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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pre-Race Thoughts on the Mini

Josh on the cover of the 500 Festival Guide in 2000

My friends & family who aren't in the Indianapolis area might be wondering what's so special about this race?

I will try my best to tell you, but it's hard to explain if you haven't visited Indy during the Month of May.  The whole city takes on almost a holiday feel during May - very much like how December feels special because of all the celebrations and special events surrounding Christmas.  Of course the Indianapolis 500 is the big holiday, but celebrations and festivities go on all month.  We have one of the best parades in the country (I'm in it this year - more on that in a future blog post).  We have qualifications and practices all month, Community Day at the track, free concerts, Kids Day and the Rookie Run....  The holiday parties go on all month long.  Kevin & I went to the 500 in 2008, and I've been to the parade, Kids Day, and all the other events many times.  The Mini is the only event I haven't participated in yet, other than as a volunteer.  Once I really began thinking of myself as a runner, I realized I had to do the Mini.  Running from downtown out to the Speedway, doing a lap around the track, and then back downtown is something you can only do during this race, and only here in Indianapolis.  I love this city, and I love this time of year, and I love being a runner.  Combine all three, and that's why this is such a big deal.
500 Festival Parade 2013
To track me during the race, download the free Indy Mini app (Apple or Android) and enter my bib # 30719 into Tracking and Results.
Kevin & me at the 500 in 2008


Less than 3 days now till the 500 Festival Mini Marathon, and I'm getting pretty nervous.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm nervous about, though.  This is my 2nd half marathon, so I know I can complete it.  The weather forecast - partly cloudy, low of 45, high of 66 - is even pretty similar to the half I ran last fall, so I don't expect weather to be an issue for me.  I've never run a race as large as 35,000 runners & walkers, but I volunteered at it last year so I am familiar with the size, scope & operations.  I'm even familiar with the route, since Josh & I biked it back in the 90's during the Wheel to Wheel 400 (no link - that event has been discontinued).  Maybe it's more excitement than nerves.  Feels much the same, though.  I can't stop thinking about it, or talking about it, or checking the weather forecast for updates.

(5K, Yard of Bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at Mile 7.5, Mile 11 and the Finish Line - See more at:
(5K, Yard of Bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at Mile 7.5, Mile 11 and the Finish Line - See more at:


If you follow this blog, you know that I trained this spring with Blue Mile.  If you are in the Indianapolis or Louisville area, I highly recommend this store & their training programs.  We trained by time instead of by mileage - for example running 90 minutes instead of 8 miles - and I found that worked really well for me.  The mental aspect of running is often harder than the physical aspect for many people, and for me thinking about running for an hour instead of having to achieve a specific distance made the mental part easier.

The coaches were always accessible and happy to answer any questions from nutrition & hydration to race day parking.  And the other runners, as is the case with runners in general, were so accepting & encouraging to everyone no matter how fast or slow.  I also discovered that as much as I like my solo runs, I also really enjoy training with a group, and so I probably will be back in the fall. 

The Monon

I have said it before, but it bears repeating: kudos to the City of Indianapolis and Indy Parks for maintaining the Monon Trail.  We did all of our Saturday group runs on the Monon.  We had a lot of snow and ice this winter, and I was amazed at how well the Monon was cleared and salted.  Sometimes it was cleared off better than the roads were.  And now that it's spring, the vegetation along the side of the trail is kept trimmed back so that it doesn't interfere with using the entire width - paved and dirt alongside.


  1. This will be my first Indy mini and I'm getting excited! Good luck on Saturday!