The Seventh Annual Indianapolis Monumental Marathon—Runner Friendly Growth and Innovation
The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon takes place on November 1, 2014 beginning and ending near the beautiful domed state capitol. Join in with Indiana’s largest marathon and one of the best race weekends anywhere with options for the full marathon, half marathon, 5K and kids’ runs. Courses provide Indianapolis tour highlights. Experience a terrific Expo at the Indiana Convention Center. Enjoy a quality race in a great city.
Posted Monday, 17 March, 2014
There will be between 14,000 and 15,000 participants in the events of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon weekend, one of the best and most successful road race attractions in the country. In fact, Runner’s World listed it as one of the top ten fun, feature-filled marathons launched in the last few years under the heading “What’s New” in listings of their Marathon Calendar. It takes place in the Circle City, and participants will indeed be delighted by the venues, the course, the convenience, and the city generally with its renowned friendliness and love of all sports.
It has enjoyed tremendous growth and popularity with record numbers of finishers in 2013, and the events of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon are exceptionally well organized and orchestrated. The courses are relatively flat and very scenic indeed with highlights throughout, both for the marathon and half marathon. Other events could learn a thing or two about event organization and the inclusion of kids—over 700 public school students completed the IMM 5K as part of their Monumental Kids Movement. To date thee race has contributed over $400 thousand to public education.
Indianapolis is the 12th largest US city, and in the top 25 most visited. This is Indiana’s largest marathon and is ranked in the top 100 in the world. It is one of the most walkable (runnable and bikeable) cities found anywhere.
This proven formula will be on display the weekend of October 30 through November 1, 2014, for those able to get in—it has sold out the last two years and early demand is even higher this year. The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is truly an original, combining a terrific course with outstanding venues and runner-friendly amenities; it is a winner!
Many satisfied runners return each year and new runners get the word that this is a terrific event with great amenities—an experience and memorable weekend for both locals and visitors. www.monumentalmarathon.com. The Health and Fitness Expo will run for two days, October 30 and 31; all races will be run on Saturday, November 1, 2014.
Venues are first class, beginning with the Health and Fitness Expo held at the beautiful Indiana Convention Center, www.icclos.com which is adjacent to 67,000-seat Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts and host of Super Bowl XLVI. (This is also on the marathon and half marathon course.) The convention center is one of the largest in the nation with 1.3 million square feet. The expo is free to the public, and be sure to pick up a free copy of the race weekend magazine. The Convention Center is at 100 South Capitol Avenue at Maryland Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225. Importantly, the convention center is at the hub of the city with skywalks and walkways to more hotel rooms than any other; it is near a four story urban shopping mall and within close proximity of over 200 restaurants and clubs. High quality museums are close by, as is the famous canal walk, lots of green space, and a 10-block state park.
This is a first class Expo, with many, many vendors and exhibits highlighting fitness, nutrition, shoes and apparel; there will be helpful seminars (see the website for lists), and they provide convenient hours too, Thursday, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday before race day from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Of course packet pick up is available during those hours. (Note, there is no race day registration or packet pick-up.)
Pre Race Pasta
They will host a pasta dinner on Friday evening, October 31, catered by Iaria’s Italian Restaurant, a city mainstay since 1913. It will be held in the large finish line tent at the Capitol, corner of Senate Avenue and Robert D. Orr Plaza, running 6:00 p.m. to 7:30.
The opening ceremonies will be at 7:30 a.m. Races start at 8:00 a.m. (5K at 8:20, kids’ runs at 8:30) near the State Capitol grounds, on the last day of Daylight Savings Time. Indianapolis is within the Eastern Time zone. Finish lines and race headquarters are also located at the capitol.
The courses run through the streets and neighborhoods of this special, remarkable city and along historic sites and cultural icons. The events are spectator friendly, as is the city in general. They are USATF-sanctioned and certified and the Marathon is a Boston qualifier.
The Marathon and Half Marathon both start together and loop south initially to Monument Circle, site of the 284-foot Soldiers and Sailors Monument at ½ mile, and one of the reasons for the race name. They then loop north on basically counter-clockwise loops, with the half running the marathon course until about the 7-mile mark or around 30th Street. The Marathon loops further north to 66th Street before turning west and then south. The return trip south is basically centered on Meridian Street. Note: You may wish to take advantage of the bicycle course tour on Friday.
