Susan Skelton has run the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon route many times.
This Terre Haute native took part in her first Indy Mini in 1997. After finishing the 13.1-mile half-marathon in each of the following 2 years she decided she was done running.
On Saturday, she’ll tie her shoes for the last time to get ready for the race which will culminate with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Well I’m sure it’s true that the Indy Mini was my first one and let’s see how we can get it to 100. 100.” Skelton said.
Inspiring by her husband’s training for triathlons in the late in the 2000s Skelton was inspired to get to running.
“And I sort of looked up half-marathons, and got lost in to the depths of all that’s available,” Skelton said.
This year, Skelton completed her 50th half marathon in Fishers. She has run 314 races that were timed, ranging from distances that range from one mile up to the full marathon.
“I think it is an addiction” she added.
It wasn’t until 2018 , that Skelton discovered the number of half-marathons she’s run in Indiana. The initial plan was to finish the challenge of 50 states, which is the achievement of one half-marathon across each of the 50 states.
After examining her statistics and calculating her stats, Skelton discovered that she had completed half-marathons for 92 times in Indiana.
“But there’s something amazing about the 100 mark,” Skelton said. “You know that when you think that you’ll get 100 on the test, it’s perfect.”
So , after seven more minis around the state, she’ll be able to hit the magic 100-mark on Saturday.
For her she loves she believes that the Indy Mini has all the most enjoyable aspects of an event. Starting with the aid station to fans to the cloggers, and even the course itself, Skelton enjoys the visual stimulation it is.
“And in a flash you’re negotiating that final quarter-mile returning to downtown, and the checker flags placed in the right place,” she said. “I know, I’m experiencing goosebumps just by talking about it.
“And there’s that excitement to be aware that you’re about to complete something that maybe some time ago, you thought you couldn’t accomplish.”
For Skelton, prioritizing her health comes first.
When she runs, she is reminded about her family’s history with heart disease, and the loss of her father almost thirty years ago.
“Because my personal experience is that it’s not about making the record or speed at which I will I be able to go, but rather the social aspect,” she explained. “Meeting acquaintances, getting to go to different places and hopefully keeping a higher degree of general health.”
It will be her third race since her surgery on her shoulder last year So she has said that she would be running the course.
“Run whenever you are able. If you aren’t able to run then walk. Take a walk whenever you can. If you’re not able to walk or crawl,” she added. “But simply keep moving forward until you’re done.”
At the end of the day Skelton says that someone’s slow is someone else’s.
“So it is important to always run your race, and don’t think about what other people think about it,” she said. “Get the job done for yourself because you’re the most important thing on your race.”
Skelton and her checkered white and black tutu are warming up and ready to race. In the moment she is thinking it’ll be her final Indiana half-marathon race until the 50th edition of the race in 2026.
She’s said she’s working on completing the 50-state challenge before the day she turns 60 in 2025.