After two years of remote events, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K return to in-person races this Saturday. If this is your first go — or if it’s been so long that you’ve forgotten the basics — here’s what you should know.
I’m registered for Saturday’s event. Now what?
Congratulations! Now that you’re registered, the next step is to pick up your race packet at the 500 Festival Mini Marathon Expo in Hall A of the Indiana Convention Center. (If you’re unsure where to go once you get in the convention center, just follow the people who look to be in much better shape than you.) Bring a photo ID with you. You can also pick up a friend’s packet, but you’ll need their bib number and a copy of their ID as well.
The packet contains your bib, safety pins to attach your bib to your shirt Saturday and a 2022 shirt you don’t have to wear this weekend. Besides showing that you belong on the course Saturday, the bib also serves as your electronic timing token to register your splits (times) at various points on the course.
Long time doing doing long runs:She started jogging a mile at 32. She will run her final Mini-Marathon Saturday at 80.
The expo is open:
- Thursday: 4-8 p.m.
- Friday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Besides packet pick-up, the expo will also offer many retailers offering running and walking accessories, ranging from socks to shoes to anti-blister medication and energy snacks.
What time does the 500 Festival Mini Marathon start?
Your start time depends on how fast you’re expecting to be. The elite runners who are competing as part of the USATF National Championship will start at 7:35 a.m. Saturday, while those participants with disabilities start five minutes earlier.
Everyone else will be assigned to a specific corral labeled A through Z, with each corral being projected to be slower than the previous one. (Your corral will be printed on the bib you receive as part of your race packet.) These 26 corrals will be organized along Washington Street downtown between West and Illinois streets. They will then begin the event in five waves at 10-minute intervals, beginning at 7:40 a.m.
The Starting Line is on Washington Street just west of West, near the J.W. Marriott.
- Athletes with disabilities: 7:30 a.m.
- USATF National Championship runners: 7:35 a.m.
- Wave 1 (Corrals A-D): 7:40 a.m.
- Wave 2 (E-I): 7:50 a.m.
- Wave 3 (J-N): 8 a.m.
- Wave 4 (O-T): 8:10 a.m.
- Wave 5 (U-Z): 8:20 a.m.
What time does the 500 Festival 5K start?
A much simpler answer: 7 a.m. As with the mini, you line up heading west on Washington Street downtown.
Where do the 500 Festival Mini Marathon and 5K end?
You’ll cross the Finish Line heading east on New York Street just before West Street. You will pick up your medal and perhaps a banana or some cookies before being filtered into the Post Race Party in Memorial Park.
How long do I have to complete my event?
The 500 Festival Mini Marathon expects you to keep at least an 18-minute/mile pace, which will be just shy of four hours, meaning the last of Corral Z/Wave 5 should cross the finish line around 12:20 p.m. Volunteers trailing the last corral serve as pace-setters for the 18-minute mile. Should you fall behind too far and find yourself unable to continue, a trailing bus can scoop you up.
The 5K has a time limit of 56 minutes, though it has two points along the course that you will need to cross by a certain time to avoid conflicting with the early mini runners.
Is it too late to register for this year’s 500 Festival Mini Marathon or 5K?
No. While online registration is closed for this year’s events, you can still register for either — or both — at the expo Thursday or Friday. The mini will cost $105, while the 5K will be $50. Runners/walkers filled with self-hate can take part in the Mega Mini Challenge — the 5K and then the mini back to back — for $175.
I liked doing the virtual race instead the past two years. Can I do that again?
Yes, you can run/walk the mini or 5K virtually. You’ll just need to go your distance and log your results from May 7-16. If you were registered for the in-person event and decide you would rather doing it virtually, you’ll need to complete a form to arrange to request the change and have your items sent to you.