Monday, May 4, 2009

500 Festival Mini Marathon ~ May 2, 2009

Just to preface this post... I did not run the mini marathon! No way! Not a runner! I have run the event on two different occassions (about 10 years ago) but I would rather ride 100 + miles on my bike than run 13.1 miles! I am not a runner, and still can't believe I actually accomplished participating in this event many years ago.

The 33rd 500 Festival Mini Marathon was this past Saturday. It's the largest half marathon in the United States. 35,000 runners participated this year, with an additional 4,000 running the 5K. Imagine almost 40,000 runners/walkers as well as thousands of spectators, volunteers etc all gathered downtown!

The Mini Marathon kicks off the month of May here in Indy... some of you may know that we have a BIG Indy Car race here at the end of May! ;)

The cycling club (Indianapolis South Stars) that I belong to volunteers each year to escort and call in times for the lead runners. We escort the lead Wheel Chair athlete, 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall male and female runners as well as the top Indiana (male & female) finishers.

I was assigned to follow the 2nd place overall woman. 2nd place changed only once and that was early on in the race. So I followed this gal basically for 12 of the 13.1 miles. At each mile marker I was to radio in her time and also keep folks off the course etc. Her name is Anzhelika Averkova. She is originally from the Ukraine, but currently lives and trains in New Jersey. Anzhelika finished the 13.1 miles in 1:14:58 - so I guess I did too! Ha Ha! Her pace average 5:44 minute mile.

By the way, I am the one on the bike! LOL!!!

It was quite an honor escorting an elite runner. Their physical fitness is amazing. You really don't even hear their feet hitting the ground, no labored breathing.

Here are some other pictures from the day...

The month of May is also kicked off by a hot air balloon race. Our friend Mike, who escorted the top overall female runner took this picture while on the road. If you look closely you can see the number one female (Janet Cherobon/Kenya - currently living and training in the state of Georgia) is in the white shirt on the right.

The photo above is the front stretch of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Part of the race is run on the 2.5 mile oval. This is just shy of the historic yard of bricks! This is a place I love to be as I started going to the Indy 50 when I was 9 years old. I stopped going about 10 years ago... but still enjoy getting out to the Speedway in May and tuning in to the 500 on Race Day.

I can't wait until next year. Jim and I had to be up at 5am in order to be downtown by 6:15am. It was well worth the experience. (Jim escorted the #3 female - a young lady from Kenya).

Since we finished so early we were able to sit on our bikes just shy of the finish line and cheer runners on! I was thrilled that I could watch my friend Paula come across the line! We still can't believe we found her out of 35,000 people! That's a God thing!

For all you gals out there who run! I am in awe of you! If you are ever in Indy in the month of May I suggest you run! But, you have to register early. The mini sells out in December!



15 comments:

Paula said...

Very cool! Makes me a little homesick. I can't believe you have another friend named Paula... I don't know that many Paulas!

Kristen said...

Wish you lived closer! :.( Can't wait till you visit Indy w/ the girls!

Yes... my two "Paula" friends are both Purdue grads!

I met this Paula at the Y last year in spin class.

Ally said...

How fun. My mom is in town here to do the Flying Pig half. Running is not genetic! haha

Yolanda said...

Running is not my cup either, but give me a beautiful area to walk and reflect any day.

Love to you Miss Kristen!!

Sit A Spell said...

A good friend ran in this! I might be driving down this Friday to meet with her too at a Point of Grace concert in Kokomo.

YES...drive up to Amish country. I'm gonna post more shots from that trip soon.

Joyce said...

How fun...my brother and sister in law are big runners. They both coach too and they run a two week summer running camp for highschool kids.

I'm pretty impressed with your cycling too though!

Letters From Midlife said...

How fun. I always admire runners. In my mind I'm a runner wannabe but my body says otherwise (bad knees).

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

How fun...I always envy runners and wish I had become one early in life...

Always enjoy your blog....

Ally said...

Hey Kristin! I sent you an email last week through your blog, but I'm thinking you didn't get it---but thank you for your comments and support on my blog. I appreciate it!!!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well I run, but don't be in awe. Really, grannies with walkers could beat me in a footrace! Glad for your time on the road. You amaze me, friend.

love and peace~elaine

Cindy said...

I'm pushing myself to run a little. But even the 13.1 bike ride would knock me out. I rode a bike the other day for the first time in nearly 30 years...all I have to say is ouch:)

Good for you - I love Indy month. Though I have never been there - I have watched numerous events throughout the month and LOVE the 500 and all that lead up to it.

Blessings, Cindy

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

THANKS for clarifying which person was you in the photo!! lol

I must say...I LOVE this picture of your home...so very warm, and inviting...what time would you like me to stop by!?!?!?

Happy Thursday my friend.

Smelling Coffee said...

Wow! What an awesome opportunity!!! I'm impressed with your cycling abilities just as much as with the runners! :-)

much2ponder said...

Hi Kristen, it's been a while since I've been over here, I know. Been trying to find balance between the things in my life that use my time. I love coming over here though. Your positive attitude about life always gives me a lift. Blessings and love to you:)

Anonymous said...

I ran the race and it was great! I am now making a scrapbook for my sister-in-law who ran with me. Obviously, running I could not take photos. I wondered if you could send me your photos of the racetrack and balloon? And any others you might have of the general scenery.

My e-mail is mbortner21@hotmail.com

God Bless,

Marci