Overall Rating
Overall Rating (76 Reviews)
4.5
(76 Ratings)  (76 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.9
SCENERY
3.4
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.3
You could say the City of Indianapolis is a little obsessed with fast races and massive sporting events. This passion for speed and sport is why the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is one of the nation’s largest half marathons (and has been for 20+ years) and why Runner’s World named … MORE
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Recent reviews

    alaskey REPEAT RUNNER '24

    When we lived in Indy, this was the first race I ever ran 20 years ago, and I ran it often while there. I have since been back once and … MORE

    When we lived in Indy, this was the first race I ever ran 20 years ago, and I ran it often while there. I have since been back once and this time I went back to celebrate 20 years of racing. This is an epic production. Having run 118 half marathons, I can definitely attest to the sheer size of this production. There is no expo that is bigger, no start line that is longer, no finish festival as big. This is truly a HUGE event which makes it great if you’re a first timer. If you’re an experienced racer, it’s worth it to submit a time for seeding. To get in the first four STRICTLY enforced (Thank God!!) corrals, you need to submit a time that qualifies you. For the first time ever, I qualified for the B corral which is so worth it. This race has a start line over a mile long. You do not want to be stuck in the back of the pack if you race for time. The expo is a huge part of the convention center and you can buy pretty much anything you want/need/forgot. The merch is good thought I wish the shirt wasn’t long sleeve this year, it was too freaking hot for that! There is also a hat in the bag which is nice. Because we are no longer locals, we stayed in a hotel at the start line (the Courtyard literally IS the start line). This was 100% worth it because believe me, when the field is 20,000+ runners, you do not want to be looking for parking that morning. The race is pancake flat (this is Indiana after all). You run out from the city into Speedway, where the famous Indy 500 Speedway is…you run through the heart of that little village (really, an offshoot of the city proper) and then at mile 6ish, you enter the actual Speedway. Depending on your start time, you may see people actually finishing on the Jumbotron as you enter. This is your ONLY hill. You have to go down a steep driveway to enter the Speedway, and a steep uphill. Then you run to the track and do a lap which is about 2.5mi. They don’t allow hydration packs in this race, supposedly for security on the track but I saw people with them. There are a TON of water stations so if you want to go it without one, you’ll be fine. There are signs for people to stay to the right if you want to kiss the bricks (an Indy tradition) and stay to the left if you’re running because you are running for time. As you leave the Speedway, look back and see the stream of people still coming in. Remember, this is a race with more than 20,000 people. The last 4-5 miles can be hot because it’s May in the midwest. You’ll run back to the city and towards the finish line festival where they have bleachers set up along the street. There is plenty of food and big bottles of chocolate milk. The festival has tons of vendors and food carts and tents for the different running groups that run this together. The medals are always good. Have a plan for meeting your people, 20,000 runners plus their people makes for ridiculous crowds. Highly recommend this one, the crowd support and acts along the route make it really high energy.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    shullrd FIRST-TIMER '24

    This is a really cool race. The starting line had a race-course flair with the green flags, and it was awesome to run out onto the speedway. This is close … MORE

    This is a really cool race. The starting line had a race-course flair with the green flags, and it was awesome to run out onto the speedway. This is close to family so definitely a race I may check out again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    jkotowski FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was one of my favorite races, despite the humidity on race day. We stayed at the Marriott hotel and the corral was right out the back of the hotel … MORE

    This was one of my favorite races, despite the humidity on race day. We stayed at the Marriott hotel and the corral was right out the back of the hotel doors so it was super convenient. The expo was great; so many booths were set up and samples of things to take. The race was a blast with a lot of crowd support and musical entertainment to cheer us on. There were a couple sprinklers hooked up and a blessing to run through. I don’t know if I done a race with so many aid stations; so A+ for that! Running the track was an experience that I’ll never forget and there’s plenty of signage to tell you run on the right if you want to stop and kiss the bricks! The finish festival was very lively with music and food trucks. This race gets another A+ for having chocolate milk at the finish too.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    smearon77 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Running around the Indianapolis speedway is one of the coolest things I have done in over 40 different half marathons. There were bands and cheerleaders and spectators along most of … MORE

    Running around the Indianapolis speedway is one of the coolest things I have done in over 40 different half marathons. There were bands and cheerleaders and spectators along most of the course so I never felt unsupported. Kudos to the race organizers for putting up highly visible water station signs ahead of where the stations were so runners could prepare and move to the side (and also motivate to keep going!).

