Meal Prep 101 with Chef Kat Marris

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are unable to have the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo this year. However, we’re bringing some of our great speakers and sessions to our virtual participants! Chef Kat Marris has great tips and recipes to make healthy meals & snacks for your training. Since she can’t give her live demo in-person at the Expo, she’s kindly providing virtual participants her Meal Prep 101 Guide! You can also checkout two of her favorite recipes below: Chocolate Chunk Energy Bites and BBQ Bean Chili.

Chocolate Chunk Energy Bites

Makes 15 bites


2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips

1 cup finely crushed graham crackers


In a medium size food processor, add rolled oats, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. Pulse a few times until oats are roughly chopped. Pour oat mixture into a large bowl and add peanut butter, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate chips. Stir well to combine. Add more oats if the mixture is too runny and not able to form a ball. Shape using a cookie dough baller or tablespoon and roll in crushed graham crackers. Store in the fridge.

BBQ Bean Chili

Makes 6 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 red and 1 green bell pepper, diced

1 poblano pepper, seeds discarded and pepper diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 can (14.5 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14.5 oz) mild chili beans

1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

6 cups vegetable broth

1 cup frozen spinach

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, add olive oil, onion, peppers, garlic and tomato paste. Cook and stir over medium heat until peppers begin to soften and tomato paste coats the veggies. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Partially cover pot with a lid and simmer the chili on medium-low for 30 minutes. Serve with rice, noodles or baked sweet potatoes.

Virtual Route Resources

One of the benefits of the Virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K is that you can complete your race ANYWHERE at ANYTIME. Still, it can be an extra challenge to decide your route. Here are a few of the tools out there that can help you plan your route for the virtual Indy Mini or 5K.

GPS Enabled Running Apps
Using a running app not only helps you track your mileage and time your race, they can also help you create and view different routes! Below are some options of GPS-Enabled Running Apps and links on how to create routes in each:

1. Map My Run
2. Strava (You can join our Strava Run Club for even more support and motivation!)
3. Nike Run Club
4. Pacer


Not sure how long running around your neighborhood will take you? You can use a map tool like Google Maps (click here for a tutorial) or another map-plotting tool.


Trails and paths are a great way to complete your miles! They often avoid traffic lights and other stops, and make it easier for you to keep track of your mileage. Most trails and paths are still open as long as you practice safe social distancing!
Downtown Indianapolis
Find a trail or path near you

We also put together a few sample routes for half marathons throughout Indiana. Check them out HERE.

We are cheering you all on as you complete your race! Share your pics with us on social media by tagging @500Festival and #IndyMini.

Mini with a Meaning- Racing for a Refuge

To Kristen Latzke, completing her first virtual half marathon is about much more than just running. She is running with an additional purpose. 

Courtesy of M.E.G. Photography

With a passion for conserving our globe’s wildlife and ecosystems, Kristen has been volunteering with the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) for four years. Founded in Namibia in 1990, the CCF is an internationally recognized organization working for the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. Kristen and the CCF are working to develop the best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species. The CCF is partnering with the 500 Festival as part of the Mini with a Meaning program for the 2020 Virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. The Mini with a Meaning program gives participants the opportunity to raise awareness and funds in support of a non-profit organization.  

Courtesy of M.E.G. Photography

Kristen has loved cheetahs her entire life. In fact, her maiden name, Tschida, is pronounced just like cheetah. However, her interest in animal conservation truly sparked her senior year of college. Dr. Lauri Marker, the founder and executive director of CCF, spoke at her school. This ignited a passion, leading Kristen to work with many different conservation organizations in the following years. Since traveling to Africa was not feasible for Kristen, she discovered that CCF has chapters all over the world to support the work being done in Namibia. Together, she and two other volunteers created the Indiana chapter of the CCF. Since working with this organization, Kristen has wanted to set up a race to benefit the cheetah. A running event is symbolic not only for an animal that is known for running, but also one that is racing against extinction. 

Courtesy of M.E.G. Photography

In partnership with the Mini with a Meaning program, the CCF’s goals are to inspire change and ignite passion for the cheetah. Kristen’s hope is that is that the Indy Mini and Mini with a Meaning gives the CCF the opportunity to show that no matter where we live, we can make an impact halfway across the globe. With the Indy Mini now a virtual race, this example of creating an impact from anywhere truly stands. Kristen and four other CCF teammates will be participating from Indianapolis and one will be running in Bloomington.  

