By Blake Boldon, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon:
As a runner myself it seems natural that I work within the running industry but that’s not what excites me most about my role with the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Our organization sits at the intersection of two of the most important issues currently facing our city: our collective health, especially the wellness of our children, and the education Indy’s kids receive in our public school system.
Through our partnership with the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation we are able to make a measurable impact in each of these imperative areas. With an unceremonious homage to IPS graduate David Letterman and his decades of comical Top Ten lists, here is a far less humorous “Top Five Ways the IMM Supports IPS:”
5. Free entries to over 100 IPS students for the Inaugural Monumental Mile on June 5, 2014. In 2015 we aim to expand our spring fitness programming culminating with this fun, family friendly Thursday evening event.
4. Staff volunteering at IPS athletic events. For the past three years our team has officiated at the IPS Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships (hosted by Northwest) and the Indianapolis City Cross Country Championships (hosted by Crispus Attucks).
3. Engaging IPS students on event weekend. From the national anthem and color guard to finish line volunteers, and from participation in running events to nearly a dozen entertainment locations along the course, IPS students are an annual feature of event weekend. In addition to the community service experience, our event provides a large stage for IPS to demonstrate how they are “Proud to be Public”
2. Financial support. In 2014 we donated proceeds from our 2013 event totaling $105,000. We are proud to be the largest financial supporter of the IPS Education Foundation and we are even more excited about how our partnership allows us to direct our funds in an impactful way. We are also happy to tap into our Carlton Ray Fund to identify extreme needs that might arise, the 2014 Northwest football team for example.
1. Our own original youth fitness initiative, Monumental Kids Movement. What started as a pilot program launched in IPS 19 with the assistance of the IPSEF has now grown to a formal nine-week program throughout 27 schools throughout Indianapolis Public Schools. All students who attend at least 75% of the training sessions receive FREE entry to our 5k on Saturday, November 1. This year we anticipate that more than 1,000 IPS students will graduate from Monumental Kids Movement and finish our 5k.
The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is November 1, 2014. You can still register to be a part of the marathon here.
About the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (IMM) provides the Indianapolis community with a complement of activities built around a destination marathon event that promotes healthy living & fitness for all ages (both runners and walkers.) The IMM is a 501(c)3, with a mission to educate Indianapolis youth about the benefits of exercise, proper diet and healthy living. The organization has donated over $500,000 to support local public education in the last six years. The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon was recently named one of the top nine marathons in the U.S. by Runners’ World and is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2014.