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
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    cherylmc411 FIRST-TIMER '24

    I did the 5K last year but opted for the Mega Mini Challenge (5K and half marathon) to earn 3 medals this time around. The course is fairly flat and … MORE

    I did the 5K last year but opted for the Mega Mini Challenge (5K and half marathon) to earn 3 medals this time around. The course is fairly flat and although it takes you through some not so savory neighborhoods and industrial areas, it was worth it to get to the Indy Speedway and kiss the bricks. Lots of enthusiastic people and music along the way with plentiful water and Gatorade stops. Don’t think we’d travel so far to do it again, but it is a good one to check off Indiana!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
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    ryneisaac FIRST-TIMER '24

    Best half marathon I’ve run. Super smooth from the corrals, to the easy race route (lots of straightaways and basically no hills), to the after party. We loved this race! … MORE

    Best half marathon I’ve run. Super smooth from the corrals, to the easy race route (lots of straightaways and basically no hills), to the after party. We loved this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    SkylaneVal FIRST-TIMER '24

    The Indy Mini is a popular race for a reason. The course is very flat and there was lots of support along the course with water and gatorade. The community … MORE

    The Indy Mini is a popular race for a reason. The course is very flat and there was lots of support along the course with water and gatorade. The community does a great job supporting the race with entertainment along the way. I enjoyed that the entertainment wasn’t just musicians, but also cheerleaders, cloggers, and even a robotics club.

    To and from the Speedway was not the most scenic, but it’s iconic to be able to run a lap of the track. It really puts the size of the track in perspective when running it.

    Nice medal, long sleeved shirt, and hat. The Expo was also one of the better ones I’ve attended in a long time.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    jkelling FIRST-TIMER '24

    You. MUST. Do. This. Race! (second edit to add some more praise I forgot about the sign) Race was flat and fast, but the humidity was stifling, a reminder that … MORE

    You. MUST. Do. This. Race! (second edit to add some more praise I forgot about the sign)

    Race was flat and fast, but the humidity was stifling, a reminder that mother nature doesn’t always give us the constant tailwind we want. If you’re from a part of the country where that’s not going to break you off, I can see this being a PR course though. I was on the injured list, absolutely NOT used to the humidity and wearing a 34lb vest and actually did better than I thought I would. Did horrible, don’t get me wrong, but less horrible than I thought I would, and I cannot wait to go back!

    TL;DR:
    Lots of karaoke and garage bands along the way mean you’re pretty much always hearing the locals play music until you get to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, dare I say the pièce de résistance of racing, for the cars and for us. It was incredibly thrilling to run down (and up) under the stadium and onto the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a lap around the track.

    The Details:
    A couple of the locals were out providing calories in one form or another and the lady with the “high octane” liquid encouragement in the last few miles: We needed that. We love you. Thank you so much. These are of course “unofficial” components to the race, so I don’t want to dwell too much on those, but it is a sign of positive race-day energy and just how much this community is behind the race.

    Back to the races…so the course is set up with 15 water or Gatorade (or both) stations which as an out of towner that seemed crazy high, but I cannot overstate how wonderful that was. Not just because in that humidity I was constantly thirsty (drank over a half gallon on my back), but because it was such a motivator when you saw one upcoming. Let’s talk about signage. This doesn’t get discussed enough. Little mile markers and “water ahead” signs on the side of the road can get missed when it’s barely a one-foot-square, but we could see water signs and elevated mile makers from half a mile out in places, and that is wonderfully motivating to dig deep for a short term “finish line.” This race excelled there where so many fail, and it goes to show the high caliber of production here and just how good the directors and staff are at creating an experience that you will eagerly look forward to doing, time and time again. Just working the crowd in the corrals I think at least one out of four people that I talked to were repeat runners, and I truly see why. You know what else was a great motivator? The wide area sprinkler/showerheads set up at several points along the raceway that you could hug the curb to get cooled off in which were wide enough to not end up creating a choke point to get in.