Courtesy of M.E.G. Photography

This will be Kristen’s first half marathon, getting out of her usual comfort zone of running 5Ks. Though she will miss having the “race atmosphere,” there is no stopping Kristen. She has found confidence in approaching this challenge through her passion for CCF. Kristen is also motivated by the incredible CCF volunteers that are supporting her, running with her, and donating their time and talent to CCF. She is also looking forward to the support of friends and family by sharing her race route so they can distantly cheer her on toward her finish line.  

If you want to effect change and support the cheetah, you may donate to a #teamcheetah team member or join #teamcheetah for this year’s Indy Mini HERE

Are you also an Indy Mini first timer? Join our Indy Mini First Timers Facebook Group to ask questions, hear others’ experiences, get advice, and encourage each other! You can also join the 2020 Virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Facebook Group or visit for more virtual resources.  

2020 Virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K Social Media Contest

Rules and conditions


1.  PROMOTION DESCRIPTION: The Virtual Indy Mini Social Media Contest (\”Social Media Contest\”) ends on JUNE 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST (the \”Promotion Period\”).

    The sponsor of this Sweepstakes is the 500 Festival (“Sponsor”). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each Entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection and processing of Entries and the overall administration of the Sweepstakes. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Social Media Contest. Sponsor may be reached by email at during the Promotion Period.

2.  ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the UNITED STATES who are 13+ (the \”Entrant\”). Sponsor, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize. Immediate family members of such individuals are also not eligible to enter or win. Immediate family members include: spouses, children, step-children, parents, step-parents, legal guardians, siblings, step-siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and grand children. This Social Media Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited or restricted by law.


The selected winner will receive one (1) complimentary entry to the 2021 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, one (1) 2021 IN Training long-sleeve technical shirt, and one (1) 500 Festival baseball cap.

Total Value of Prize: $127

    Only one prize per person and per household will be awarded. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor’s good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items.

    This Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the United States and Prize will only be awarded and/or delivered to addresses within said locations. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. Failure to comply with the Official Rules will result in forfeiture of the prize.

4. HOW TO ENTER: Enter the Social Media Contest during the Promotion Period on social media by a photo of your virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K bib.

    Automated or robotic Entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified. Internet entry must be made by the Entrant. Any attempt by Entrant to obtain more than the stated number of Entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins or any other methods, including, but not limited to, commercial contest/Social Media Contest subscription notification and/or entering services, will void Entrant’s Entries and that Entrant may be disqualified. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification as set forth below. All Entries must be posted by the end of the Promotion Period in order to participate. The 500 Festival also reserves the right to reject any entries, including those which may be considered pornographic, offensive, or overly-lude in some manner.

5. WINNER SELECTION: The Winner(s) of the Sweepstakes will be selected by most popular vote among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The entries will be posted to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Facebook page. The winner will be announced on FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2020 by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received.

6. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in their race registration approximately 48 HOURS after the completion of the contest. Potential Winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 1 WEEK of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any delay or failure to receive notification for any reason, including inactive email account(s), technical difficulties associated therewith, or Winner’s failure to adequately monitor any email account.

Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability. No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

7. PRIVACY: Any personal information supplied by you will be subject to the privacy policy of the Sponsor. By entering the Sweepstakes, you grant Sponsor permission to share your email address and any other personally identifiable information within the 500 Festival Organization for the purpose of administration and prize fulfillment. Your image and name will also be posted on the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Facebook page.

8. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability for (a) any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, or for any faulty or failed electronic data transmissions; (b) any unauthorized access to, or theft, destruction or alteration of entries at any point in the operation of this Social Media Contest; (c) any technical malfunction, failure, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or communications line failure, regardless of cause, with regard to any equipment, systems, networks, lines, satellites, servers, camera, computers or providers utilized in any aspect of the operation of the Social Media Contest; (d) inaccessibility or unavailability of any network or wireless service, the Internet or website or any combination thereof; (e) suspended or discontinued Internet, wireless or landline phone service; or (f) any injury or damage to participant’s or to any other person’s computer or mobile device which may be related to or resulting from any attempt to participate in the Social Media Contest or download of any materials in the Social Media Contest.

Social Media Contest Entry Rules:

  1. Download and customize your race bib and complete your race
  2. Get creative with your photo! Did you encounter any motivational signs along your course? Does your unique Indy Mini course have mountains in the background? Do you have a special costume you wore on your walk or run to make it feel like May in Indianapolis? We want to see it!
  3. Share your image on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tag the 500 Festival and use the hashtag #IndyMini by June 30
  4. The top 10 photos will be selected by the 500 Festival and posted in an album to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Facebook page the week of July 6.
  5. Voting will take place from the week of July 6 until July 24. Participants will vote for their favorite photo by liking it. The photo with the most likes as of 8 am ET on July 24 will be selected as the winner!
  6. Winner will be announced on July 24.

