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Meet Mike Vollmer — a member of the Indy Mini-Marathon Alumni Club

Mike Vollmer
Posted at 12:20 PM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 12:22:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS — This year marks the 48th running of the One America 500 Festival Indy Mini-Marathon.

The race kicks off at Washington and West Street in downtown Indianpolis the morning of May 4.

Mike Vollmer has run them all.

He’s a member of the Indy Mini Alumni Club, a group of only 5 people who are able to say they've participated in every single race since 1977.

Vollmer says in the beginning, he wasn't very prepared or very fast.

“I finished 350th or whatever. A little over three hours. I was walking," Vollmer said.

The first year of the Mini, he wore the wrong shoes, forgot sunscreen, didn't train much, and started out too hot.

“I didn’t intend to do it. Whether because it was I was on city council and the course ran through my district or I was with Saint Francis and they were sponsoring us along," Vollmer said.

The following years, he started training: four to six miles a day, four or five days a week.

With hard work and dedication, he was able to slice more than an hour off of his time.

In his fastest year, in 1990, he finished in 1 hour 35 minutes and 45 seconds.

"There's so much pageantry and tradition with it. It's easy to get hyped up at the start. And so you're ready to go. A lot of people will say 'today is my day' and they'll take off too fast and at 6 miles they're starting to fade. So take it easy, enjoy it," Vollmer said.

Vollmer says for a good 20 years, he ran 15 to 20 races a year, including the Indy Mini.

And he’s still at it almost five decades later.

“It’s a challenge, to test myself. It’s harder than it is. It seems like the distance is longer but it’s not," Vollmer said.

His goal is keep running until the 50th Annual, what he describes as a nice round number to end it at.

If you'd still like to participate in the Indy Mini, you can register in-person at packet pick-up.

It'll be Friday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Indiana Convention Center Expo Hall A.