If you see an army of people running to and fro Carmel this Saturday, April 20 don't be alarmed. It's not the end of the world. It's actually the Third Annual Carmel Marathon! Starting in 2011, the Carmel Marathon has quickly gained national attention among the most elite runners. Slated to have about 3,500 participants and over 39 states and 5 countries represented for this year's race, it's safe to say Carmel Marathon is making big strides, according to Todd Oliver, Race Director.
Whether you're a newbie, wannabe or pro, the Carmel Marathon offers races for everyone. The St. Vincent 1-Mile Family Fitness Walk is a great starter, followed by the KeyBank 8k and also the Half Marathon Presented by Runners Forum. If you really love that "runner's high", go ahead and show the 26.2 miles (full marathon) who's boss. There will be plenty of live music, DJs, and cheer groups to keep you motivated on your journey. The Carmel Marathon charity partners, Peyton Manning Children's Hospital and Race for the Cure: Central Indiana, may also give you an extra boost knowing that your steps on Saturday help others year-round.
After you walk, run or simply cheer on your loved ones, there's only one thing left to do: celebrate your accomplishments! The post race celebration will take place at Center Green just south of the Palladium, and you don't want to miss out. Music, food, awards and prizes will be there from 11am to 2pm to distract you from any pain you may be experiencing.
What also may ease the pain is the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau tent. During race registration and after the race, you can sign up for chance to win a fun and relaxing Hamilton County Weekend Getaway along with several other prizes. Post race, they will also be giving out tons of bananas (one thousand to be exact) to help runners refuel.
Following the Post Race Celebration (and one thousand bananas) will be the Official After Party at the Stacked Pickle. If you're starting to think the fun never ends in Hamilton County, you are correct. The Stacked Pickle is located off of Old Meridian Street, and they are dedicated to making sure you end your day on a high note with delicious grub and suds.
Come join the fun! Just don't forget to pace yourself.
*4/16 Update: "All systems are a go for Saturday," according to the Carmel Marathon, despite the tragic events in Boston. The Carmel Marathon has secured 96 police officers and 75 National Guard service men and women who will be on course and throughout the grounds on Saturday. There will also be medical personnel with radios and special security privileges at every water stop. The Carmel Marathon states, "We are runners and we will run... for all our fellow runners and fans in Boston!" They hope to have a special pin to wear in support of Boston.