I have looked forward to this race since I began training for marathons in 2014. Jim and I spent four years in Indianapolis while he was in medical school, and we love running in this city. (We have run the Indianapolis Half Marathon as well as the Indy Mini twice.) Plus, this marathon gave us an excuse to spend the weekend with old friends—always the very best of added bonuses.
Overall, this is an amazing race. There are a ton of hotels within walking distance of the start/ finish line and the race expo. We stayed in the Hilton this year, but we’ve been to most of the downtown hotels and there really isn’t a bad one in the bunch. The race is large enough that it doesn’t feel lonely when the half splits from the full, but it’s not so huge as to feel overwhelming. I loved the course: it’s pretty much pancake flat throughout—I noticed some inclines and declines, but Jim said he felt like he ran almost entirely downhill. The course goes through all the cool downtown neighborhoods, loops out to Broad Ripple Village, runs by the gorgeous mansions on Meridian, and makes its way to White River State Park and the art museum before heading back downtown again. I’m sure that there are portions of this route that would be considered boring, but as someone who has lived in the city and moved away, I absolutely loved the pedestrian tour of Indy. I was somewhat concerned about the November date as it can get cold in Indiana by then, but we had perfect running weather.
My complains for the Monumental Marathon are minor. My biggest frustration was with the fact that this race required proof of time for the seeded corrals, but on race day, no one was checking bib numbers. I was positioned in one of the faster corrals, but it took at least a mile to weave around all the walkers and joggers who should have been further back in line. Some of the streets that we ran on were uneven or had substantial potholes. I also didn’t much like the fact that my race shirt was almost identical to the half and 5K ones. (the only difference was the color swatch on the sleeves.) Finally, I don’t really mind that they only provided Gatorade at every other stop, but I do wish that the aid stations would have been consistent with which they gave out first. I had to stop to ask what I was drinking at a couple of spots on the course. Again, these were only minor annoyances.
My goal was to PR at this marathon, and I was shooting for a 3:25 finish. I ran with the 3:25 pace group, and our leader was fantastic. We lost some time during that first mile, but he did a great job of catching us back up over the course of the next couple. He even had his wife (or girlfriend?) positioned at the exit to one of the tunnels where he knew his GPS wouldn’t work. Sadly, I lost him during the last two miles, but I was only 37 seconds off my goal time, so I felt good about my overall effort. I don’t know that I could have run this race any better; most miles were about ten seconds faster than previous PR’s, but I lost steam during that final stretch.
Ultimately, I loved this race, loved getting to spend the weekend downtown, and loved hanging out with our friends and their families! I really don’t know if I’m going to find a faster course in my 50 state journey.
** Race Highlights: The course is FAST and the weather was perfect. I also enjoyed getting to tour a town that we love so much on foot.
** The Downside: We ran on some streets with very uneven pavement/ potholes. At times I really had to watch where I was going. The starting corrals were also very frustrating.
Sub 4:00 State #11, BQ State #9, Sub 3:30 State #3
Finish Time: 3:25:37
Overall Place Within My Gender: 98th/1763
Favorite Race Day Song: “Sit Still, Look Pretty” by Daya
Total Training Miles: 2768
Shoe Total: 10