Angie's List employees recover after mini-marathon

Angie's List employees recover after mini-marathon

Nearly 30,000 people ran, walked or wheeled their way through the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon this weekend. For a while Monday morning, it seemed like most of them came from Angie’s List.

Angie’s List prides itself on offering a healthy workplace and encouraging its folks to be fit. The Indianapolis-headquartered company has the hardware and the incentive programs to prove it. For example, any employee who powered through the 13.1-mile mini-marathon earned a paid day off.

Nearly three dozen AngiesListers toughed out the race and still came to work two days later. Most of them were smiling despite the blisters on their feet.

Or, in the case of copy editor Adam Wire, holes in his arms.

Wire is our Iron Man. He finished the race first among his co-workers. He was eight miles in when he heard Nelson Oyugi’s 1:01:53 finish called. Undeterred by the professionals ahead of him, he dug deep and answered our favorite drill sergeant, Kelsey Taylor’s call to “Leave it all on the field!”

Really. He was carted off to the medical tent nanoseconds after he dashed across the line, where he was given fluids intravenously for the next half hour.

If Wire is the Iron Man, Sara Stellema, senior advertising designer, has to be the Iron Woman. She ran with a baby on board, announcing her fabulous condition to the world as she ran and in her finish photo.

While Wire got re-hydrated, Paul Shepherd, a senior online editor, came across looking for his 16-year old son Sam. Also making it a multi-generational affair, Laura Crafton, Band of Neighbors marketing manager, ran with her father, David Crafton, 62.

Brooke Padilla, lead video editor, and media relations specialist Jodie Kehoe arrived at the race with their speedier husbands in tow, but they quickly lost them in the expected time-segregated corrals. No worries. They had others helping them through, including the sight of wheelchair racers whose spirits of determination spread through the less-conditioned runners like adrenalin.

“I was ready to give up and then I saw some people in wheelchairs using just their arms. I knew then that I could make it,” Padilla said.

Meranda Adams, senior online editor, had a more important mission than running. She was one of 4,000 volunteers there to support the runners and was still there after they’d crossed the finish line.

Here are their stories, straight from them, in reverse order of their time on task.

Adam Wire:  “This was my first half-marathon, and in retrospect, I probably made some rookie mistakes. I hydrated before the race, but didn't want to overdo it, and only took three cups of water on the course. I easily beat my goal time of 1:45 but had nothing left for the last mile. I began staggering immediately after crossing the finish line, and medical personnel helped me to the on-site medical tent. I was there for at least an hour, hyperventilating and cramping with lots of numbness. After an IV, I felt better.

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Adam Wire (Photo by )
Adam Wire, a copy editor for Angie's List, needed intravenous fluids after the race, but he achieved the best time. (Photo courtesy of Adam Wire) (Photo by )

The race itself was incredibly cool, with bands, cheerleaders and fans virtually every step of the way, and I literally got chills entering the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where I watched so many races as a child and was part of the 13.1-mile course. I couldn't be happier with my time, and I definitely won't forget the experience!

Finish Time: 1:39:24

Paul Shepherd: Saturday marked the third straight year my teenage son and I ran the mini. This year, what I hoped would be different from those previous two runs was our finish. My son, a 16-year-old sophomore on his high school’s reserve cross-country team, had easily beaten the old man’s time in both races. My goal time for the mini has been the same in my four tries: run it in less than 2 hours. I had only succeeded once in my previous three runs – barely – finishing last year’s race in 1:59.22.  He ran it last year in 1:50.24.

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Paul Shepherd (Photo by )
Paul Shepherd, a senior online editor, completed the mini with his 16-year-old son, Sam. (Photo by )

As we crossed the start line Saturday, my son darted left into the crowd as I merged right to the outside of the pack. I watched him and wondered if it was symbolic of his maturing into a man who’s now taking his own path instead of following his father’s lead. Unlike our two previous minis together, we wouldn’t see each other again during the race.  We reunited afterward in Military Park happily wearing our medals while washing down bananas and sugar cookies with chocolate milk. We shared our times and my son proudly patted me on the back. I had finished in 1:47.47 to his 1:54.51. Surprisingly, I didn’t really care that I had the edge in time. I was really just happy to share the day with him – again.

