Pacesetter 2017: Tony Kanaan


On October 27, the 500 Festival announced this year’s Pacesetter for the Mini-Marathon would be none other than IndyCar superstar, Tony Kanaan. Ironically, the announcement came on the same morning Kanaan’s wife, Lauren, gave birth to their new son, Max.


T.K. welcomed Max to the world and the 500 Festival welcomed you to challenge T.K. – a decorated Indianapolis 500 champion – for Pacesetter pride in the 2017 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

What the Pacesetter Means

It’s an exciting year for the Pacesetter Program, but that Pacesetter mark means a few things:

  • For every person who beats Kanaan’s time, the 500 Festival will donate $1 to a charity, voted on by participants. Basically, beat T.K. and help the community. Simple.
  • That guy you’ve seen year after year in the Indy 500 – flashing before your eyes at 200+ mph – is now within reach. If you’ve heard the phrase, “lightning in a bottle”… Well, we took the wheels off of lightning. Now it’s up to you to bottle him. That is, if you can catch him first.

How To Beat Tony’s Time

Last Spring, Kanaan traded in the car keys for running shoes and dashed around our 13.1 mile course. He finished in just 1:43:29. In hopes of donating more money, we took that time and added on five extra minutes for every place above 10th that Kanaan finished in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series. T.K. finished seventh, adding another 15 minutes for a time to beat of 1:58:29 – just 91 ticks from a flat two-hour run.

Last year’s Pacesetter mark was set by the Colts’ Cheerleaders with a time of 2:07. Nearly 6,700 runners timed in before 2:07, netting $6,669 for three different charities.

If you’re up for the Pacesetter challenge, use #CatchingKanaan on social media to share your training, friendly trash talk for Tony, and your official time come race weekend in early May. It’s your turn to be faster than IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan! Don’t miss it!  |  |  @500Festival  |  |  

#MiniMonday Top 3: Frequently Asked Questions

It’s #MiniMonday AND #IndyMini Race Week! Over the past couple of months, we’ve been doing our best to equip you with all of the important information to prepare you for race day. This week we have 3 of the top Frequently Asked Questions.

  • What if I didn’t receive my email confirmation? Email confirmations were sent via email on April 20. If you did not receive your confirmation email or have since deleted it, please click here to look up your bib number. Simply bring your bib number and a photo ID to the Expo to pick up your packet. As long as you have these 2 items, you’ll be able to pick up your packet. If you have friends or family in the Indianapolis area, someone else can pick up your packet with a copy of your photo ID and bib number.
  • I’m registered for the Mini, but want to do the 5K instead. Is that permitted? You may participate in the 5K instead of the Mini. To do so, please pick up your Mini packet at the Expo. On race morning, line up with the 5K start line instead of the Mini. Your bib for the Mini will work for the 5K instead. Please note, the 5K start time is at 7:00 a.m.
  • Where do I park on race morning? Arrive early in downtown Indianapolis to give yourself plenty of time to find parking. Many downtown streets will be closed to traffic and public parking in preparation for the #IndyMini activities. However, several parking facilities will be open for event parking.
    • The following parking garages will be open at 6 a.m. for the event:
      • IUPUI Campus Lots
      • State Government Center Garage on Missouri off Maryland Street, 401 W. Washington Street
      • American United Life Tower, One American Square
      • World of Wonder Garage off Maryland and Illinois streets
      • Clay Pool Court Garage, Washington and Illinois streets, 110 W. Washington Street
      • Plaza Parking, 109 S. Capitol Avenue
      • Hyatt Hotel Parking, 1 S. Capitol Avenue
      • Capitol Commons, 10 S. Capitol Avenue
    • For a map of street closures, please click here.
    • For a map of parking locations, please click here.

Do you still have questions? Please visit our FAQ page on Have a great week and we’ll see you at the #IndyMini!

My #IndyMini Story: Gavin Thornberry

The One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon offers something for everyone.  Elite runners and families have made the Mini-Marathon a tradition because of the unique atmosphere and experience the Indy Mini offers. The Mini-Marathon appeals to participants of ALL ages and skill levels. This My #Indymini Story shows how this special running event sparked a passion for running with one of its youngest participants.


While finishing his first year of elementary school, Gavin Thornberry was already setting big goals. Gavin set out to finish the 13.1 course of the One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon as one of its youngest participants.


“I completed my first Mini-Marathon when I was six years old,” said Gavin.  “I’m 8 years old and this is my third year running the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.”

