Indianapolis, the Portland of the Midwest

I’m a slow runner, and will never win more than a participant medal, but I enjoy it. Also, when it comes to exercise do you ever win at yoga or on the elliptical? The only win is being healthier, and if you find a physical activity that you like, you are successful.

Being a back of the pack runner, I choose races where I can have a good time on the course, so the first weekend in May I headed 3 ½ hours southeast of Chicago to Indianapolis for the Indy-Mini Marathon. My friend, Jenny, and I decided to meet up and do this race together. Or if you want to be more accurate, hang out at the starting line together and then meet up after the race. Jenny is super fast.

Arriving in Indy on Friday afternoon, I met Jenny and her family for dinner. They spent the day at the Children’s Museum while I toured around the city. We met up at Twenty Tap on College Ave. Besides having a top notch beer selection, this restaurant’s food was amazing from their grass fed beef burgers to their beer battered cheese curds (a Midwest staple). We left happy and stuffed.

After dinner my friend Jenny and I headed over to the convention center to pick up our packets and meander through the booths. A few hours later, we met my friend Jason, a 4 year resident of Indianapolis, for ice cream at Sub Zero Ice Cream on Massachusetts Ave. Everyone was outside and waiting in line for ice cream which reminded me of when I was in Portland. I made a joke to Jason about Indianapolis being the Portland of the Midwest. Jason laughed, agreed with that statement, and told me to tell everyone.

After enjoying our ice cream, we walked down Massachusetts Ave and then headed back to our hotel to rest up for our race the next day.

Saturday, May 2nd was a perfect day for running (Obviously if you like to run). The course has you start downtown near their capital building; run past the Indianapolis Zoo; continue on to the speedway; and then back to the downtown area. In a little over 2 ½ hours I ran through Indianapolis and was entertained by bag pipes, brass bands, clog dancers and belly dancers, just to name a few of the performers on the course. I was cheered on by strangers. Some who spent their day drinking on their porch as they watch thousands of people jog by. When on the Speedway, I stopped and kissed the bricks. At the end of the race, I joined the other participants at Military Park for post-race festivities.

While I felt energized and excited after the race, I knew it wouldn’t last, so I met Jenny and her family for one last meal at the original Shapiro’s Delicatessen. I ate so much food there and still had leftovers.

Indianapolis really surprised me. It’s a quirky little city with a lot of heart and great food. I can see why Lonely Planet named it one of the top U.S. destinations. I will definitely go back and spend more time there.




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