It's MAY in Indianapolis! And, as always, the festivities to kick off the month of the Indianapolis 500 have started with the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, which was YESTERDAY! Mr. Sea was in the Mini last year, but this year we BOTH participated! (Well, okay -- Mr. Sea was in the Mini, I was in the 5K.) I'm usually a spectator at this thing -- a very willing spectator because the Mini is one of the best events for people watching. It was nice to be a participant for a change. (Mighty Mite, by the way, stayed home to hang out with Uncle George.)
The Mini-Marathon, if you haven't witnessed it, is an absolute blast, like "jet-propelled New Year's Eve," to borrow a quote from the movie An American in Paris. It's the largest mini-marathon event in the USA (probably in the world), and one of the world's largest foot-race events. While the rest of the city slept, 80,000+ idiots (very cheerful idiots) crammed the streets of downtown Indianapolis yesterday morning to race and/or take in the festive atmosphere. The weather started off a bit overcast, but not too hot or too cold, and the air was full of helicopters, geese, and beach balls.
Everyone ALWAYS seems to be in a good mood for this race. It's wonderful. Indianapolis's usual problems aside, it's times like this when I really, really love my hometown. And I love to hear participants from out of state or out of country say that they love the Indy 500 Mini-Marathon because it's always so well organized and everyone is always so gosh-darned NICE. Well, of course we're nice -- That's where the term "Hoosier Hospitality" comes from!
My favorite moments:
- As with most major events in Indiana, loudspeakers were blaring John Mellencamp's "Small Town" just prior to the start of the race. However, when the race actually started, the music being belted out up and down Washington Street was AC/DC's "Thunderstruck." Too funny.
- The race begins on Washington Street just in front of the Indiana State Museum and stretches all the way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before looping back to the Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. Marathon runners actually get to run on the racetrack where the Indianapolis 500 is held. This year, before the first runners got to the track, there was the following announcement: "Attention runners! Upon reaching the track, IF you FEEL the NEED to kneel down and kiss the bricks, MAKE SURE the person behind you knows BEFOREHAND what you intend to do!"
- While following the route past the Indianapolis Zoo, I noticed that the zoo elephants were standing at the top of their paddock hill (the one that overlooks the street) and were actually watching the race! I can only imagine what they were thinking: "Hey, look, the humans are migrating again!"
- Mr. Sea passed Superman in the race! Wow, that's impressive. Even the Flash has trouble passing Superman.
- Congratulations to Lamech Mokono and Valentine Orare for the Mini's very first TIE for first place!
Kudos to the organizers and volunteers for another great race!