As a young athlete, Gavin knows the importance of proper training.  He attributes his successes to a training regimen that he practices multiple times each week. He also appreciates the motivational support that those on the sidelines along the course of the Indy Mini provide.


“To prepare myself I train four days a week in karate,” Gavin said. “When it comes to race day the people cheering on the side of the route keep me motivated to keep my pace.”

Gavin is not only passionate about fitness and running, but he also enjoys inspiring others through his   example to get active. He is looking forward to participating in the 40th running of the One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 7, 2016.

“I like running because I get to inspire other kids my age and I like hearing the people cheer me on when I run,” said Gavin.  “If you’ve read this and you see me on the route make sure to say ‘Hi!’.”


My #IndyMini Story: Chris Day

Dennis Waitley wrote, “Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next.” Many adults become downtrodden from stress in their day-to-day lives and forget the importance of taking care of themselves. This My #Indymini Story is one about how one man turned his life around, when he went from overweight to marathon runner.

Almost a decade ago, Chris Day was establishing himself as a financial advisor, balancing work and family life.  He tipped the scales at over 300 pounds, and was overstressed, sedentary, and struggling to walk even short distances. He knew he desperately needed to get healthy for himself and his family.

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For Chris, healthy changes were slow and gradual at first.  He changed his diet and added light exercise each day.  But, he knew he needed to do something more to get the drastic changes he so desired.

“I took things one day at a time focusing on diet and exercise and the important things I could control,” Chris said.

As a former track coach, Chris had an existing love for running so he began to add running back into his day-to-day routine. He got hooked on running again and before long he was running for distance. In no time, he was down 60 pounds and completing marathons!

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Since beginning his journey toward transformation, Chris has run the Boston Marathon as well as numerous One America 500 Festival Mini Marathons. He notes that by-far his best marathon experience was when his wife joined him to show her support in 2012 for the Indy Mini.


“The only thing better than achieving your own goals, is helping others achieve theirs!” Chris said.

To date, Chris is down almost 100 pounds, and he has a newfound enthusiasm and joy for life that he wants to share with others. He is registered to run the Indy Mini this year (his 20th half marathon), so when you see him you can congratulate him on his tremendous fitness achievements and progress.

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“This year I will return for the Indy Mini as a happy, healthy, 40-something, husband, father and ambassador for this great race- with the simple goal of inspiring others!”  Chris said.

There is still time to be a part of the 40th running of the 2016 One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Downtown Indianapolis on May 7th! For more information and to sign up today, click here.

#MiniMonday Top 3: Shirts, Shirts, & MORE Shirts

It’s #MiniMonday! As May quickly approaches, we’re doing our best to equip you with all of the important information to prepare you for race day. Check-in here on Mondays to get the top 3 pieces of #IndyMini information for the week ahead. This week we have 3 exciting shirt updates! 


I Ran With Meb Shirt

  • Official Merchandise Sneak Peek – We’re excited to reveal an exclusive “I Ran with Meb at the #IndyMini‬” tee! A portion of the proceeds will benefit Meb Keflezighi’s MEB Foundation, giving youth the opportunity to succeed in health, education and fitness. Don’t wait until the Expo, purchase your shirt here!

Meb’s running the ‪#‎IndyMini‬! Widely acclaimed as one of the greatest runners of our time, Meb Keflezighi is the only athlete in history to win the TCS New York City Marathon, The Boston Marathon, and an Olympic medal. The record setting runner won’t be starting with the other elite athletes. Instead, he’ll serve as the official starter for Wave 1 and Wave 2, then he’ll start his race at the very back of the field, to ensure all participants in the 2016 #IndyMini have the opportunity to run or walk with him! 

2016 Participant Shirts

  • Participant Shirts – It’s the moment many of you have been waiting for. Have you seen this year’s participant shirt? Here’s your sneak peek at this year’s ‪#‎IndyMini‬  and 5K participant shirts! All participants will receive an ASICS gender specific technical shirt at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo. Finish Line 500 Festival 5K participants will receive a short sleeve version featuring the 3 POINT 1 design.



  • Rookie Run Registration & Shirt Design – Registration in NOW OPEN for the 2016 Chase 500 Festival Rookie Run! Would you like for your child to have their very own RookieRun Shirt‪#‎IndyMini‬ experience? Join us on Saturday, May 14, as part of the Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day! All preregistered participants receive a goodie bag, a “#1” bib number, this cool “INVINCIBLE” participant shirt, and finisher’s medal – just like the #IndyMini participants! Register your child here for the‪#‎500RookieRun‬!