Finish Time: 1:47:47

Jodie Kehoe: “My first mini-marathon was a big success, minus the blister the size of Mars on the bottom of my left foot. I’ve always been athletic, but was NEVER a runner. I did my first 5K last fall and my husband convinced me that if I could run 3.1 miles, I could run 13.1 miles. While my husband is extremely supportive, we don’t run together. He runs much faster than I do and any training would no doubt end in an argument following a comment such as, “You’re not even moving.” My goal was to finish in under 2:30 and I did!. Perhaps I’m delirious or just delusional, but my next goal is the Monumental Marathon in November. If I can run 13.1 miles, why not 26.2?

Finish Time 2:19:57

Laura Crafton: This year I was going to do my second half marathon the right way. I was going to train properly – and the mini-marathon training series was going to keep me in line to run faster, safer and in better spirits than last year. No more “I’m just going to get out there and do it” attitude. I was going to be fully prepared for the 13.1 miles I had paid to suffer through … but remember, this year there would be no suffering. I had this. 

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Laura Crafton (Photo by )
Laura Crafton, Band of Neighbors marketing manager, competed with her dad, David. (Photo courtesy of Laura Crafton) (Photo by )

Our last training series was a 15k (9.3 miles) and I was happy with my time and how I felt after! This half marathon was in the bag. Then on a flight back from a short vacation, my left hip flexor started hurting. My doctor told me I had pulled it and I needed to give it six to eight weeks to heal. Excuse me? Not happening. I’m running the mini – and I did. It was painful, but I took it slow and ran the entire thing. My amazing father stuck by my side the entire time – even though at 62 years old, that man should’ve ran ahead. A 2:26 finish is nothing to brag about, but getting out there and not stopping with my injury was all I wanted. Success.

Finish Time 2:26:17

Brooke Padilla: “I survived my first mini-marathon! That’s how I felt as I stepped across the finish line. I was never a “runner.” I knew I wasn’t going to be fast. I knew I would walk parts of it. I was OK with that. I just wanted to finish. And, if it’s not too much to ask, I wanted to be able to get out of bed the next day. I started out feeling pretty good. I noticed I was running faster than usual. I should have slowed down, but you have this adrenaline rush. It all caught up with me around mile five. Needless to say, I was ready for my couch once I circled the track. I struggled a lot those last few miles. My back ached. My feet hurt. But my running pal Jackie was my motivator yelling ‘C’mon Brookie, you got this!’

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Brooke Padilla (Photo by )
Brooke Padilla, lead video editor at Angie's List, survived her first mini, despite a little whining. (Photo courtesy of Brooke Padilla) (Photo by )

I whined a little more, but Jackie was right, there was the finish line finally! Although when I first saw it, it looked a lot closer than it really was. The mini marathon is an experience to remember. I was amazed by all the people who stand along the route to cheer on total strangers. And I amazed myself that I accomplished such a feat.

Finish Time: 2:39:36.  

Sara Stellema: When signing up last year for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon, I never imagined I would be running it 14 weeks pregnant! Leading up to the end of my first trimester, my husband and I racked our brains for an original, fun way to announce we were going to be having a baby. Being avid runners, I figured there was no better way than to finish our 13.1 mile run with a big reveal. This year’s run 14 weeks pregnant was the complete opposite of last year’s 2 hour finish. The only things that kept going through my head were, “Please don’t have to take a bathroom break every mile,” and, “When can I take a nap?" It was a run/walk kind of race with a very happy finish for all three of us!

Finish Time: 2:44:13:17

Meranda Adams: “I'm not a runner, but I love the Indy mini-marathon! My husband and I volunteer for various 500 Festival events each year, but passing out medals at the finish line of the mini is the highlight of our May. This year, we arrived about 6 a.m. to unpack boxes brimming with 30,000 medals to get them ready to hand out en masse before the crush of participants crossed the finish line. Before the sun rose over the downtown skyline, the windy 47-degree weather and my numb hands made me momentarily second guess getting out of bed so early on a weekend.

Standing on concrete for seven hours surrounded by sweaty people might not seem like everyone's idea of a fun Saturday morning, but it's always so inspiring — from the elementary-age future track stars to the 80-year-old life-long runners, to the cancer survivors and weight-loss winners. I'm not sure any other event in Indy brings together such a variety of people in one place with a common purpose: finish what you started. That's why we volunteer, because the mini is part of what makes Indy so great, and we want to help make it happen. Whatever the runners' motivations, they're all ecstatic when they see us at the finish line with their medal dangling on a checkered ribbon.”

Finish Time: 6:57:29


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