    Entering the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) through the entrance under the stands was amazing. You just can’t really appreciate the magnitude of the course like that in the stands, but entering the course and seeing it all there gave me chills. As a vet, the almost immediate “Golden Mile” honoring the fallen service members of Indianapolis was equally moving, and the two experiences back-to-back should never even be considered to be broken up. Loved that precious praying dog, too, but for the life of me I can’t remember her (his?) name. Shame on me. Kissing the bricks after winning a race is one of the greatest traditions in racing, and as someone who is never going to win a race at Indy, it was awesome to be able to do that as well (Note that signs indicated those not interested should stick to the left and kissers to the right and it seemed to be something adhered to pretty well.) Honestly, I originally thought to myself ” seems a shame to not finish on the course” but no, this way was better, and I was wrong. It was nice having it around the halfway mark because there’s still a lot of gas left in the tank at that point, and I threw up one of my fastest splits on that part of the course. I also appreciate that more people at the mid-to-back of the pack get to hit that (very generous 18-min-mile) gauntlet before the IMF apparently closes their section off. That gives you a second wind for the reminder of the race which thankfully consisted of a lot of straightaways and aid stations (official and unofficial…thank you sausage and tequila lady! We love you!). Emergency personnel were numerous along the route, both police and fire/rescue, and while you always hope nothing happens, I love that if something DID happen there was probably a first responder no more than 100 feet away. As a recovering heart patient that counts for a lot with me, and as somebody who just can’t deal with humidity anymore, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one out there who felt some comfort there.

    The swag:
    The long-sleeved t-shirt was nicely designed off incredibly soft material and had a very stylish design on it. As part of the MegaMini challenge (a must do, by the way) we got three shirts (5k, half, challenge) and a really breathable cap. Also, we previously got a beanie for signing up early and I will be rocking that all winter. I wore them all on a very cold flight home after my first flight was cancelled and got a couple compliments on them, which in and of itself says a lot. The medals, three here as well are beautiful and are Indy-themed (of course). This year was a helmet on a checkered ribbon. I think the ribbon is actually really fitting for the race and I do hope they keep that part as the medal evolves over the years. The challenge medal is a gear with a beautiful blue and black ribbon that says something along the lines of “two races, one day” and I think “16.2 Miles” on there (I haven’t unpacked yet). It really is a beautiful medal. My only complaint, if you can call it that, is that the challenge medal is a little smaller than the half. Seems like it should be larger. Don’t shrink the half, enlarge the challenge medal, as it is a little smaller than most of the challenge medals I have. That said, it’s a minor gripe because it is so well-designed and will look great on this year’s display. That is honestly the only “improve” I can level at this race. There’s a giant banner in front of the expo with all the participants names on them. People go pose for pictures by their names. It’s honestly really cool of an idea that I haven’t seen elsewhere, so once again, go team Indy!

    Pre-race communication was wonderful, timely and consistent and it has, bar-none, the most comprehensive website I’ve ever found for a race. There’s so much information there and on different courses, the challenges (Mega mini which is the 5k+half combo I did, Miler Series, which is three progressively longer “build up” races over three different dates, and my next attempt, the Greatest Spectacle, which is all of the above). There’s also a 250 and 500-mile four-month challenge that I may need a few more years to prepare for.

    Director of Registration, Ticketing, and Customer Service, Lydia Thurston honestly is the reason I did this race. When I was on the fence about it (since it is a ways away), she patiently put up with all my questions, my emails back and forth, pointed me in the right direction a few times, and I cannot sing her praises enough. She is also why I’ll be back for the 50th running in 2026 if not beforehand, and why I’m bringing friends with me. There’s a real clear distinction between directors who are just phoning it in and those who are passionate about what they do and about the community, and Lydia is quite clearly the latter. To the race director: you have a great asset in her, don’t let her slip away.

