December 10, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS (December 10, 2013) – The 500 Festival has partnered with the Indiana Pacers to host an Appreciation Night on Friday, December 13, billed as Friday the 13.1 to signify the 13.1 mile distance of a half marathon. In between the first and second quarters of the Pacers vs. Charlotte Bobcats game, the original founders of the Mini-Marathon will be recognized, as well as Alumni Club members, participants who have run in all 37 Mini-Marathons.
In 1977, a number of civic leaders joined together to create a running event that would, not only revitalize downtown Indianapolis, but celebrate the Indianapolis 500® weekend. Nearly 800 runners gathered on Monument Circle to run a 13.1 mile course that ended at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway®.
In 1979, the Mini‐Marathon became an official 500 Festival event. The event grew rapidly in the 1980s and even more throughout the 1990s. Today, a field of 35,000 runners and walkers from 50 states and 12 countries take to Indianapolis streets the first Saturday in May. Within its 38‐year history, over 600,000 will have participated in the Mini-Marathon and many stories have emerged around the excitement. From United States Olympic marathon runners like Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers to the arrival of international runners to the family traditions, the Mini‐Marathon provides competition and camaraderie for runners and walkers, alike.
Today the Mini‐Marathon is the largest half marathon in the country, as well as the 3rd largest run in the country (just behind the ING New York City Marathon and Bank of America Chicago Marathon) and 9th largest run in the world (half marathon or larger in distance).
“The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon plays a significant role in the 500 Festival’s history,” said Bob Bryant, President and CEO of the 500 Festival. “Our Mini-Marathon participants, volunteers and sponsors make it possible for the 500 Festival to invest back into the community and provide over 50 events and programs including a number of educational and youth fitness initiatives. We are forever grateful of the vision and diligent efforts of the founders of this great Indianapolis tradition.”
“We are proud to support the 500 Festival and the great traditions of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon,” said Jim Morris, President of Pacers Entertainment. “I am also humbled and appreciative of the recognition as a founder along with my friends on this special night.”
Persons to be honored on 500 Festival Appreciation Night:
Mini-Marathon Original Founders
*Deceased. Founders and Alumni Club participation based upon availability to attend.
Registration for the 2014 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is currently open. For more information or to make the commitment for 2014, visit www.IndyMini.com.
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 57 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation. The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana.
The mission of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is to conduct a world-class running event and leverage its success for furthering the mission of the 500 Festival and promoting health and fitness.