Countdown to the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

As more the more than 35,000 runners and walkers preparing for this year’s Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon know, nerves can take center stage during race week. But with preparation comes satisfaction, as the particants of the Mini will realize this weekend after 13.1 miles of  laughter, sweat and tears.

This 34th running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is scheduled for this Saturday, May 8th, in scenic downtown Indianapolis at 7:00 a.m. sharp. The course will wind through downtown and offer the runners glimpses of Circle Center Mall, the canal, and White River State Park. Participants will then tackle the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for one full 2.5-mile lap around the historical track. Live entertainment from more than 100 local bands and spirit squads will provide encouragement and motivation along the entire 13.1 mile course.

The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is the largest half-marathon in the United States and the fifth largest running event in the world. It began as a way to commemorate the world’s largest sporting one-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (the Indy 500) and is now one of the most celebrated Indianapolis events all year long.

If you’re not one of the thousands signed up to pound the pavement on Saturday but prefer to cheer on your friends and loved ones from the streets of downtown Indy, check out the official 500 Festival Website for details on the best place to stake out a spot, where to park, what time to arrive, etc. Another way to get involved in the celebration is to volunteer. By handing out Gatordade to the runners, to decorating the Victory Mile, to assisting in the Recovery Area, you could become a part of Indianapolis history.

Whether you’re running in the race, doing your part as a volunteer, or simply cheering on your fellow Hoosiers as they pace their way to victory, you’re invited to the post-race party in lush Military Park. Visit the beer garden for some icy cold refreshment and relax under one of the many large trees that shade the beautiful park. A live video feed from the race provides some background entertainment, as does live Indianapolis music from some of the city’s favorite artists. Plenty of food booths will be scattered through the park to supply some well-deserved post-race calories.

For more information on the 34th annual 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, visit the official Website. And to stay up-to-date on the rest of the month-long excitment leading up to the 94th running of the Indy 500, as well as the latest Indianapolis news, events, and information, stay tuned to!

Read about Casey Brackney.