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Olympic gold medalist, first Mini-Marathon winner returns to Indy for Mini Commitment Day

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The 500 Festival kicks off the excitement for the 2015 OneAmerica Mini-Marathon as registration opens on Tuesday, September 9 as part of Mini Commitment Day. Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter, winner of the inaugural Mini-Marathon in 1977, will run the famed Mini route beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at Military Park.

Shorter, who won Olympic gold in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, won the first Mini-Marathon with a time of 1:03:56. Now age 68, Shorter anticipates finishing the course in approximately two hours and ten minutes, a pace faster than 16,000 participants in the 2014 race. As he sets the pace to beat on September 9, the 500 Festival will donate $1 to a charity as voted on by Mini participants for every person who runs faster than Shorter in May 2015.

It was curiosity and the opportunity to run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that first led Shorter to commit to run the first Mini-Marathon. “The Mini-Marathon has become such a tradition,” says Shorter.

“It has evolved into an event people plan to be in Indianapolis for. Families come back to do this. It’s sort of a reunion race. I am excited to make the commitment to run the course again and encourage others to commit to run in 2015.”

The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is the nation’s largest half-marathon. The 13.1-mile Mini-Marathon course starts near White River Park and the NCAA Hall of Champions, continues past the Indianapolis Zoo and the White River, winds through the streets of downtown Indianapolis and the town of Speedway and includes a lap around the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway before finishing at Military Park for a 500 Festival Post Race Party.

“Frank has been a fixture at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon from its inception,” said Bob Bryant, President & CEO of the 500 Festival. “At the inaugural race the field increased dramatically once news of his participation spread and he has continued to support this Indianapolis tradition.

Whether he is handing out bags to participants at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo, speaking at a sponsor reception, providing commentary for the race broadcast or hosting elite runners for a pasta dinner downtown, Frank has been a true champion and ambassador for the Mini, the 500 Festival and Indianapolis. There is not a better person to set the pace for Mini Commitment Day and inspire us all to get out there and run.”

Registration for the 2015 Mini-Marathon has moved to a tiered pricing structure. To lock in the special $75 rate for the 39th Mini-Marathon on May 2, 2015, register starting September 9 through October 31 at IndyMini.com . Pricing will increase to $85 through December 31, $95 through February 28, $105 through April 29, and $120 through the Mini-Marathon Expo.

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