INDIANAPOLIS (March 8, 2013) – The 500 Festival announced today that two special remote versions of the 2013 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon will take place in Kuwait and Afghanistan. Nearly 600 troops will participate in the events.
The remote Mini-Marathon is designed for troops who would like to participate but are unable, due to their tour of duty overseas. In 2004, the 500 Festival responded to a request from the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Infantry Division to stage a remote Mini-Marathon in Bosnia. The race was successful with more than 500 participants who received everything from finisher’s medals to new socks for the race, courtesy of Mini-Marathon sponsors. Since that time, remote Mini-Marathon’s have taken place at the following camps:
2010 – Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan
2010 – Joint Base Balad, Iraq
2009 – FOB Salerno, Afghanistan
2009 – Camp Buehring, Kuwait
2008 – LSA Anaconda/Balad Air Base, Iraq
2007 – Baghdad
2005 – Afghanistan and Iraq
2004 – Eagle Base, Bosnia
“Holding the remote Mini has become our way of saying thank you,” said Terry Powers, Vice President Operations, 500 Festival. “Much of the success of the Mini-Marathon and other Festival events and programs is due to the support and volunteerism we receive each year from our Indiana troops. Hosting these events in Afghanistan and Kuwait is just a small way for us to show our appreciation.”
Troops participating in the remote version of the Mini-Marathon will have many of the same amenities as participants in Indianapolis on May 4 will have. Entries for the participants are being provided courtesy of 500 Festival Mini-Marathon sponsors including OneAmerica, Finish Line, Franciscan St. Francis Health and Marsh. The 500 Festival is also providing a Mini-Marathon kit which will include official Start Line and Finish Line banners, finisher medals, Mini-Marathon participant shirts, participant running bibs, volunteer shirts, cups for water stations and goodie bags courtesy of Mini-Marathon sponsors.
Thank You Banners
The 500 Festival will send a Thank You banner with the race supplies to each camp. Participants at this Saturday’s 500 Festival Training Series, presented by OrthoIndy – 10K at the NCAA Hall of Champions, will have an opportunity to sign the banners for the troops overseas. In addition, the banners will on display in the OneAmerica lobby next Wednesday, March 13 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. for OneAmerica employees and the general public to sign.
Questions concerning the Indiana National Guard should be directed to Community Relations Specialist, SFC Tien Do (317) 247-3546. Media inquiries concerning the 2013 500 Festival OneAmerica Mini-Marathon should be directed to 500 Festival Communications Manager, Megan Bulla, (317) 614-6128. Additional information about the 2013 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon can be found by visiting www.500festival.com.
The mission of the 500 Festival is to advocate and celebrate the spirit, heritage and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®. Through social, cultural and educational events and programs, the 500 Festival enhances the quality of life for all citizens of our communities.
The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 56 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation.
Last year, more than 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in nearly 50 events and programs throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini-Marathon, fourth grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there celebrating the legacy.