Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Recap

Two weeks ago, my husband, our friend Alex, and I road tripped down to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon!

Best road-trip food ever!


We arrived Friday evening and hit up the Mini-Marathon expo first thing to pick up our packets.  There were over 30,000 participants so it was pretty packed!  We did manage to make a lap around the room to see some of the exhibitors…I really want to get a running belt that fits my phone and fuel, but isn’t super bulky and that stays in place while running, like BANDI wear.  They also had nice jackets in the official event merchandise shop, but I didn’t want to pay $70 😦


Our next stop was the hotel to check-in, then Panera for dinner!  I got the Chicken Cobb salad with fresh bread, which was the perfect amount of food for the night before a race.

The morning of the race, we woke up super early to get dressed and head into the city, since our hotel was out by the airport.  We got there just as the sun was rising over the city!  Race breakfast was a coffee, bagel and shot bloks.


After dropping off our bags, I headed to my corral–I registered pretty late, so I was in corral Q, with a start time 45 minutes after the guys.  It meant alot of standing around, but I did fit in 2 trips to the porta-potties before my corral closed!


And then we were off!  The first few miles wrapped through the south part of downtown, by the Indy Zoo, and towards Indy Motor Speedway.

Unfortunately, my 2 bathroom breaks right before the race weren’t enough, and I had to stop at mile 3 to use the porta-potties.

I took some Shot Bloks around mile 4.

There were water or Gatorade stations (and porta-potties) every mile or so, and tons of bands/dance teams out on the course to cheer us on!  The crowd support was awesome!


Just before mile 6 we came up to Indy Motor Speedway.  You know, where the Indy 500 race happens.  NBD.


AND THEN WE RAN INTO AND AROUND IT!  All 2.5 miles of racetrack!


The Pagoda


The Bricks!  It’s tradition for the winner of the Indy 500 to kiss the bricks after they win…as did many of the runners during the race!

(please disregard my finger)

IMG_0644[1] IMG_0645[1]

After we exited the track, we ran a straightaway on the city streets for a LONG time.  It made the last 4.1 miles of the race take forever.  We got Clif Shots around mile 10, and then I had to stop and walk a little around mile 11 and again around mile 12 because my hips hurt soooo bad.  Finally, we got to a street lined with checkered flags and I knew the finish line was close so I sprinted as fast as I could.  I ended up finishing in 2:25:06.  Not quite a PR, but soooo much better than my last half!  I also really just took everything in during the race, and took my time taking pictures.

I made sure to grab all of the free food in the chute after the finish and then cooled down with an ice cold chocolate milk!  And a beer.


How cool is the race medal?!?!


After the race we showered and got some lunch at Jimmy John’s.  Then we headed back to the hotel for naptime.

For dinner, we trekked back into the city to Scottie’s Brewhouse.  We ate here on another trip to Indy, and I just love the food, drinks & atmosphere!  And it was a big night in sports, as the Pacer’s were playing in game 7 of the playoffs a block away, and the Kentucky Derby was on every other TV too.

I celebrated my mini-marathon finish with sangria…not the best I’ve ever had, but still good.


For dinner I got the Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese and garlic parmesan shoe string fries…so good!  I did have to dig out alot of the cream cheese, though.  For some reason I can’t handle the texture of it when it’s in large amounts.


We went to Tiki Bob’s Cantina for another drink, and were entertained by lots of drunk people celebrating Cinco de Mayo and dancing around in sombreros.

The next morning we stopped by Waffle House for breakfast…my first time there since a road trip to Florida in college.  It was everything I remembered!  I got the single waffle with chocolate & peanut butter chips, and hashbrowns with cheese & onions, and bottomless coffee.  Perfect breakfast before we hit the road for Chicago!


The Indy race weekend was so fun!  I would definitely do the mini-marathon again, but I think I would only hit up every other water station to help cut down my time a little more.  I also used a new hand-held holder for my phone that ended up being a pain after running several miles, so I think I would stick to an armband for my iPod/music…maybe get a new one that fits my iPhone if I want to take pictures during the race, or try out something like the Bandi belts.

What’s your favorite race to run?
What do you eat for your pre-race dinner?
Armband, handheld, &/or belt…which do you prefer?



2 thoughts on “Indy 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Recap

  1. Way to go on your half marathon. Running the speedway would be neat, but I hate long straight streches of race…especially if they are boring. I also can’t carry anything when I run. If I do, then it is all I think about. Good thing you had yummy grilled cheese to celebrate after! I’m not surprised by your choice in the least! 🙂

  2. That sounds like such a fun race! and that post-race grilled cheese looks fantastic. Right now I carry my phone when I run, but I’m on the hunt for a good armband.

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