    The lodging:
    JW Mariott was expectedly nice and around the block from the start. Courtyard by Mariott is literally right at the starting line so that’s an option as well, but the JW treated us well so certainly give them a shot if they’re in budget. There’s a great list of partnered hotels that the race has on the website though, and I imagine everyone can find something to their liking.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    jkelling FIRST-TIMER '24

    I don't get to do a lot of 5ks since my cardiologist likes the longer races, but this was part of a 2-race challenge that I couldn't say no to, … MORE

    I don’t get to do a lot of 5ks since my cardiologist likes the longer races, but this was part of a 2-race challenge that I couldn’t say no to, and I’m so glad I didn’t!

    A couple slow-rise hills that don’t even qualify for “rolling” are barely an elevation change for Missouri runners, this race has a great view of the waterfront. With “only” 1 water stop, I was glad I brought my camelbak (sponsorship welcome…just sayin’) which otherwise may have been rough for me in the humidity, or maybe just because I had a 34lb vest on, but at least it was overcast and a light breeze helped us. Honestly I don’t remember any challenging part of the terrain. There was an arched bridge that I think may have been the largest terrain feature on the course, but otherwise it felt pretty flat. I would say “fast” but I’m on the injured list so it sure wasn’t for me.

    The tshirt was honestly a much higher quality soft material than I’ve come to expect from 5ks and the medal was very nicely designed. I always think it’s nice when the ribbon is actually considered as a component of the medal and not just something tacked on without thought. The energy was incredibly high at the pre-start, and everyone was smiling and cheering on the participants. The aid station volunteers were friendly and efficient and the finish line festivities were exceptional with a mix of food trucks, chocolate milk, beer, probably another option or two I didn’t see in the giant festivities field at the end.

    As part of a half marathon and series, there was a very nice expo, where tshirt pickup was fast and efficient, and a nice mix of vendors were present that thankfully were all if not overwhelmingly mostly race related. I always hate when I go to expos and it’s water filtration systems and roofers and whatnot, and this one really was geared towards the race community. As an out-of-towner from a couple of states over, I found a couple other races to go back for and honestly spend more money than I’d planned on. It was well worth it. I brought a friend with me after I made him sign up for one of the challenges (5k+half marathon, same day) and he actually left the hotel to go back to the expo a second time and buy some more stuff he’d been thinking about. Cannot recommend it enough and I can’t wait to go back and do the larger challenge next time. Also, there’s a sign out front with the names of all the participants on it where people pose for pictures in front of their names. Super cool idea that I haven’t seen in any of my other races. Great job team Indy!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    This was a huge race! It was very convenient to get to. I stayed at the J.W.Marriott which was within walking distance to the start and finish line and the … MORE

    This was a huge race! It was very convenient to get to. I stayed at the J.W.Marriott which was within walking distance to the start and finish line and the expo. The Expo was better than most. Swag – long sleeved t-shirt was great, name on bib and tacky hat. Other race logo things to buy too. Pre-race was very organized and starting time was reasonable. Course was nice and flat. You entered the speedway at mile 6 and it goes on for at least another 2 miles in the speedway. The problem was after that – there was nothing to run for. It went through some scruffy areas of Indianapolis, with a protest going on in one spot. But overall, the crowd support was great! Plenty of water stops. The afterparty was disappointing. I’m slow so maybe there wasn’t a lot left but all I was offered was a banana and a small bag of apples. This reminded me of a Disney race – big all around. I would definitely do this for Indiana!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    kalyke FIRST-TIMER '24

    This is a very organized, well-run race. Great email communications prior to the race, plentiful aid stations, wonderful crowd support, good pacers, and you get to run on the Indy … MORE

    This is a very organized, well-run race. Great email communications prior to the race, plentiful aid stations, wonderful crowd support, good pacers, and you get to run on the Indy 500 race track!!! Quite memorable.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    chronoance FIRST-TIMER '24

    I absolutely loved running this race and going into the racing track. Crowd support was awesome. A race I definitely won't forget! The post race party was great as well! MORE

    I absolutely loved running this race and going into the racing track. Crowd support was awesome. A race I definitely won’t forget! The post race party was great as well!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    run27renee FIRST-TIMER '24

    This is a pretty flat course, but it was too hot for me the day I ran so I tanked. Also did too much sightseeing the day before so lesson … MORE

