Indianapolis Mini-Marathon Here I Come

minicourse_small.jpgSo my wife says to me “do you want to go to Indianapolis to visit my friends the weekend of May 2”? The first thought that came to mind was “that’s going to really impact my training”. I’m sure all you fanatics understand where I am coming from. The Spring and Summer is my peak training and racing time. The time when all my hard work hopefully pays off. The time when I cannot break from routine for a social gathering. It is hard enough finding time to train at home let alone visit someone with a house full of kids. The Fall and Winter is for travel and leisure, not the middle of the season.  In the summer I am focused.  If I have to explain it to you wouldn’t understand.

However, like a good husband I said “sure, that would be fine”. After all, she does sacrifice for me to be able to train so I guess I can sacrifice for her. Then she says “by the way, it’s the same weekend as the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon”. YEEEEHAAAAAW. “Honey, I can’t wait to visit your friends!” Soon, however, I found out that the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon sells out more than 5 months in advance with 35,000 entrants. DAMN! But wait, there is still hope. I decided to check e-bay.com and craigslist.org to see if there might be someone selling their bib number. With 35,000 runners you would think 1 or 2 would need to unload their number for whatever reason. I soon found out that this is common practice. A part of running I hadn’t discovered. In my 20 years of cycling and 5 years of running I have never not raced a race I signed up for in advance. I guess I have been lucky. On e-bay.com there were maybe 3 of 4 new bib numbers going up for sale each day with about 10-15 on auction at any 1 time.

After days of attempting to find the right price I was able to purchase a bib number for $62.  This person had recently sustained a knee injury and knew he would not be able to compete in May.  I believe it is about $50 to register so I think $62 is a bargain. Some were selling for $75. Then I discover that you can get a name transfer for an additional $20. So you don’t have to run under someone else’s name. Apparently this happens all the time or else there wouldn’t be this option. Chalk this one up for a new experience.

Now I am psyched about the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon for a variety of reasons.  After my poor showing at my last half marathon (Abraham Lincoln Memorial Half Marathon) I am eager to redeem myself.  I will be running a full marathon less than 4 weeks prior therefore 13.1 miles should be a breeze.  The course in St. Louis is hilly and it appears the Indianapolis course is flat (I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a PR).  And the last reason is that I will be having fun running while my wife is having fun visiting her friends.  We both win (for once).

So what originated from a simple question from my wife progressed into days of surfing the net, developing a new 2008 goal, and lead to a new discovery about racing and registration.  No matter how much you plan you can be sure things will probably change.  Therefore you must stay flexible.

I’ll see you in Indianapolis………

http://www.500festival.com/marathon/