Saturday, May 7, 2016

"I ran with a broken foot, a knee injury and I didn't train-- but I do it every year so I had to!" Indy Mini Marathon 2016

One of my favorite Indy traditions is going to the Mini Marathon not to run, but to cheer. Molly Henry and I started going together years ago. People would always ask who we were cheering for and we'd say, "Everyone!" There are thousands of people running the race and dozens of our friends are in there. We just have to spot them in the crowd. 

Sometimes I know to be on the lookout for people, but usually I just run into them. Before the race even began I saw Kristyn Burke and Becca Wiebke. Then I saw my old co-teacher Runge who had come to cheer on his wife. 

I spy Courtney looking down at her phone and the top of Amanda's curly hair. We yelled at them in unison but they just couldn't hear us. 

We headed to the start line to watch the first 3 waves of people start the race. Music is blaring, people are running by or dancing in the middle of the crowd, Colts and Pacer cheerleaders perform before each new wave.

This year I brought a crew of YL girls-- some of the best encouragers and enthusiasts I know. Line, Meric, Hools, Wash and Maddie didn't know what to expect but they were excited. We climbed up on the wall in-front of the Eiteljorg for the very best view of the start.

The White River is lined with cool art like this paint square wall-- one of my fav backgrounds.

They've learned to never pass up a tree climbing opportunity. They make me proud.

To get to the next part of the course we had to walk on the Pedestrian Bridge and then on the path behind the Indianapolis Zoo.

 Happy Sar. I really love mornings like this one.

Then the finishers started coming across the bridge which meant it was time to spot all of our people. It's like the most intense game of facial recognition in real life ever because people are running past you and if you blink you might miss someone.

Gabe-- HSE Varsity XC runner

I love seeing people who can't run being pushed by friends and family-- that's love

These fat heads are awesome. Camp T needs some fat heads I think.

Madison Pettet-- CILT of 2013

Jack Ranucci-- did a triple take when he figured out who I was and then couldn't decide if he was going to hug me or just keep running

Katie Gray-- Tecumseh alum and Carmel XC coach
Coleman-- Brebeuf YL staff

Alex M-- HSE Senior and looks so happy at the end of 13 miles
Zoe Stein-- Tecumseh CILT

Henry Fitzgerald-- HSE YL, what a champ
Courtney Geitl-- still couldn't hear me yelling at her...

Arie! She's a star-- life long friend, Tecumseh everything

Lesem-- Tecumseh alum, she knew right where I'd be

Amanda Miller-- Tecumseh CILT

Annie Cumming-- old Tecumseh camper
Julia's cousin ran by and she had no idea she would be there

Cooper-- 8th grade Wyld Life guy

Colleen Leonard-- Tecumseh counselor, in the green shorts on the left, I almost missed her running by as she yelled my name

Kathryn-- we went to preschool together in Monticello
Kali-- HSE student

Izzy and Mrs. Stookey-- old camper and student, her little sister is in my class right now

I don't remember who this is, but she sure was excited to see one of us...

Kristyn Burke-- doesn't she just look the happiest?

Sarah Desaultes-- Tecumseh CILT and counselor alum

Adam Ayres-- we had a crowd between us but he knew right where I'd be

Becca Wiebke-- found me on the course after I saw her before the race
Sydney Smith-- HSE XC runner

Ellie Fitzgerald-- DC counselor

Emily Sell-- Tecumseh and YL pal, I think she could run another 13.1

How much do you love these Mario Kart outfits?

We love Nascar and Santa!

Lauren Buday-- old HSJH student
Erin King's mom running away in the distance...

Grace Mears!-- childhood friend from Delphi who became a Tecumseh friend
Gavin-- he was in my first class of students ever and is still just as precious

I realize this picture is blurry but I totally know these two girls and can't remember how... Tecumseh? YL in Indy?
Abby-- HSE student

Swimmer moms so excited to see Meric

On the way back to the car we ran into Reed Steel, an old family friend. He's the one that ran the race with a broken foot and a knee injury-- he's incredible. He quizzed the girls about YL and told them about his dream to go into space and his recent job offer from the Kennedy Space Center. He's really awesome.  

We cheered non-stop for hours, sang along to Maddie's speakers and danced it out. This crew had a blast just yelling for hundreds of strangers. Love does. 

Yep, I'd do this again. 

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