    This is a pretty flat course, but it was too hot for me the day I ran so I tanked. Also did too much sightseeing the day before so lesson learned! There was excellent support along the course and having the Indianapolis Speedway place mid-way is a great strategy. After you run the 2.5 miles of that you are nearly at 9 miles and so near done. Race was well organized and really starts the celebration for the Indy 500 Race later in May. Only thing that would have helped on a hot day like this was an earlier start.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    srjenkins FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was a great race in a fun town!! They had so much on course entertainment that it puts Rock n Roll races to shame! Thankfully they also had a … MORE

    This was a great race in a fun town!! They had so much on course entertainment that it puts Rock n Roll races to shame! Thankfully they also had a ridiculous amount of water and gatorade stations because it was soooo humid this morning!!! Super flat and running around IMS was pretty cool!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    JBarb74 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Well put on race, did the challenge, 16.2, was a little humid, lots of water and Gatorade stops, a lot of racers, great after party, awesome to run on the MORE

    Well put on race, did the challenge, 16.2, was a little humid, lots of water and Gatorade stops, a lot of racers, great after party, awesome to run on the speedway.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    delbert.007 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    Fairly flat nice crowd support. My second time running this race. My absolute favorite part of the race was kissing the bricks. So much support you will not regret running … MORE

    Fairly flat nice crowd support. My second time running this race. My absolute favorite part of the race was kissing the bricks. So much support you will not regret running this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    elladams REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This is a great race that starts/finishes in downtown Indianapolis, but miles 9-11.5 (roughly) are the full 2.5 miles around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - this is a MUST-DO race … MORE

    This is a great race that starts/finishes in downtown Indianapolis, but miles 9-11.5 (roughly) are the full 2.5 miles around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – this is a MUST-DO race for anyone who is a race fan or (like me) grew up in Indianapolis but never really had an opportunity to see the track except on TV. Amazing crowd support with pit stops (water stops) and cheer crews lining the route. It’s now on my annual list of races I can’t miss. The medal is also unique and highlights an aspect of the Indianapolis 500 – this year’s was my own personal Borg-Warner trophy (what the winning driver gets).

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    dlmartin FIRST-TIMER '23

    The best part of the course was the 2.5+/- miles within and on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. I am not a NASCAR fan; however, experiencing being inside the speedway … MORE

    The best part of the course was the 2.5+/- miles within and on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. I am not a NASCAR fan; however, experiencing being inside the speedway was exciting and memorable…. and even had the opportunity to” kiss the infamous bricks” during the race. The race production was well supported and the course was overall easy.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    cfconwayiii FIRST-TIMER '23

    Expo was top notch! Huge event! Pre race communication was great! Course was flat and fast and had plenty of aid stations, I think 1 for every mile, course support … MORE

    Expo was top notch! Huge event!
    Pre race communication was great!
    Course was flat and fast and had plenty of aid stations, I think 1 for every mile, course support was awesome! One lap around the speedway was a nice touch.
    You might want to get in a earlier corral since this was a big race with lots of runners, it was a little congested first couple of miles.
    Post race party was fantastic, they had about 20 massage tables set up, which was awesome
    Swag was a very nice medal and a long sleeve T-shirt
    If you need Indiana this should be your race, I highly recommend it!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    GwenWest FIRST-TIMER '23

    This was a fun race to do for Indiana. Getting to run through the speedway was pretty unique. PROS: Crowd support was great, lots of porta-potties on the course, great … MORE

    This was a fun race to do for Indiana. Getting to run through the speedway was pretty unique.
    PROS: Crowd support was great, lots of porta-potties on the course, great expo, very well-run and organized race. Indianapolis is a fun town with lots of hotels right at the start/finish, great restaurants, and the medal was really nice. I also loved the “Golden Mile” which honored fallen soldiers. I wore a soldier’s name on my back (which they were handing out at the expo) and their family member found me on the course and thanked me. That was the highlight of my race for sure.
    CONS: I didn’t love the post race party. The free beer was VERY small and they ran out of chocolate milk. There were food trucks with food available for purchase. Other than the speedway, the race ran through neighborhoods which weren’t very exciting, so that was a little disappointing. I would much rather have gotten to run through downtown. There is A LOT of people at this race (>20,000) so it was also quite congested.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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  1. Races
  2. OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (Indy Mini)