Mini Marathon gets competition

December 6, 2007
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The venerable Mini Marathon has a challenger.

As IBJ reporter Anthony Schoettle reports today, two sponsors have signed on to a half-marathon scheduled just two weeks after the Mini, which is sold out.Race Around the Reservoir will wind around Geist Reservoir to cater to runners in Marion and Hamilton counties.

Race Around the Reservoir organizers are billing their event as an alternative to those who canâ??t get into Mini, and are encouraging people to run in both.

Is the new race a threat to the main event?
  • The two week separation does not threaten the main event nationally. People who travel across the country will likely not make the trip twice. It may create a new buzz locally. I know I was interested in running the Geist Half when it was scheduled in the fall. Now I may need to rethink my training to run them both in May.

    An iteresting twist might be to run them both in the same weekend. Disney runs a half on Saturday and a full on Sunday in January and there is a speacial Goofy Race and a Half medal to those that run both of them. Also included at Disney is a 5k and family fun run on Friday. Lets make a running weekend out of it so the Indianapolis area can promote a Downtown experience and a Lake Front experience.
  • These two compnaies could have taken the dollars from their marketing budget to support an event in a different month that would benefit a non-profit organization. The strategy behind the exisiting event is that it kicks off the Month of May and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway activities. It is a true celebration of the city. The announcement does not indicate that they will partner with the 500 Festival and promote the city. It is a tool to promote themselves. And producing an event like a half marathon is no easy task, they will learn that quickly.

    I have no doubt that the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon will come out the winner.

    Plus, I have to question whether this is the best use of dollars from a hospital. With rising healthcare costs and more and more uninsured middle class Hoosiers, I would think the Community Hospital Network could better serve the citizens in Indianapolis by staying away from producing large scale events.
  • VS, read a little closer, the Geist Half Marathon Inc. 'is' a not for profit, it's a benefit race for local children's health and wellness programs. Geist strattles 3 different counties (Marion, Hamilton and Hancock) and the race's objective is to highlight child obesity and encourage kids and adults to get in shape. Community Health Network benefits because they want to encourage people to get healthy and choose a healthy lifestyle, from children on up. Think of it as preventative marketing or a regional health and wellness program.
  • I think it is a wonderful additon. I don't think it will hurt the Mini, but it will make them work a bit harder to keep those runners coming back year after year.
    And VS, these sponsors are FOR PROFIT, and can choose to spend their money how and where they would like. They pay taxes to this fine state of ours so they are actually taking care of the uninsured middle class Hoosiers.
    YOU GO Community Hospital Network!
  • I also just want to state for the record that we at the Geist Half don't see ourselves as competing per se with the Indy Mini marathon. We see our event as an alternative for those that want to train and run a race but were locked out of the Mini or they are already signed up for the Mini and want another challenge in the area that is scenic. Our intentions are not to bring runners from Kenya to town, but rather to treat the kids that compete and complete the race to be the rock stars for a day. It's a showcase event for Geist Reservoir that brings our community together, and given the annexation and water company issues we have here, we need it.
  • I was all for this until Mr. Britt tied it to the anti-annexation efforts. If you want to bring the community together, stop freeloading off your neighbors in Fishers and join the community that provides so many services to the Geist area.
  • I'm all for adding additional funning events in the area, however, I am inclined to say that the sponsors are being a bit greedy on the $40 entry fee. As a fist time event pricing should be even lower to attract interest to an event that is likely to have rough patches the first time around. I realize the Official Mini is $50 this year, but that didn't happen overnight - that's a result of success and demand. I know prices for all products and services are going up, however, a few years ago it was only $35 for the Mini if you entered early and they already had over 10 years of experience with the event. With that in mind I would suggest knocking a few more bucks off the entry fee, at least early on to incent people to participate in the event for the first year.

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