Posts must be public, tag the 500 Festival, and use the hashtag #IndyMini to be considered. The top 10 photos will be selected from Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and will be chosen based on creativity and adherence to contest rules.

Easy Items to Fuel Your Training

While social distancing, many consumers are trying to avoid public spaces unless necessary. One of the most common and challenging spaces to avoid is the grocery store. While training for the virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, it is essential to properly fuel and nourish your body. Though avoiding stores can be difficult and some supplies may be low, there are some easy items you can purchase that are great to fuel your body during your training.  

The key to fueling your body during the training process is to consume nutrient dense foods, which will also improve your overall health and fitness. It is important to consume a wide variety of lean proteins, good carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Drinking proper amounts of water and overall hydration is also key to nourishing your body during training.  

Easy food items to obtain to fuel your training:  Lean protein: white-meat chicken, turkey, lean pork fish, eggs 

  • Lean protein: white-meat chicken, turkey, lean pork fish, eggs 
  • Grains: quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, bread, bagels, pasta  
  • Vegetables: carrots, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, squash 
  • Fruits: bananas, apples, unsweetened dried fruit 
  • Healthy fats: nut butters, avocado 
  • Dairy: milk, Greek yogurt, cheese  
  • Snacks: pretzels, Clif bars, trail mix  

To hydrate during your training, drink plenty of water. Drinking fluids that contain carbohydrates and proteins such as Gatorade and chocolate milk can also help fuel your training.  

Maintaining proper nutrition and wellness will help to push both your body and mind toward the finish line. These pantry stables and grocery items can help strengthen and fuel your body to reach your training and race day goals.  

Registration for the virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K is now open, click HERE! Visit for more virtual resources and training tips.  


Have you completed your 2020 Indy Mini yet? With the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K now being held virtually, you can participate from anywhere, anytime!  

David Lane, an Indiana native, recently tackled his 13.1 miles and completed his virtual Indy Mini in downtown Indianapolis. We appreciate his words of encouragement and support and hope they motivate and encourage you as well!

“I am glad to support the 500 Festival operation by participating in the virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon,” David said. “I have run in the last 10 consecutive Mini-Marathons and this is an event I look forward to each year. Growing up 1 mile from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it brings back memories of my childhood and to be able to run on the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ track during the Indy Mini is an amazing feeling. I will miss the atmosphere this year, but we all need to come together to fight COVID-19. We fight together as a community, as a city, as a state, as a country, and with the greater world by staying away and taking the necessary precautions that we can control. Shout out to our health care workers during this time, our truck drivers, our grocery store workers, our National Guard, all veterans, our food banks, our countless volunteers and the list can go on and on. I ran around the canal and White River in downtown Indy (for my virtual Indy Mini). It was great weather and ideal timing as there was hardly anybody outside during my mid-day run.”

Though this time is challenging for us all, running toward your finish line is much easier with the support of others! You can still be a part of the fun and join this new race experience by registering here. You can also visit for more virtual resources such as training tips, our virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Facebook Group, and more!  

How To Customize Your Virtual Bib

Customize your virtual race experience with downloadable bibs! Here are step-by-step instructions to digitally edit your bibs. You can also print the blank bib and fill in your information with your own art tools.

Visit our virtual resources page on our website and select the bib for your race

Open your Downloads folder

Open your bib file in a .pdf editing program such as Adobe Acrobat

There should be two light blue boxes that you can edit 

Click on the top box and type in your participant name 

Click on the bottom box and type in your bib number (You can pick any number!)

Save the .pdf to your desktop and print

Wear your bib while you complete your race and share with us on social with #IndyMini!

New Ways to Experience Old Traditions

Katrina and her father have shared their love for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon for over 16 years. They first participated when Katrina was in college, which she was able to talk her way out of her final exams to meet her father in Indy for the race. Though Katrina has not lived in Indiana since college, she continues to make her way back to Indiana each year to participate in the Indy Mini with her father. They have also had some friends and family join them throughout the years. Katrina loves the excitement of competing at home and the shared family tradition. With memories of watching the Indy 500 at her grandparent’s house, Katrina loves the experience of running a lap around the track and kissing the bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

Though her father started treatments for cancer last year, he still encouraged Katrina and his family to sign up for the 2020 Indy Mini by saying, “We are doing it!” He has always been Katrina’s biggest supporter. If he is not running by her side, he is there cheering the loudest and holding the biggest sign. After beginning treatments, he continued to spin on his bike, walk outside, and remain positive about everything. Proving his strength and resilience, her father recently beat cancer earlier this month!  

