Friday, April 26, 2013

FDIC Courage and Valor 5K

As a kid, my first home was a rental in downtown Indianapolis. It was a very old two-bedroom house, complete with musty attic on the IUPUI campus. My memories of it include one year, right before Halloween, the plaster ceiling caved in on my head while I slept... quite traumatic for a 5 year-old who had to miss daycare the day of her Halloween party because I spent the night in the Riley Hospital ED getting my head stitched up. We also had lily-of-the valleys that grew under and around our front porch and I thought they were the most fragrant and beautiful flowers in the world.

Downtown was also a run down place full of old dying department stores. We went to LS Ayres at Christmas and rode the Christmas train on the top floor before seeing Santa and eating in the Tea Room. I went shopping with my mom on Hoosier Bargain Day which was always on November 11th and we were out of school that day. We moved to the near Northside in 1975, then outward to surburbia and I really never spent much time downtown after that. Sure, I'd run to the mall once or twice a year or go to an event downtown, but I've never spent any time just looking around.

So, last night, I ran a 5K as a tempo run. It started at White River State Park. I had to look on a map to find the "park" and realized it was someplace I drove by quite often but never realized it was there. The run ran around the downtown canal.

I saw downtown Indianapolis like I had never seen it before.

It was absolutely beautiful! All the museums that backed up to the canal - the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg, the NCAA Hall of Champions, etc... and all the neat little condos. There were waterfalls and fountains, murals on the walls, flowers. The air smelled like lilacs. There was not a single scrap of trash anywhere. The grass in the park was lush and green. The sun was shining. The event was for a bunch of firefighters that were in town. There were agencies from all over the country. A lot of them ran in their gear. The color guard displayed the colors, then a bagpiper played "Amazing Grace" for all the fallen firefighters. The whole scene with the music just gave me chills!

There were about a 1000 people there for the run. The official results page just listed the timed runners but there were a ton of people just running without a timing chip. The only downside was that all these people had to funnel down and run on one side of the canal. I kinda freaked out at the start because I was afraid I was going to get knocked into the canal... there were a couple tight turns in the beginning and I couldn't see the footing in front of me until the last minute because of all the people. Anyway (as usual!) I ran my first mile too fast before I settled down. So...

Mile 1 - 8:11
Mile 2 - 8:28
Mile 3 - 8:23
last 0.1 - 0:56

5K time - 25:58

I did a 2 mile warm down and then walked around the park some more. You can see the downtown skyline was you run back towards downtown on the canal path. There's a "slow food" garden at the park. There's a path that goes along the White River. I never knew any of these things were there until last night. I definately want to go back there to do some runs, plus, I wouldn't have to "play in traffic" like I usually do. I just have to figure out a good place to park my car since I ended up paying $10 for parking last night.

I would definately do this run again next year.

Have you run downtown? Know of a good place to park?

Someone tell me what "FDIC" stands for.


  1. Fire Department Instructors Conference. Look on for photos from the race. Due to the convention, I've had to find alternate parking for work. I've been parking in the underground museum lot for $5, a special rate they're giving Victory Field patrons. Normally, I park in the lot just north of Lucas off of Missouri. It's always $5. It's not too far from the canal (park) entrance. Hope that helps. I'm very much enjoying the "scenery" downtown this's dotted with lots of hunky firefighters :-)

    1. Thanks for the info and for letting me know about the website.

  2. LOL Hope! Yep she is right....I guess I don't have anything to add! Have a great weekend.