First off, going to try to keep this review shorter than usual and eliminate a lot of my Mile by mile thoughts and stick with details to the actual race.
The 2017 Monumental Marathon was held on November 4, 2017 in Indianapolis. It is held yearly on the first Saturday of November. The race expo is held Thursday from 4pm-7pm and on Friday from 11am-8pm. Some complain that the expo closes too early for those coming from Illinois (especially with the hour difference) but in fairness to the race, the expo hours are posted when you register. There is also no option for race day packet pickup which is becoming more popular with larger marathons. Could you imagine the mess that would create?
The Expo is held at the Indiana Convention Center. It is a large building right in downtown Indy. There were probably 40-50 vendors at the expo. Pretty good size. There were also guests speakers all throughout the time the expo was open. I didn’t go to listen to any since none really interest me except for one on runner safety but that was on Thursday before I could get there. Picking up your race bib and shirt was quick and easy. There was also the option of getting a friends number as well. Besides the vendors, there was race merchandise for sale. Tina and I did pick up 2016 finishers quarter zips for half off since we did Run last years race. Maybe next year we will purchase the 2017 jackets???
Where to stay
If you are coming to town for this race, get a hotel early and stay downtown. It is more expensive, but you can just park your car and not need to drive until you leave to go home. Everything is within walking distance. Quiet a few hotels are within 5 blocks of the starting line, and the expo is only a block from the starting line.
Where to eat to carbo load
Tina and I always go to Buca Di Bepo in downtown. Once again, only a few minute walk from most downtown hotels. If you plan on going to Buca Di Bepo, get your reservations a made about a week before. It amazes me every year how many people thing they can just walk in and get a table. This year, they were not taking any walk up guests until 9:00pm. The race itself does offer a pasta dinner as well.
The full and half marathon start together at 8:00am. The 5k started at 8:35.
The course is discribed on the website as relatively flat with a few small hills. I would say that is an accurate description. The course starts in down town Indy right in front of the capital building, winds it’s way passed Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Field House, then Soldiers and Sailors Monument before heading north of town and eventually coming back to downtown to finish back in front of the capital building. It really is a great course. Some of the other sites were Mass Ave. District, Meridian Street, Butler University, Museum of Art, Broad Ripple, State Fairgrounds, and Fall Creek Parkway.
Right after you cross the finish line, you were handed a medal (put around your neck), a beanie with the race logo, a heat sheet, and a bottle of water. Finishers photos were then taken by MarathonFoto (who was also on the course) and then you proceeded to walk through the finish area to get fruit, chips, cookies, and chocolate milk. Some complain that there are not healthier options but you just ran a marathon, indulge a little. Also, I wanted salt after I finished so give me all the chips.
Gear check was located right by the finish line as was the tent where you could go get a free slice of Papa Johns Pizza. An extra slice would cost $2, which doesn’t seem too bad. There was also a live band playing at the finish line.
I love this race. There are reasons why we come back to this race every year (5 straight years now) and we will be registering again on 1/1/18 to get the lowest registration price. Next years race will be on November 3. This was also the end of the 4 year medal series which led up to the 10 year anniversary of the race. Apparently they will be starting a new series, which I am cool with. However the medals from the next series will still fit in place of the medals from the previous series. So if you missed a medal from the last series, you can fill it in with next year or the year after. I would prefer a whole new series.the medal series resembles the flag of Indianapolis.
How did my race go
My race went as well as I could have expected. I came in hoping to run another BQ and Run under 3:10. I ran a real conservative start to the race, maybe starting too far back, and slowly made up time. My first 10k was in 45:52 (7:24 pace), at the half I was at 1:34:43 (7:14 pace), 30k was in 2:15:00 (7:15 pace), and finished in 3:09:02 (7:13 pace). I ran a negative split by 23 seconds.
A little bit of a fun stat is how many kills I had. A kill is how many people I passed. At the 10k mark, I was in 528th Place. By the time I crossed the finish line, I was in 314th Place. So I had 214 kills.
If I didn’t run Chicago, with the weather being perfect as it was, this could have been a great chance to really go after a sub 3 hour marathon. But as it is, I am pleased with finishing time. Maybe I can get close to that 3 hour marathon in 2018.