has participated in Special Olympics since he was little and I started volunteering at various Special Olympics events at age 10. The organization has such a special place in my heart because of the supportive and positive community it has created around these athletes like Andrew and my brother Dylan.

What would you like people to take away from what you’re doing?

The overarching message we are trying to promote is inclusion. My main reason for doing this was to raise awareness not only about people with intellectual disabilities, but also the amazing people and organizations who do so much to enhance their lives like Special Olympics.

What do you do outside of running?

I am currently in my last year of the PharmD/MBA program at Butler University and will graduate this May. Outside of school, I enjoy exploring the foodie scene Indianapolis has to offer and being curled up with a good book at home.

What are you looking forward to with the 3-miler?

I’m a generally active individual, but I have never competitively or leisurely ran in my life. I’m excited for the challenge this brings me to test my mental and physical toughness to finish the race. My first training run with Andrew, we ran 4 miles and it made me realize how quick the time goes by when you are running with a friend!

Online registration for the 2020 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy and the 3-miler is currently closed. You can register in-person at the 500 Festival Office on Friday, February 7 from 11 am-2 pm or inside the Pavilion at Pan Am on Saturday, February 8 starting at 7:30 am.