- 3 miles/5K
- Road Race
The picture says it all - the only Christmas Day run in Indiana. My wife found this race, which was held at the Indiana School for the Deaf located near the fairgrounds. A portion of the proceeds went to the school. I believe this may have been the first time the race was held, but I haven't confirmed that yet.
It was a small race with roughly 230 finishers. The race started at 2 pm and there was was no expo - simply show up starting at 12:30 to pick up your bib and red/festive long sleeve t-shirt. We got there right at 12:30, but the majority of the people started showing up around 1. With a race this size, there was plenty of parking with everyone able to park within a quarter mile of the start/finish line. There were only two port a pots, located in the parking lot, but again for a race this size that was plenty.
They held a short "meeting" at about 1:50 to give details about the course, start, finish, etc. I have found this to be common of Heartland Endurance events. The race started right at 2 pm with a very loud cannon shot. My wife, being a somewhat newbie in doing races, and I started in the middle of the pack which took us roughly 10 seconds to get to the starting line. They had a video camera on a post at the starting / finish corral to video record all participants. It was a cool idea, but with a small starting shoot it was difficult to find yourself if you weren't on the inside line.
The course was entirely flat - I think there was a total of 8 feet of elevation change. It was an out and back, going around the school grounds and out past the sports fields, doing a lap around the school track, and back. It was almost entirely paved, however you had to navigate many potholes or else risk twisting an ankle.
There was just one water station about midway through, which was simply a spot where about 5 volunteers were handing out water. Nothing fancy, and it worked for a race with a couple hundred people.
My wife set a PR of about 32 minutes which put us right in the middle of the pack. I was fairly impressed that the overall winner finished in a time of 16:30. For a race this size, on Christmas Day, I didn't know how competitive of a race it would be. The second and third place guys both finished in about 17 minutes as well.
As is normal with Heartland Endurance events, every finisher gets a medal. If you registered early enough (which we did) then your finisher medal was a wooden snowflake with the race symbol on the front. I believe the other finisher medals were just blue or black basic circles with the race name on it.
Post race, they did offer water, apple cider, and sugar cookies - obvious choice for a Christmas race. They had three laptops located nearby to assist in looking up your results, however we found out that two of the laptops weren't working, causing a line to be formed around the one laptop.
Overall, it was a pretty nice race and the weather was perfect (mid 40s and sunny out). While I wouldn't go out of my way to run it in the future, I would run it again as a family activity if I had no other plans.