#MiniMonday Top 3: 2 Exciting Updates + 1 Deadline

It’s #MiniMonday! As May quickly approaches, we’re doing our best to equip you with all of the important information to prepare you for race day. Check-in here on Mondays to get the top 3 pieces of #IndyMini information for the week ahead. This week we have a couple of exciting updates and an upcoming deadline! 

  • Win an Apple Watch – Do you know where you’re staying the night before the #IndyMini? Reserve your room now to take advantage of the lowest rates and experientbest selection race weekend has to offer! Guarantee a convenient and stress-free race weekend by choosing from a wide variety of hotels just steps away from the expo, start line and finish line. In addition to the great benefits you already receive by booking through our travel partner, Experient, you will be eligible to win a free Apple Watch just by booking through them! Don’t miss out on the exclusive benefits and book now.


  • Rookie Run Registration is NOW OPEN – The smaller the runner, the bigger the heart! Does your little one want to feel the same rookierunsunglassexcitement of crossing the finish line? Children ages 3 – 10 are invited to join us on May 14th for the Chase 500 Festival Rookie Run. They will wear a race bib, feel the energy at their start line, run their course complete with 500 Festival Princesses cheering them on and receive a medal as they cross the finish line just like mom and dad. All pre-registered participants will receive a commemorative technical t-shirt.


  • Bib Deadline – Want your own cheering section?! Don’t miss out on having your name on your bib! cheeringsection Register before April 1st to give everyone the chance to call out your name and cheer you on during the Mini-Marathon!

My #IndyMini Story: Stephanie Borem

According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 6.8 billion adults in the United States suffer from generalized anxiety disorders. Those who suffer with anxiety know that it can be an unpredictable and debilitating illness which interferes with day-to-day life.  For Stephanie Borem, this is the type of anxiety and depression that she faced on a daily basis, but she found a way to cope with it. This My #IndyMini Story is a story of the hope and relief that one woman discovered through running the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

In 2015, Stephanie’s anxiety and depression hit a peak. She was held captive by her irrational fears which kept her awake at night and disrupted her life on a daily basis. But, one constant comfort she found from her anxiety and depression was her ability to run. She began to use running as an escape from her harmful thoughts and anxiety.


“My mind ran crazy 24/7, I never slept, and life turned into one long day with naps,” Stephanie said. “I started to worry about things that weren’t real, things that may happen, and misconstruing things that did happen.  I couldn’t concentrate, I felt I was failing as a wife and mother, but I could still run.”

Stephanie incorporated running into her daily routine.  She quickly developed a love for running and a desire to connect with other runners.  So, she signed up for and began training for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. While preparing for the Mini-Marathon, she made incredible strides in coping with her anxiety.

“The harder and faster I ran, life seemed easier to handle,” Stephanie said. “After every run leading up to the 2015 Mini-Marathon, I got stronger mentally and physically.”

Running provided Stephanie with an outlet for her anxiety and depression, and it gave her confidence that she never had before. Her 2015 Mini Marathon results reflected her new passion for running.

“I gave it everything I had, and ran hard the entire 13.1,” Stephanie said. “I smashed my previous PR, finishing 1:39.37 officially. I never dreamed I could go sub 1:40, (especially at 36 with 2 kids under 4), but this proved anything is possible.”


Stephanie still deals with anxious thoughts that sneak up on her, but she applies mental strategies that she uses in her running to combat them.

“I do have more good days than bad, but I still worry and  let ridiculous thoughts creep in my head,” Stephanie said. “But I quiet them, thinking that I must ‘push through, and run on’.”

Follow Stephanie’s journey at:

My #IndyMini Story: Rueben McCracken

Teachers are responsible for so much more than just academics.  They also represent some of the most influential role models for young students.  This My #IndyMini Story is about a teacher who knows the importance of leading by example and how doing extraordinary things can inspire his students to do the same.

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Reuben McCracken is a teacher who knows the value of reaching his students on multiple levels, and his commitment to his students inside and outside of the classroom is unsurpassed.  Between developing lesson plans, grading, meetings and various other teaching responsibilities, Reuben is often short on time. But, he still makes the time to share his passion for running with his students by coaching his school’s track and field team.

As a track and field coach, Reuben knows that his role is so much more than merely teaching his team to run. He also imparts knowledge that they can relate to other experiences in their lives. Reuben has gained patience, perseverance, humility, and goal setting through running and he has been able to translate these attributes to other aspects of his life as well. He wants his students to benefit in the same ways that he has from running.

