INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands gathered downtown Indianapolis Saturday morning for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.
Last year’s event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but this year’s race looked to continue the race’s historic pace of sell outs.
With temperatures just above freezing, runners covered themselves in thermal blankets before and immediately following the races but the chilly temps led to hot times – as both the men and women’s half marathon course records were broken respectively.
Cold weather is best for long distance runs and the 26.2 miles jaunt through Indianapolis is no exception. The race began near the corner of Capitol Avenue and Washington Street and wrapped up along Washington near the capitol building after taking athletes south past Lucas Oil Stadium and as far north as Broad Ripple before turning around.
But not everyone ran so far, there were half marathons and 5k’s, and plenty of folks watching lining the streets.
One of them was CEO of the title sponsor CNO Financial Group Gary Bhojwani.
“Indianapolis is our hometown, the marathon is always something we look forward to, we’ve got 13,000 participants out here and after not being able to do it last year… it’s so great to take yet another step towards coming back to normal,” Bhojwani said. “We’re just absolutely thrilled to be out here.”
The winner of the men’s 5K, Jacob Stamm was similarly thrilled Saturday morning after winning the event in his hometown.
“It was amazing out here today… just a beautiful race and to be back out here in Indianapolis is a blessing,” Stamm said. “I’m just freezing out here, I’m from Indianapolis but moved to Florida to get my PHD and to come back up here like this… I’m freezing but it’s so worth it when you have a wonderful course like this and such a beautiful city as the backdrop… it’s great to be back.”
Stamm has won the event twice, he says next year he’ll come back potentially to run a greater distance.
“I hope to run the half or full marathon next year,” Stamm said. “So many lives were lost during the pandemic so to be back here with so many fans and athletes racing it’s amazing to hopefully begin to put that past behind us.”
Course records were shattered by men and women during the half marathon race. Molly Grabill broke the women’s record Saturday – something she had done once before as well.
“I love coming out to this race, especially after COVID, it’s nice to get out and continue racing,” Grabill said. “It’s nice to come out, even better to win. There’s so much camaraderie out there and you meet new friends which is so refreshing after a year with nothing like this.”
For a complete list of times and records visit the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon’s website.