Race Review – Indy Mini

Nearly every time I go to Indy for work (and it’s probably been at least 12 times in the past 2 years), it rains.  So when rain was forecast for the Indy Mini Marathon, it didn’t faze me at all.  I don’t mind running in the rain as long as it’s not cold rain.  With temps in the 50’s, it was actually a great day for a race.

I arrived in Indy after a long week of work travel and headed straight to the Expo.  It was on par with most Rock and Roll race expos.  After I picked up my packet, I spotted Lindsey Hein, host of I’ll Have Another podcast.  We chatted briefly mostly about being a mom, snapped a pic, and I was on my way.  On my way to the Bondi Band booth, that is, because I can’t not add enough to my collection.  I picked up some new socks and fuel too.  It was actually enjoyable doing the race expo thing by myself and not knowing a soul.  I took it all in at my own pace, then returned to my hotel, got some dinner and went to bed.

The race started at 7:30 and since my hotel was only a few blocks from the start, I hung out where it was dry, then headed out to my corral just in time for the start.  It was drizzling at this point, but a band of storms was scheduled to hit around 8 am.  While the storms weren’t bad, the rain  picked up steadily throughout the race and there were some gusts of wind too. In rainy weather, I tend to believe less is more and dark clothes are best. Many runners were wearing jackets and longer pants, but mid 50’s was too warm for this in my opinion. I wore my Oiselle Roga Shorts and my new Summer Lux Tank, which never felt heavy and waterlogged during the run, and of course Body Glide everywhere.

There were 45,000 people participating in either the 5k or the half.  Although the 5k started earlier, the first few miles were especially crowded. My splits were fast though because I spotted someone who looked like Tina Muir and I wanted to say hi.  I got close enough to confirm it was her, but she was chatting away with a friend and it would have been weird to interrupt.  As usual, I started too fast and she probably started slow and smart, then picked it up throughout the race.

What struck me about this race was the amazing community support in spite of the rain.  There were bands, DJs, high school cheerleaders, groups of seniors dancing, belly dancers, and tons of neighborhood support lining the course.  There was always something to smile about and take in.  Tons of puddles though – so I embraced this and ran right through most of them.  Wet running shoes probably added an additional 5 lbs to my carry-on during my trip home.  The coolest part of the race were the miles on the Indianapolis Speedway.  This was roughly miles 6-8.5.  Mile 6 was a mile in tribute to fallen service men and women and there were tons of people here – veterans and family members of fallen servicemen, as well as pictures, names, and flags.  There was even a gigantic bell that was rung every several seconds in memory of each fallen member. It was emotional and I remembered brother-in-law, Sam, during this part of the race. I had never been inside a speedway, but it was not at all what I expected. I thought it would be like a running track where we could see across the infield and to the other side of the speedway (i.e. how much further I had to go), but all I could see were a few gigantic monitors that were broadcasting the finish line. It really felt like I was running down a city street because there were structures on both sides of the track. Because my goal for this race was to have fun and enjoy it, stopped to kiss the bricks, because why not?  It was totally worth the extra 20 seconds or so it added to my finish time.  Sadly, there is no picture to memorialize this. As I headed out of the speedway and toward the finish line, I encouraged the Ainsley’s Angels racers, I also smiled and thanked he volunteers and spectators. Life is too short to be unappreciative and doing this really makes me happy while I race.

My goal for this race was to not take myself too seriously and to enjoy the course.  I felt good the entire race and there was gas in my tank at the end so I know I could have pushed harder – I just didn’t want to.  Around mile 10 or so, when you have to make the decision about whether or not to push, I decided not to. Instead, I tucked in behind 2 taller men who pulled me to the checkered flag finish at an 8 and change pace.  The Indy Mini was a super cool race!  If you’re running races in each state, be sure to make this your choice for Indiana.


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