Local, Scenic Half Marathon and 5Ks You’ll Love Running
As registrants already know, the 2020 Zionsville Half Marathon and 5K has been rescheduled to September 20, 2020 at 7:30 a.m. by its organizer—Mike Cole— due to COVID-19 related concerns and health/safety protocols.
Registration is open for the Zionsville Half Marathon and 5K, which is proud to be celebrating its fifth anniversary. The race runs through several scenic Zionsville neighborhoods, over country roads and then back into the village. The races’ unique and scenic courses, as well as the organizers’ and volunteers’ reputation for Midwest hospitality, has attracted runners from as many as 11 states over its five-year history. Keep running and register now for the new September date!
Developing a Racing Community
Mike Cole, founder and race director of Zionsville Half Marathon and 5K, Big Boom 4th of July 5K and the Five and Dime, is pleased with the increased registration figures he is seeing for this years’ races.
Cole, who competed in track and cross country while he attended Ball State University, is also a running coach and personal trainer who works with people at all levels of experience, from beginners to those who are competing in marathons. He purposely designed the Zionsville Half Marathon course to showcase the community and take runners through “the best sides of Zionsville.”
“Every year there’s been an increase in registration,” Cole shared. “My goal has always been to get the Zionsville Half and 5K to 600 [participants], and last year we had around 460.”
When asked how many of the participants Cole thought are locals versus out-of-state runners, he replied, “I would say about 40% are either Zionsville residents or live close to town.”
Although there are course completion medals and awards for age group and overall—for all three races—Cole stressed that for many runners, running is about the experiences and getting to see towns and cities in states and countries that they might not otherwise visit.
“For most people [running] these races, it isn’t about awards,” Cole said. “These people are trying to complete as many different [half marathons] as they can and experience something different every year.”
Growing the Circuit
In addition to the growing popularity of the Zionsville Half and 5K, Cole’s other two established races, Big Boom 4th of July 5K and the Five and Dime—that takes place in the fall—are also growing in numbers as word of mouth continues to get out.
“We’re starting to promote our Fourth of July race now as well,” Cole said. “That particular race grew about another 50 runners last year with a total of about 400 runners. Running a 5K on the Fourth [of July] is a pretty all-American activity that you can do with your family and/or friends.”
Registration is currently open for the annual Fourth of July Big Boom 5K run that will start and finish on the bricks in downtown Zionsville in front of Greek’s Pizzeria and will step off at 7:30 a.m.
It Takes a Village to Organize a Race
For anyone who enjoys the energy produced by a local race and would like to volunteer at a water station or at the finish line passing out medals, Cole is always looking for volunteers to assist at any of his local races.
“It’s been difficult the last couple of years because of inclement weather to get volunteers,” Cole shared. “The volunteers that do come out leave an impression on the runners. They [the runners] tell me after the race about how friendly our volunteers are while handing out water and talking with them for a minute or two before they head back onto the course, which is neat to hear.”
Cole also mentioned how grateful he is for the Zionsville Police Department’s assistance throughout the event as well as all the sponsors’ support.
“Orangetheory Fitness has been a great supporter since we began this quest five years ago,” Cole said. “They’ve been great with passing out medals and handing out little [American] flags in our Fourth of July 5K. That’s a cool thing to see.”
Zionsville Monthly is proud to be the media sponsor for these great races in downtown Zionsville.
Registration is open for both the Big Boom 4th of July 5K and Zionsville Half Marathon and 5K. Register now at run2race.com.