Why Run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Whether you are training for your first marathon or are a veteran runner trying for a personal best or Boston qualifying time, you need to consider the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon ran on the first weekend of November each year. Runner’s World calls it One of the Ten Great Marathons for First Timers. Running USA lauds it as one of the top ten Boston qualifiers. I ran it for the first time in 2015. I had a wonderful experience and set a personal best. Here are 5 reasons why you should run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.
1. Flat and Fast
The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is an excellent course to set a personal record or possibly qualify for the Boston Marathon. There is no section of the route that I can remember being uphill. There are a couple of downhill sections, though! There are no sharp turns to slow your pace, either.
2. A Corral System that Works
To be placed in a timed corral, you have to submit a fairly recent race time. I have completed 13 marathons and this is the only one with a corral system that people seemed to obey. Not once did a person walking cause a jam and slow me down. I was able to settle into my pace with really no stop/starts and with minimal jostling.
Early November in central Indiana is almost always cool to cold and usually dry. While this is not ideal for spectators, it is near perfect for a comfortable run and for fast race times. The 2015 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon had temperatures in the upper 40s to low 50s throughout with clear skies.
4. Stay Warm Till Near Race Time
You can wait in the convention center, about 2 blocks from the race start until approximately 20 minutes prior to start in climate controlled, heated comfort. While the mid 40s for running is perfect, it can become quite uncomfortable if you have to wait for long periods in the cold before the race. With the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, you stay warm until race time, then dash off into the cool morning. There are plenty of indoor rest rooms, too. TIP: The rest rooms at the far end of the morning meeting room near the exit closest to the marathon had no lines right up to the last minute.
5. Indy is a Nice Town
While the scenery of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon cannot compare to the likes of Big Sur, it is an enjoyable course. I had never toured Indianapolis before running this race, and I was pleasantly surprised. Within just a few blocks of the start are Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Colts and home of some NCAA basketball championships), the Indiana capital building, and several monuments. After winding through downtown, you run a circle through the city. Much of the route passes well kept Victorian and Craftsman homes. You also pass through Butler University as well as attractive city parks. As with any urban marathon, there is a stretch of ghetto, but not much.
Indianapolis is within easy driving distance of most of the Midwestern US. You will not be disappointed if you run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I will be there again this year seeking another personal best and hopefully nearing a Boston Marathon qualifying time. I hope to see you there!