Saturday I ran and completed my fourth half marathon! It is always an overwhelming and amazing feeling to cross the finish line, but this race was extra special because I beat my personal record by 30 seconds (every second counts 😉) and the Indianapolis Mini Marathon is the largest half marathon in the country!
May=Indy 500 racing month in Indianapolis, so I feel like most of the city was involved or was showing their support to the Mini Marathon participants. Isn’t this sign funny?
When we got to the expo on Friday, the first thing on the list was to pick up my registration info. We got to the expo at the tail-end, but things were still packed. I guess with 35,000 participants that’s what you get!
The race started at 7:30am, but I wanted to get to the race with plenty of time. Mom and I were walking to the race area from my apartment, so we left around 5:45am getting to the race area just around 6:15am. This left me with a good solid 45 minutes to walk around, use the porta potties, and get in “the zone.”
Although there were 35,000 participants, Mom and I felt like one of the first people there. No one was even thinking about getting into the corrals!
This was the longest set of corrals that I have ever seen! They literally went all the way from A-Z.
The first reason being that I had no clue what pace I would feel comfortable running for the entire 13.1 miles. As a group leader for the NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program, I floated between training groups with a 9:30, 10, 10:30, and 11 minute pace. During my short runs, I stuck closer to an 8:30 or 9 minute pace. Quite the spread! I set a rough goal of completing the race with around an 8:45 pace, and I was able to complete it with a pace of 8:53…not too shabby!
The second reason I was nervous was the weather. The weather on Saturday was gorgeous for running! Slightly cloudy with temps around 60 degrees. The thing that made me nervous was the fact that I had only trained in FREEZING, cold, windy, snowy conditions. Because of this I was not sure what to wear and I had not had a chance to practice in my running outfit prior to the race. I ended up wearing shorts, compression socks, and long sleeves and felt perfect fine! I probably could have gotten away with short sleeves, but the long sleeves were handy before and after the race.
Overall, this race was FUN. There was entertainment the entire time provided by local musicians and dancers and we were able to run on the Indy 500 race track! Running on the track was a unique and awesome experience, and it knocked out about 2 miles of the race 😉
I ended up completing the race in just under 2 hours with an overall time of 1:56:20.
At the finish line, I realized that a friend of mine (Colleen) and I finished at just about the same time! This made finishing extra special because we were sorority sisters in college and we ran the Monumental Half Marathon together this past November. What a treat!
During the first mile, I also ran into Clare from Fitting it all In. It was so fun to see her, and I was shocked that out of 35,000 people she was able to find me! Crazy!
After finishing, I found my Mom and we headed into the Post-Race Party. This part of the race had live bands, food trucks, and an area for groups to set up tents for finishers to hang out.
It was swarming with people!
Mom and I headed to the NIFS tent where I was able to get my FAVORITE snack. I don’t know what it is, but these delicious little sesame sticks were definitely one of the highlights of the NIFS training program, so I was glad to see them as a post-race snack too.
Now I just need to sign up for my next one!