EDITOR’S NOTE: Please click here for photos from the 2014 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, Finish Line 500 Festival 5K and Wheelchair races.
INDIANAPOLIS (MAY 3, 2014) - It was a spectacular debut and triumphant return for the men’s and women’s winners of Saturday’s 2014 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis. Kenyan Nelson Oyugi broke the course record in winning the men’s race, while fellow Kenyan Lilian Mariita topped the women’s field two years after her 2012 title.
Oyugi, making his debut in Indianapolis, blew past the rest of the field in a record 1:01:53, topping the previous record of 1:01:54 set by Gabriel Muchiri in 2002. It also was a personal best for the 21-year-old Oyugi, who trains in Santa Fe, N.M.
“The course was pretty flat, and I’m strong in flat (courses),” said Oyugi. “The weather was so good, so I said that I would do my best. And I’ve done it. I thank God I’m a winner.”
Mariita, who gave birth to a daughter in between her 2012 and 2014 titles, won Saturday in 1:12.04 – more than a minute ahead of the rest of the field.
“She was in very good condition, and she had a chance to win this race,” said Larisa Mikhaylova, Mariita’s coach/agent. “She did several races beforehand, and she really wanted to win this race. And she did it.”
In the wheelchair race, 30-year-old newcomer Gyudae Kim of Champaign, Ill., took home first place with a time of 44:39 – just :19 from tying the previous record set by Krige Schabort in 2005. Kim, who was presented with a $1,000 check from Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, lost the use of his legs in a parachute accident while serving in the South Korean military.
“It was windy and it was bumpy,” said Kim, who has been training at the University of Illinois for more than a year. “I didn’t expect to win this race. I didn’t sleep well last night. But it was a nice day today, and I did pretty well.”
Brownsburg’s Ben Hendricks won the Finish Line 500 Festival 5K race for the third-straight year. Christina Linde won the women’s 5K.
The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, in its 38th year, is the nation’s largest half-marathon. The 13.1-mile Mini-Marathon course winds through the streets of downtown Indianapolis and includes a lap around the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The half marathon instituted a wave start this year for the first time, breaking up the starting line for participants into five separate groups with five corresponding starts.
Register Early for the 2015 Mini and Save!
Don't miss your chance to register for the 39th Mini-Marathon on May 2, 2015 from now through May 5, 2014 at the special $55 rate! Registration for the 2015 Mini-Marathon moved to a tiered pricing structure. Those who register for the 2015 race during this year's Mini-Marathon weekend will lock in at the $55 rate. Registration will then close, and re-open in September with registration priced at $75. 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.