The courses and course maps are covered in great detail on the Website, so we won’t duplicate that here. Some of the city’s unique buildings, monuments, landmarks and institutions along the way include Bankers Life Field House (home of the Pacers), the Eli Lilly campus, national offices of the NCAA and Hall of Champions, Indianapolis Cultural Trail, State Fairgrounds, Broad Ripple Village, Washington Boulevard, Butler University, Indianapolis Museum of Art (50 thousand works of art), Capitol Center, the Glass-Domed Arts Garden, Circle Center Mall (four levels, two blocks), the Warehouse District, Pennsylvania Avenue, Fall Creek Place, and much more. www.monumentalmarathon.com
You can add the National Art Museum of Sport, Indiana State Museum (world class cultural and natural history museum), Indianapolis Historical Society, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Conner Prairie Living History Museum (frontier living), and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the nation’s largest.
These are fast courses with a few small inclines; there is one fair sized hill on the marathon course at 15 miles. There will be 19 aid stations for the marathon with Gatorade at every other; Cliff Shot and gel blocks at four stations. There will be live entertainment and cheer zones along the way too. The finish at the Capitol is inspiring.
How fast? Five women, as noted in Runner’s World, bested the Olympic Trials time of 2:43, including 49-year-old Coleen DeReuck and 16-year-old prodigy Alana Hadley from North Carolina.
Online registration (recommended) insures that you have updates by e-mail as needed and the e-card for packet pickup convenience, and of course entry confirmation.
Amenities and Awards at the Monumental Marathon
The courses are interesting tours of the region highlighting the neighborhoods, architecture and history that make Indianapolis such a dynamic city—and a huge sports town. These races use the B-tag—chip built in to the bib number for accurate and immediate results. It will be personalized with your name if you register before September 26, for the marathon, half marathon and 5K. The chip/bib is a keepsake; no need to return.
All three races provide custom finisher’s medals, a commemorative tech T-shirt, poster, race magazine, wind blanket. The half and marathon provide a special surprise gift (could be hats, gloves, mugs, custom towels, opener—you never know, but it will be fun.)
The pace groups will help you achieve your goal in both the marathon and half marathon. And there will be a convenient bag check; start and finish are close to each other too. There will be plenty of free parking for both the Expo and the race.
Awards will include at least $11,800 in prizes, not including potential bonuses. Cash prizes go to the top five women and men, top three masters (40 and over), and top three women and men from Indianapolis. Additionally, there are prizes in the form of gift certificates and brew glasses (race logo) for the top three in each five-year age group through 80+ in all three races. There are lots of awards.
Plus potential bonuses: Any woman who runs under 2:43 and any guy running under 2:18 (Olympic Trials qualifying standards) will receive $1,000. And for the half marathon $500 bonuses will be awarded for women running under 1:15 and men 1:05 respectively.
The Place to Be
The four events that make up Marathon Weekend are all flourishing, and well organized. So much so that there are caps on each. The anchor event is the now famous and classic Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, and it’s expected to sell out. And the Half-Marathon has expanded every year. The 5K and kids’ run provide something for everyone.
The New York Times online lists Indianapolis as one of the top 52 places to visit this year, ranking sixth in the USA on that list.
On average the weather is ideal for distance running on November 1. You will experience sunrise at the start, especially pleasant with the Capitol Dome and the Monument (8:13 a.m., sunset at 6:42). Average high temperature is 58, low 39 with a mean of 45 degrees—perfect.
It's easy to get to with the major Interstate Highways. Or fly to Indianapolis International Airport—visit http://www.indianapolisairport.com/airlines
The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon has provided a very useful and comprehensive website for their event. Check it out for all details needed for a convenient and enjoyable race weekend: Course maps and start location, public transportation, FAQ’s, Pasta Dinner, Team information, charity running, registration, training programs, pace groups, the Expo and packet pick-up, travel, directions, parking, accommodations, volunteer opportunities, vendor (expo) opportunities, community support groups and cheer zones, results and tracking, sponsors, news, links, spectator info, closures, entertainment on the course and the post race party. www.monumentalmarathon.com
Speaking of the post race party, you will be rewarded with their signature chili, chocolate milk, bagels, fruit, cookies, and a few special items! The unique “Food Truck Village” is also a huge hit.
If you happen to be near one of the following events you can visit their Expos and talk directly with IMM representatives:
o Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon, Louisville, KY April 17-18.
o Illinois Marathon, Champaign/Urbana, IL April 24-25
o Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati, OH May 2-3
o Indi 500 Mini Marathon, right at home in Indianapolis, IN May 1-2
This is a “Must Do” Event
Come to Indianapolis and see for yourself the wonderful running experience they provide, a true resource for the world-wide running community. Its distance running as it should be! Save money and register early—and be sure to get in.
The formula for Indianapolis is a combination of world-class race support, excellent venues, and an organization that knows what it is doing—and plans and executes exceptionally well. This organization has listened to participants and worked to refine the event to make it continuously more runner-friendly and convenient. Yes, they work to make it right. They handle the details and create an event where you, the runner, can enjoy an unforgettable race in a welcoming and wonderful host city. Run here! www.monumentalmarathon.com