Friday, September 5, 2014

Rave Run: Indianapolis

Rave Run | Indianapolis, Indiana

I firmly believe that there is no better way to explore a new city than by foot - whether that's walking, running or even skipping through the streets of new neighborhoods, finding those hidden gyms that are well off the beaten touristy path. I've gotten to check out some neat places. A few weeks ago, we had our annual Convention in Indy and despite not having tons of time for touristy fun, I still got out for two early morning runs with two different sisters to play around town. 

Indiana War Memorial

The first morning, Catherine and I set out through Monument Circle, Indy's landmark in downtown, and got to check out the dozens of war memorials and monuments set up in the parks. Monument Circle was almost literally outside our hotel front door, making it an easy and fun way to see some of Indy's best. The War Memorial includes 24 monuments/memorials in three parks and two museums - thus making it second only to Washington, DC, in terms of acreage and the number of monuments dedicated to veterans. Pretty awesome. 

As you can see, it's set up in one long plaza, spotted with memorials, plaques, and the rememberance bricks all along the way. In total, this run is only about 1.5 miles (Monument Circle to the other end of the plaza and around), but it's a quick, fun way to check out Indiana's dedication to their veterans.

Cultural Trail

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is 8 miles of urban bike and walking paths through downtown. There are restaurants, museums, and anything you'd want to find broken up into various districts. On our last morning in Indy, Veronica and I headed out west of our hotel this time, opposite Monument Circle, to check out some other sights and see what this Cultural Trail was all about. 

Lucky for us and our lack of knowing any direction around this city, every crosswalk and corner is marked with signage of some kind so you know you're still along the path. We ended up following it quite a ways, before crossing the river and finding the NCAA Hall of Champions and Headquarters. Pretty cool!

We kept running along the river, passed only one other runner, and quickly discovered IUPUI's campus. I'd secretly been planning on purpose to go thsi way, since I missed the Indy Eleven game the night before but still wanted to check out another campus (college nerd) and to check out the stadium super quick for my dad and uncle (soccer stadium nerds). 

All in all, there are some seemingly fun places to explore in Indianapolis. It doesn't hurt that it's flat as a pancake (at least from what I saw), and there are cool historical things to check out, but also fun and modern things along the Trail. I'd love to go back and do a race in Indy (I missed the one-mile race on Saturday morning due to our schedule!) when it comes time to cross Indiana off my list! 

Have you ever done a race in Indiana? Which would you recommend?


  1. Okay, so I have raced in Indiana.

    My favorite 5k is down the parade route in my hometown right before a big summer parade that kicks off one of the biggest festivals of the summer. (Runners on Parade 5k, Fort Wayne) It's really small, but it's also cool, because people are all sorts of lined up waiting for the parade to start, so it's pretty intense with the spectators.

    As far as a half (or full, if you're gung ho about it), try the Indianapolis Monumental Half. It runs by all of the monuments that you talked about... it's really cool. I would do it again. I also like the Fort4Fitness Half a lot, but that one is in Fort Wayne again... so if you're just looking for Indy, do the monumental. (if you want hilly, but beautiful, Geist Half.)

    1. I hear nothing but great things about the Monumental Half. One day I'll get back and we'll do it! Deal? Deal.

  2. How do you have time for taking pictures on a run?! You amaze me, I always want to but it seems like so much work to get my phone out of my arm band!

    1. I'm pretty slick. I'll teach you at Ragnar, 'caus you'll want to! Haha! :)