Celebrating his victory, this year’s Indy Mini is even more special for Katrina’s family. Even though current conditions of the world won’t all them to complete the race in Indy together, Katrina is thrilled they have the opportunity to participate virtually. It’s important for Katrina to complete the virtual Mini because she values achieving goals, continuing traditions, and sharing special moments together. 

With Katrina and her husband in New York City, and her father and sister in Indiana, the four are going to pick a designated “race day” so they can continue to the tradition as a family. She encourages other virtual Mini participants to do the same with their friends, family, running partners, etc.
“Let’s all run for those fighting against Cancer, fighting on the front lines during this pandemic, and let’s run for those who we have lost along the way that we wish could run/walk with us.”  

Running and Walking While Social Distancing: Mental and Physical Health Benefits

As many of you know, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 500 Festival has suspended all in-person events through May 9, 2020. In accordance with the CDC’s recommendation to provide alternative options for all large events for the next 8 weeks, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and the Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K will now be taking place as virtual races.

In a time where social distancing has become the new normal, many of us have had to make extreme lifestyle changes. We are grateful for your understanding and for all participants who are taking part in the 500 Festival virtual races. Though this time is uncertain and unprecedented, staying focused and committed to your training can benefit both your mental and physical health. Social distancing can make your training look a little bit different, however, it is important to maintain healthy habits and stay committed to daily exercise such as running and walking.

Woman Lacing Up Her Gray and Pink Nike Low-top Athletic Shoe

Mental and physical health benefits to running and walking:

  1. Routine exercise leads to overall health, which in turn leads to maintaining a healthy immune system.
  2. Running and walking can boost mood by releasing endorphins, a chemical in the body that produces a euphoric feeling or “runner’s high.”
  3. Running and walking can also reduce stress and anxiety through the secretion of endorphins.
  4. Aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.
  5. Exercising outdoors clears your mind and keeps you active.
  6. Running and walking outdoors with exposure to the sun can also boost your Vitamin D levels, which is essential to the immune system to combat viruses. Though Vitamin D won’t prevent contracting a virus, it can help reduce the severity and benefit recovery.
  7. Running and walking benefit cardiovascular health and maintain weight control.
Person Jogging

Tips for training while social distancing:

  1. Bring tiny movements into everyday habits: do squats during TV commercials, do lunges while doing laundry, walk up and down the stairs, etc.
  2. Stretch your muscles a couple times a week. This is essential to maintain flexibility.
  3. When running and walking outdoors, still follow social distancing guidelines: give other runners their space, maintain a 6-foot distance, and avoid physical contact.
  4. Avoid extreme workouts as they may deplete your immune system.
  5. Stick to a routine.

As we work through this new normal, know that we are all in this together and we are cheering you on. Keep putting in the work and the miles, you deserve it!

Be a Virtual #IndyMini Spectator!

There will be more than the 30,000 participants missing from downtown Indianapolis race weekend this year. Spectators for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K energize the course as they cheer on participants and motivate them across the finish line! Just because we can’t be together in-person this year (we miss you already), we can still shout, stomp, clap, and cow bell for our awesome virtual participants! Here are a few fun and creative friends and family can do to support virtual participants:

  • Create Finisher Tape

Create your own finish line with paper or streamers! Grab a friend or family member. stand 6 feet apart and hold both ends for your racer to run, walk or wheel through. Check out what one of our virtual participants did for his finish line here.

  • Make motivational signs

Most people will agree that seeing spectator signs along the course definitely keeps them motivated to push on. Making signs and standing along your virtual participants’ route is a great way to get involved and encourage them during their race while still practicing social distancing! Need some inspiration? Here are some fun ideas.  Don’t forget to share your sign with us by using #IndyMini on social media!

  • Makeshift Water Stations

Keep your circle involved with your race, even while practicing social distancing! Ask neighbors to utilize mailboxes to place water bottles along the virtual course.

  • Upload a virtual cheer

Give a personal shout out to a specific participant or root for the whole crowd! Click here to submit a spectator sign or a video cheer.

  • Share virtual cheers on social media with #IndyMini

We’re all #INdyMini together! Root for all of the virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K by posting encouraging messages on social media with the hashtag #IndyMini.

Help us cheer for the thousands of virtual OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K participants as they complete their own race. Share your creative solutions with us on social media by using #IndyMini. Thank you all for your support!