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I finished the OneAmerica Festival Mini Marathon with about 35,000 other people!

Doing a lap around the Motor Speedway isn’t the only feature to the Indianapolis Mini. There are several sights and sounds along the way are other great parts of the experience. Throughout the course, runners pass bands playing upbeat music, which really does motivate you to keep your legs moving. My favourites were the DJ mixing tunes in Speedway and a couple of younger kids (12-14 year olds) playing 90’s grunge music (they were very talented). I also enjoy seeing the people who come to watch and cheer the runners on. The names printed on the runner’s bibs are large enough for people to read and spectators often cheer runners by name. Even if you don’t know them, having cheering spectators really does boost your spirits during the race. A lot of the spectators also hold signs. Some of my favourites included:

Dig deep… RUN HARD!” (it became my mantra during the race).

Way to go, person I don’t know!”

(and at the 12 mile mark) “WTF?! Where is the finish line?!?

The volunteers of this race are also very amazing. Not only were they handing out water during the race and treats after the race, but they were also cheering and congratulating runners the entire morning. It’s quite the stretch to run 13.1 miles and having support from a variety of people throughout the course helps to make the race bearable (and that 12 mile mark was kind of brutal!).

Before the race started, there was a brief 15 seconds of silence in honour of the victims of the tragic attacks that happened earlier this year at the Boston Marathon. Despite the cautious atmosphere with the increased security at the Mini (the hovering helicopters, army personnel, police dogs and stricter rules) people came out to support the runners, the event, and even the people of Boston as a unified group. Races are about celebrating the human spirit and I’d like to think that this is the ultimate reason why runners and spectators were there. Perhaps this is the reason why races are so popular.

I soaked in the atmosphere, participated in the largest half-marathon in the country and I finished the race with my new personal best record! I was aiming for 1:59:59, but I am really happy to get a time of 1:53! This is about 9 minutes faster than my last personal best time! With my new personal best time, I feel like I don’t need to run another half ever again. Maybe I will never run the Mini again. But guess what? I just signed up for the half marathon at Geist on May 18th…(to be continued).