“Running the Indy Mini allows my students to see, first-hand how devotion and steadfastness bring about positive characteristics,” said Reuben McCracken.

Running the Mini-Marathon is a goal that Reuben shares with his team and his students, and by seeing his goal to fruition he demonstrates to them that they can also achieve great things if they put their minds to it.  Being a good teacher and coach, Reuben is constantly aware of his potential to inspire his students, and by motivating his students he helps ensure that they will reach their potential.

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Participating in a half-marathon requires commitment and hours of training.  Reuben’s hours of hard work and dedication are evidence of his selflessness and his desire to see his students accomplish amazing things. For Reuben, participating in the Mini Marathon is more about his students than himself.

“Sometimes the smallest achievement, such as completing a race for the first time, ends up being the biggest step in life,” said McCracken. “I want others to experience this first step to changing their life, be it running, pursuing a new career, or altering the path of intentions.”

Reuben has started his training for his 19th half-marathon, the 2016 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.  It is not too late for you train to run or walk in this year’s Indy Mini too!  You can register to participate too, just click here!

#MiniMonday Top 3: Seeding, Sleeping, and Sell Out!

It’s #MiniMonday! As May quickly approaches, we’re doing our best to equip you with all of the important information to prepare you for race day. Check-in here on Mondays to get the top 3 pieces of #IndyMini information for the week ahead. This week we have a couple friendly reminders and an exciting announcement! 

  • Seeding Deadline – Would you like to start toward the front of the #IndyMini field? You can submit seeding proof in the form of race results from a race that has taken place between May 2, 2014 and March 15, 2016. For full details and time requirements, please click hereRemember – you may also use your results from our 3-Miler and 6-Miler, part of the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy, for seeding proof!


  • Sleeping – Do you know where you’re sleeping the night before the #IndyMini? Reserve your room now to take advantage of the lowest rates and experientbest selection race weekend has to offer! Guarantee a convenient and stress-free race weekend by choosing from a wide variety of hotels just steps away from the expo, start line and finish line. In addition to the great benefits you already receive by booking through our travel partner, Experient, you will be eligible to win a free Apple Watch just by booking through them! Don’t miss out on the exclusive benefits and book now.



  • Sell Out – Have you heard our exciting news? The 500 Festival 10-Miler, presented by OrthoIndy, is now SOLD OUT with a record breaking number of registrations for 2016! Have you secured your spot for the‪#‎IndyMini‬? Don’t miss out on the 40th running and register today. We’re throwing a party you won’t want to miss!

My #IndyMini Story: Rhonda Smith

Did you know that research has shown that those who volunteer live longer?  Ok, not really…but without volunteers the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon would not be possible!  It takes thousands of volunteers to make one of the nation’s largest half marathons a success and more than 500 of those volunteers come from the title sponsor of the Mini-Marathon.

This #IndyMini story is about the largest group of enthusiastic volunteers from OneAmerica who don’t look for praise for the jobs they do at the Mini-Marathon, but do what needs to be done to help make an impact in the community they love. Their contributions and hard work help make the Mini-Marathon a success each year.

For more than a decade, Randy and Rhonda Smith from OneAmerica have packed up their fifth wheel with tailgating supplies and headed out to the Mini-Marathon to bring together hundreds of volunteers. The volunteers from OneAmerica have forged bonds throughout the years and these bonds have fostered a close knit community.


 “It is very special to see that so many of our volunteers take the opportunity to bring groups of friends and family and volunteer together.  We work with a great group of veteran and new volunteers and feel very blessed to work with each of them.”  -Rhonda Smith

Like many of the thousands of volunteers at the Mini-Marathon, OneAmerica volunteers line the track to pass out Gatorade or water for the participants.  They take pleasure in energizing runners and walkers by giving them the replenishment their bodies need to go the distance. This group also thrives on offering motivation, words of encouragement, and humor for participants.


 “We try to make it fun for the runners and walkers.  Our stations wear anything from crazy hats, mustaches, to superhero capes and masks.” –Rhonda Smith


OneAmerica volunteers have made volunteering at the Mini-Marathon a team building experience that is fun and engaging.  They take pride in their support of the 500 Festival’s largest fundraiser, and each year they strive to make their involvement memorable.

Volunteers at Mini-Marathon have an enormous impact on the outcome of the event, so as you make your way along the 13.1 mile course be sure to show gratitude for them and their hard work!

For more information on volunteering for this year’s 40th OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, please click here.