Breaking Away: A look back at Hollywood's take on Indiana University's Little 500

Posted at 5:37 AM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 18:25:25-04

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will once again be the site of "The World's Greatest College Weekend," this weekend at its Bloomington campus. The weekend is built around the world's largest collegiate bike race, the Little 500. 

Indiana University Student Foundation President Howdy Wilcox Jr., created the Little 500 in 1951 as a means to raise scholarship money for students at the university.  

The Little 500, or Little Five, is always held the third weekend in April.

There are two races. A 25-mile, 100-lap race for women and a 50-mile, 200-lap race for men. The women's race will be held Friday, April 20 and the men's race will be held Saturday, April 21.

All races are held at the Bill Armstrong Stadium.  

The Little 500 garnered the attention of Hollywood in the summer of 1978 when crews filmed the movie Breaking Away. The movie was shot at several locations around Bloomington.

A mock race was held at Memorial Stadium on September 9, 1978. Residents were invited to be extras in the movie. 

A release party for the movie was held in April of 1979 in Bloomington.

The film was well-received and even nominated for several awards. Breaking Away won Best Musical or Comedy at the 37th Golden Globe Awards. Steve Tesich won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.