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Sports Business

Monumental operator changes name as it strides into new fitness territory

September 14, 2016
KEYWORDS Sports Business

The organization behind the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is diversifying beyond the race and is changing its name to reflect that growth.

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Inc. on Wednesday unveiled its new name, Beyond Monumental, as well as a new corporate logo (see image below) and new website at Beyondmonumental.com. Officials also outlined goals to continue striding into new fitness territory.

The change reflects the organization’s interest in growing its health and wellness initiatives and the impact those can have on the community, said Blake Boldon, Beyond Monumental's executive director.

beyond monumental“The organization has made a fundamental change, going from one that runs the biggest marathon in the city to one that operates multiple running events, wellness programs and youth initiatives,” Boldon said. “We’re changing our name so the organization will no longer be identified by a single event. [The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon] remains a great event, but we’re growing beyond that now.”

The new name “creates an exciting new culture and defines a larger purpose for our organization,” Boldon added.

The organization’s flagship event will continue to be known as the CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. This year's event will be held Nov. 5.

Also this week, Beyond Monumental announced a five-year extension with Apex Benefits for the title sponsorship of the Apex Monumental Challenge, an employer-based wellness initiative that incentivizes employees to get active by running, walking or volunteering at Beyond Monumental events.

The Apex Monumental Challenge began in 2014—and is not to be confused with Indiana Sports Corp.'s annual Corporate Challenge, which concludes this weekend.

With the support of IUPUI, the Monumental Kids Movement, which was started in 2012, is expanding this year for the first time across Marion County. The program is currently offered in 34 Center Township schools, including 30 IPS schools, and is launching in 15 schools in Lawrence Township and two in Wayne Township.

The Monumental Kids Movement is a nine-week youth running program—which involves two runs a week—for elementary and middle school children. Participants who have 75 percent attendance get free admittance into the IMM 5K in November. Last year there were 960 graduates of the program, and this year Boldon expects 1,500.

This fall, Beyond Monumental is expanding its partnership with Teachers’ Treasures to create the Teachers’ Treasures Monumental Matchup, a school-based competition to build awareness for Beyond Monumental events and distribute school supplies to the winning schools.

Beyond Monumental is also expanding its footprint in the running arena, with the growth of the Monumental Mile in June and with the acquisition last year of another major fall distance running event.

The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon remains one of the fastest-growing running races in the state.

The IMM, which also includes a half-marathon and 5K race, had a record 16,822 participants last November, and Boldon expects 19,000 this year. About 5,500 of those runners will do the full 26.2-mile race, making it the state’s biggest marathon.

Beyond Monumental last year acquired the Indianapolis Marathon, which had been run each October at Fort Benjamin Harrison since 1995. The move was made to consolidate fall marathon running in the area and to avoid confusion between the two events, Boldon explained.

After last year’s event, Beyond Monumental discontinued the Indianapolis Marathon, but will continue to host the Indianapolis Half Marathon and 5K, which this year will take place on Oct. 8 at Fort Ben.

Beyond Monumental this fall also is launching an initiative called Indython for runners completing a race at both the organization’s fall race events Oct. 8 and Nov. 5. Indythoners, Boldon said, will receive a special medal after the Nov. 5 race and will have their names listed on the organization’s website in recognition of the accomplishment.

“It’s a new way to build excitement for our events,” Boldon said. “We think it’s going to be really popular [with the runners] and a great way to recognize a special accomplishment.”

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